"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to His purpose"

Romans 8:28

December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Dear Diary,
Merry Christmas!
We wish our family and friends,
wherever they may be,
God's abundant blessings in 2008!

December 9, 2007

Twenty Nine and a half weeks....

Dear Diary,

I had a request from Marg to get some pictures of Heather. As the 'bump' has been growing, the folks back home in Canada wanted to see how Heather looks. So we got the camera out, applied the makeup and these are the results..

Heather by herself..........

and with me..........

Things are good, Heather still feels tired, but that's easily sorted by some extra naps..We hope you're all well and wish you God's richest blessing for Christmas and 2008...

Love, Colin, Heather and baby...

December 2, 2007

Not much to report

Dear Diary,

It's been a while since my last post. I guess I was waiting for something exciting to happen and nothing did. Take that as a good thing. We've keeping up busy working and just doing ordinary stuff.

The pregnancy has been progressing well. I'm still plagued with fatigue but that's normal for me. This past week I went for my 28 week check up and received the Anti-D jab in my arm because my blood type is O Rh negative and Colin is A Rh+. I have added a link for more information because I really can't explain it very well. The baby was scanned and she looks great, her little heart is beating a mile a minute but right now she is lying transverse albeit loads of time to move into the right position. I know she is already a good little girl and will do as she has been told 'cause her mommy really doesn't want surgery!!! Colin's word of advice "Don't worry, it'll be fiine". I think I heard that before but I have to get back on my gym ball and continue with my ante-natal yoga moves to ensure she does move into the right position.

Speaking of ante-natal yoga, I just finished my 6 weeks and I'll miss it! I loved it and I would recommend it to any expectant moms. I was in a small group of 6 women and 5 of us were first-timers - clueless about labour, birth and babies! Not only did we practice yoga but we had some really good conversations about our fears and what we can expect in labour and afterwards. Now that I have my Monday nights back, I think I'll pick up swimming lengths to build up stronger thigh muscles and besides it's good excercise since I don't get much at work (my mat leave starts on 21st January! Yay!)

Colin's work has been busy and then he has a few weeks of struggling to find things to do. He thought he might be going back to Denver in December but he's not anymore. The Americans are flying to Manchester in January and Colin will also be taking them to Belfast to Value Cabs (N. Ireland's largest taxi firm) to see the system in use. Apparently (and I'm trying not to set my expectations too high) they are very interested and they will sign a contract with GPC to install the system in Denver which should be all we need to emigrate across. Whilst it sounds very probable, we leave it up to God to direct us where we should be going and when.

We'll try to take a few more photos in the near future - Colin gave me his Christmas wish list and the next day he went out to the photography shop and promptly purchased most of what he wanted so we will have all the photography equipment we will ever need by Christmas. In case you were wondering how our furry girls are doing or have forgotten what they look like, here you go (and oh yeah, that's Colin and me holding them). A "family" photo:

Hope this finds you well.
'Til next time Dear Diary.
God bless,
Heather, Colin & Baby Black

October 24, 2007

Just an update

Dear Diary,

Well, people have been asking about an update to Colin's trip to Denver. He was very pleased and the possibility of us moving to the US is looking more and more likely but still nothing has been confirmed.
While at the trade show, amongst other interested taxi companys (even some in Canada) there was an interested firm of taxi's in Manhattan wanting approx. 620 dataheads to be integrated with their current software. Also, one of the largest taxi firms in Denver (approx. 500 cars) is interested in Autocab and want to come to Manchester to try and seal a deal. Emails have gone out and phone calls have been made to the US but we are still waiting to hear if and when the Americans are coming. God is testing my patience but we are still optimistic!
As for the pregnancy, all is well. In the last post I mentioned that I had to have a heart ultrasound, well, I went and there is nothing to be concerned about for which we are relieved. As for the blood situation, Colin has gone for his blood test this morning but it'll probably only to confirm his blood type as the mid-wife mentioned that I will more than likely still get the injection at 28 weeks. I guess it's a good thing I'm not sqeemish about needles!
I'm really thinking about what else I can mention here and nothing comes to mind so I guess that's it.
Hope all is well wherever you are and we love to hear from anyone and everyone at anytime!
Colin, Heather and baby Black

October 9, 2007

Look at me now!

Dear Diary,

A week ago Colin and I attended at the hospital for my 20-week ultrasound scan. It's still amazing to see and we're very pleased to report that the baby is growing and developing well. Both of us could've looked at her forever! In addition, I wanted to know the gender of the baby and we think we're having a girl but obviously not 100% sure until the day arrives.

