2010: Recap: July-November


I cannot believe that today is the last day of 2010! I guess I better hurry up and finish my 2010 recap! :)  I'm sorry this is going to be a super long post but I'll try to keep each recap a little bit shorter.

 In July we celebrated Independence Day at the Marine House. We invited all of the Americans from the community so we had a pretty good turnout and tons of delicious food.
 Jesse finally got his kite and his new obsession began. We spent lots of time at the beach while he learned how to use his new toy. I can't wait to take pictures of him in action with my new camera!

In August we were lucky enough to travel to Pretoria, South Africa for a conference. It was so much fun to see some of Jesse's friends from school. We also did tons of shopping and eating. It was a refreshing change of pace from our life here.

In September we traveled to a beach resort for a weekend away. We had such an awesome time and loved every minute of it!

 A few weeks later we got the best news EVER:

October was a month of celebrations. We celebrated Jesse's 30th birthday and our 9th wedding anniversary. We were also thrilled to share our exciting news with everyone.

We attended a Halloween party where we all made the best with what we had. Unfortunately we can't just run to Wal-Mart and pick up a pumpkin and a costume, so we had to improvise.

We carved a jack o' lantern from a watermelon and Jesse dressed as the local guard force after borrowing one of their old uniforms.

In November we attended the Marine Corps Ball in honor of the 235th Birthday of the Marine Corps. Unfortunately, torrential rain caused flooding at the venue. We were left with wet, muddy floors and had to ditch our formal attire for something a bit more casual. We didn't let the weather stop us from having a good time though!

 We were also fortunate to celebrate Thanksgiving with a great group of friends. Although it was hard being away from home we were able to follow through with some of our traditions and the day turned out great.

I'm not going to recap December because I just blogged about most of it. I hope this looong post and overload on pictures hasn't put you to sleep! Be sure to check back tomorrow- I plan on sharing my goals for the New Year! :) Good-bye 2010!!! :)

P.S. I'm so excited that my blog is featured today on Friendly Friday at Healthy Home Blog, Thanks, Mail Carrier, and Frugal Novice. If you are visiting from Friendly Friday- thanks for stopping by. If you decide to follow, please leave me a comment so I can follow you back. :)

18 Weeks Already?


18 Weeks
Sorry for the headless shot. My hair is a hot mess right now and I didn't like the way my head looked in this picture AT ALL! :)

Pregnancy Highlights:
Size of baby: The baby is about the size of a bell pepper. He/she is about 5.5 inches long and weighs about 7 ounces.
Movement: I can definitely feel babycakes moving around more and more. I've even been able to feel it from the outside but Jesse hasn't been able to yet.

Gender: We're going for the anatomy scan on January 11 so we will find out then. I will honestly be completely shocked if it's a girl. My intuition definitely says boy.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Gained  6-7 lbs

Maternity Clothes: Yep!

Sleep: Love it!

What I miss: Runnning and lifting weights. I haven't really been doing much exercise and surprisingly I really miss it.

Cravings: I'm still daydreaming about a giant salad bar...

Symptoms: none to speak of at the moment (unless you count my huge belly)

Best Moment this week:  Feeling more movement

Baby Purchases: I still haven't purchased anything but Baby L got his/her first book from our awesome friends Kevin and Carol.

We've also received some more really sweet gifts this last week but I haven't taken pictures yet so I will blog about them when I do.

After my post yesterday I realized that I haven't really explained what I mean when I talk about going to Texas. Unfortunately, the medical care here is not adequate for me to have the baby so I will be going back to Texas at around 26 weeks and staying there until the baby is 6 weeks old. I'll be staying with my parents while Jesse stays here. We're hoping he is able to make it home for the birth, but with a 30 hour travel time it is definitely going to be hard to plan. Hopefully Baby L will cooperate and come right on his/her due date. :)   It will be hard to be apart throughout all of it, but I am so thankful for the time I am going to get to spend with my family.

And here's one more picture- a comparison shot of 5 weeks and 18 weeks. Doesn't my belly look huge?



It's my favorite blog topic of the week: What I'm Loving Wednesday. Head over to Jamie's blog and check out what everybody's loving.

I'm loving that Jesse and I get to go on vacation in less than 2 weeks. We are so ready to get out of here for a while and see/do some fun things. Not to mention all of the delicious food we plan on eating... Yum! We're considering it our "babymoon!" :)

I'm loving that we should *finally* be able to find out what Baby L is when we go on our trip. I feel like we have been waiting FOREVER!

I'm loving that I will finally be reunited with these two (and my family) in less than 9 weeks! I know that I mention something about this almost every week but I am just beyond excited and literally counting down. Texas here I come! :)

I'm loving that Jesse's best friend is getting married to a wonderful girl and if the timing works out just right we will be able to be at the wedding! Congrats Jarod and Molly- we are beyond thrilled for you guys!