The first scan is her side profile and she has her knees pulled up and the second scan is her looking right at us! She was sucking her thumb (just like her daddy did!) and she even took a drink for us to watch. She was moving really well and quickly but I haven't felt her yet as the placenta is lying in the front of me - I assume I'll have to wait a few more weeks until she gets a bit bigger and stronger.

As for me, I'm OK but still tired which has become a completely normal way of life for me. I have a heart murmur and my OB is sending me for an EKG on Thursday to make sure it's not more serious. In addition, they seem to think there is something strange with my heartbeat and want the cardiologist to check it out to prevent any complications that may develop during the pregnancy or in labour. Another small snag is the fact that my blood type is O RH negative. Unfortunately, Colin has no idea what his blood type is so he has to get tested once he is back from Denver next week. It is more than likely he is Rh positive and I'll need a couple of injections to prevent future complications, if any, that could appear but it's not something that can't be treated.

Anyways, just to let everyone know, we are all well. Colin is in Denver, Colorado at a trade show this week trying to develop some business and contacts in the US. It starts tomorrow and he is anxious to get started but I know he will do well - all his customers love him over here and if we do move over, they'll be missing him! He enjoys the challenge of this project but is looking forward to coming home this weekend.

Hope all is well,

With Christian greetings,

Heather, Colin and Baby Black

September 24, 2007

Mom and Dad come to visit

Dear Diary,
Mom and Dad safely arrived in Belfast on the morning of 14th September for a two-week visit with us in Northern Ireland.

After a days recovery from jet lag, we ladies did a bit of shopping in Larne town centre and the boys were sent away to Lisburn to watch Larne get beat by Lisburn Distillery.
On Sunday, it was church and a quick vist with Colin's mom to say hello.
We left for County Donegall on a very windy Monday morning and we made a few stops before reaching Mallin Head, the most northerly point in Ireland.
The waves were huge in Castlerock
Lunch break stop and photo session
We eventually made it up to Mallin Head and if we thought it was windy back home, we weren't prepared for Mallin Head!

The terrain is very rocky along the coast

The hotel where we stayed for the night

A roofless chapel in a valley

We returned home late Tuesday afternoon, had dinner and Colin took Mom to the church hall to play bowls with the church team. According to the master, she was a "natural". Maybe when she gets home she can show the rest of you her new moves!

Wednesday and Thursday we stayed close to home, to rest weary souls and muscles. On Friday we travelled south to Newcastle, County Down. The route to Newcastle took us through twisty, curvy country roads edged with hedges.

Another lunch spot and photo shoot

(notice how we are NOT eating unlike all those Christmas dinner phtotos - Mom didn't take the photo)

What a handsome face!

The Port of Portavogie - home of scampi, crab and mussels boats!

After dinner in an Indian restaurant, we drove home and spent Saturday at home, enjoying the sun.

On Sunday afternoon, Mom, Colin and myself went for a ride to Portadown to Colin's brother Alan's house to celebrate Amy's 5th birthday.

The birthday girl and "Aunty Heaver"

So there you have it, week one all summed up! Colin is working Monday to Wednesday so we probably won't be doing too much - my car is a bit small and may be a bit difficult for Dad to get in and out of. We're thinking of jumping on the ferry on Thursday and going to Scotland and then coming home.

A new posting wouldn't be complete without a new photo of my kitty cats:

Pearl, isn't she lovely!?

God Bless,

Heather, Colin, Mom and Dad

August 29, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary!

Dear Diary,

It's hard to believe but Colin and I have been married a year on 28th August and we had a couple of lovely days to celebrate.
Monday was a Bank Holiday here in the UK and since we both didn't have to work we decided to drive down to Crawfordsburn and stayed the night at The Old Inn. It's a lovely old hotel, built in 1614!
The following morning, after a full Irish breakfast we went home, got showered and changed and made our way up the north coast to the Giants Causeway, which is probably one of N. Ireland's most visited tourist attractions.

The Causeway is divided up into sections and this particular section is called "The Organ" which is exactly what it looks like.

This illustrates just how tall The Organ actually is!

Me Colin

Pretty cool, eh?

An aerial shot of the Middle Causeway
To get back to our car, we had to climb up what seemed a few thousand feet, which left me absolutely knackered, as they say over here - hind sight tells me that being preggy I probably should've taken the van back up the cliffs but in the end, we had a great day! The only downer of the day was that by the time we got home, I was too tired to go to Ballygally Castle (the location for our wedding reception) for our anniversary dinner!
'Til next time,
Love, Heather, Colin and little one

August 14, 2007

Be bop a lu la, She’s my baby..