I'm loving the skinny jeans I just ordered from the Gap. I think they are going to go perfectly with the boots that I mentioned in my last WILW post. Even though I know that the boots aren't good for the weather here but I just *had* to have them. Not only were they 30 percent off- I also found a coupon for an additional $20.00 off. Seriously- who can resist a deal like that? So here's the jeans and the boots:

And here is my sad attempt at putting the two together. I know it's not the best but you get the idea, right?

 Now I just need to find the perfect sweater... :)

I'm loving that our camera should be here today. I've been reading everyone else's posts about the fun they're having with their DSLRs and I can't wait to try ours out. I've already been reading the manual (all 160 pages of it) and I can't wait to try some of the things I've learned. 

I'm loving that it's a 4 day work week and the end of 2010! It's been an amazing year for us but I can't wait for 2011 and all the wonderful things we have to look forward to.

I can't wait to hear what everyone else is loving this week!

2010 Recap: May and June


During the month of May we finally started settling in and getting to know everyone in the embassy community. Luckily everyone made us feel right at home!

One of the first events we attended was Field Day. During Field Day we competed in different events and all of the proceeds went to charity. We had a blast (even though neither of our teams won).

May was also the month that I said goodbye to my sweet friend Jessica. She was my first friend in Africa and I wouldn't have made it through that first month without her. We had so much fun talking, laughing, and just hanging out. It was so hard to see her go...

On Memorial Day, we attended a potluck. Although the day was full of fun and food, we also took a moment to honor those that have given the ultimate sacrifice. It was awesome to see the flags of each branch and to remember that we come from the very best country in the world.

The best part about June is that our stuff arrived, including our wonderful assortment of food that I mentioned in my last post. We were so excited to have a few things that made this place feel more like home.

We still have A LOT of food left but our pantry doesn't look anything like this anymore. Of course, we run out of all the good stuff like pickles and salsa, but we still have plenty to get us by.

June also marked the first time we left the city. We traveled to a mountain town about an hour away. We spent the day hiking, eating, and hanging out by the fire. It was so nice to see the beautiful scenery and to experience something a little different.

I would have to say that June was probably the first month that we started feeling more comfortable with our new surroundings. We started to get over the culture shock a little bit and began venturing out a little more.

2010 Recap: March and April


March was a month of busy preparations. We had so much to do to get ready for our move across the world and it seemed like there was never enough time in each day.
We started by selling a few things we couldn't take with us.
My car :(
Jesse's Harley

Then we put our house on the rental market. As relieved as we were to have it rented quickly, it was a bit sad to think about someone else living in our home.

After getting that taken care of, we headed to the commissary and Sam's Club to buy groceries to last us for 18 months. Sounds crazy, right? Because we are stationed in such a poor country with little resources, we were allowed to bring 1800 pounds of non-perishable goods with us. It took us about 6 trips to both stores to finalize our lists- I mean how do you plan for 18 months? We bought a lot of cleaning supplies, canned goods, snacks, and hygiene prouducts like shampoo and lotion. When it was all said and done we used every last bit of our weight limit and spent about $3,000.00. It sounds like alot but it was worth every penny!

Towards the end of March my Mom came to visit one last time. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures but it was so nice to have her with us for a few days.

April was a month of good-byes. It was so hard to leave everything and everyone we love.
It started when we said good-bye to these two.
It may sound silly, but putting them on that plane to Texas was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Up until a few days before that day, we thought we were bringing them with us to Africa. When we realized it wasn't going to workout, I was devastated. Luckily, they made it through the plane ride just fine and have been spoiled rotten at my parents' house ever since.

Next, we had to say good-bye to all of our wonderful North Carolina friends. I don't have pictures of everyone, but here are a few:

The moving trucks came on April 5th and we headed to Atlanta the next day to drop off our car for shipment and to catch our plane to Africa.
After a 24 hour layover in Brussels, we finally made it to our new home. We spent the rest of April trying to get adjusted to our new surroundings. To say that it was a lot to take in would be an understatement for sure. I think it took us at least a month to feel comfortable- it was definitely a big adjustment!

2010 Recap: February


In February, my friend Leanne and I kicked up our half-marathon training. I know I mentioned it an earlier post, but we registered for the Myrtle Beach half-marathon. Unfortunately, the race got snowed out. That didn't keep us from having a good time, though. We spent the weekend shopping, eating and dancing. Although we didn't get to complete our race, it was definitely a fun girls weekend that I won't soon forget.

It was also this same weekend that we found out that Jesse made it through MSG school and would be graduating! It was such an exciting moment to know that his hard work had paid off.
At the end of February, I traveled to Virginia for a spouse training program hosted by the Marine Corps and the State Department. While I was there we went to D.C. and Jesse graduated from MSG school.

After graduation, we headed home to NC to start the looong process of preparing to move. That's a whole other post in itself so I'll save it for the March recap. :)

What's your favorite memory from February 2010?
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