Dear Diary,

Last week Heather had her 12 week scan and I (Colin), was there to give some support. I must admit that it was quite an amazing experience to see the first images of your child. I will refer to the baby as her for the blog but we DO NOT know the gender yet. Seeing her move her tiny hands and feet even at this early stage gives us a great sense of awe. The picture is not the greatest but you can see the baby's head and body quite clearly. Her little hands are also visible near her nose and left shoulder. We are looking forward to the next scan so we can see even more of her.

As for names, well, Heather keeps firing them at me and I usually throw a possible nick name back at her. So we're still thinking about that. Ultimately though, this little person already has a name, we just have to wait for it to be revealed to us from above.......Until next time.............

Love from Colin, Heather and little one.....

July 29, 2007

Back from the Czech Republic

Dear Diary,

Colin and I went for a long weekend to Prague on 13 July 2007, a place we both wanted to visit for quite some time (click on the links for more information)

I'll explain the trip through photos except sadly, I can't include some of the best photos as our memory card got corrupted and we as a result can't get them off the camera. If anyone has an idea how we can download them, please let us know!!!!

Our hotel was a metro stop or two from the city centre so we took the metro system to get around and albeit really efficient I had a problem with the escaltors down to the train... it was so steep. The first time going down I thought I was going to go head first, it was scary!! From then on when we went down, Colin stood in front of me and when we up, he stood in behind me. The picture doesn't look so scarry, but they are, trust me:
Prague architecture in the Old Square:

There was also a statue of John Huss, the reformer, however it was under repairs and we couldn't see it.

Prague Castle is the largest medieval castle complex in the world. It is stunning. We went on Vlatva River cruise and we got some beautiful photos but those are photos we can't get at so you'll just have to believe me.
Prague Castle from a distance

The changing of the guard at the castle gates.
The shiney forehead tourists - it was really hot!

You can't go to Prague without visiting Wenceslas Square :

The building at the end of street is the National Museum, we didn't have time to visit but it's suppose to be well worth it.
A statue of King Wencesles

Prague is divided up into "towns", namely, Old Town, New Town, Jewish Town, etc. Old Town was especially interesting due to the architecture. One other feature is the Astonomical Clock, one of the most visited sites in Prague.

Another popular site is Charles Bridge :

The local brew coming down the river just past Charles Bridge
(the brewery was beside our hotel and rumour has it there was going to be a direct tap into each room from the brewery!)

Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to see everything we wanted so I guess that is a good excuse to go back again!
A street near our hotel
'Til next time and "ahoj" as they say in the Czech Republic!

Colin and Heather

July 18, 2007

9 weeks already!

Dear Diary,

I just wanted to add a short entry today to let everyone know how the three of us are getting on.

We arrived back from Prague on Monday but I'll put up another post about that trip a little later on this week. We had a great time and Prague comes highly recommended for future travels.

Babs (or Bambino) is doing fine and not causing me too much grief. I'm tired 24/7 and don't have the motivation to do whole lot. The same goes for eating, I eat to survive but most foods I would pass on, even coffee and chocolate. Ah yuck, the thought of coffee turns my stomach! The other week I boiled a kettle of water for a cuppa and I couldn't do it, the smell of boiled water made me sick. HELP! I need some caffine!

With a few gentle reminders, Colin is helping me out too. He has taken responsibility of cleaning out the cat litter box and if he thinks about it, feeding the two of them as well. I felt bad for him in Prague though, I was so tired by the end of the day, I was in bed by 9:30 almost every night. I guess I wasn't much fun, eh...?

Anyways, it's back to work for me.

Take care and God bless,
Heather, Colin and Babs...

July 8, 2007

A new Arsenal supporter!

Dear Diary,

Just a short entry to share our good news - we are going to have a baby in February! At seven weeks all is going well, just the odd wave of nausea now and again and 24/7 fatigue has set it as well. Food is a big turn off too but hopefully that won't be case in the next few months. My main concern right now is the trip to Prague, Czech Republic we have planned for this coming Friday. The last thing I want right now is to be sick and tired on our holiday!

'Til next time,
Colin and Heather and junior Arsenal fan...

June 11, 2007

Summer Garden Show

Dear Diary,
We went to a Garden Show at Hillsborough Castle this past weekend.

The world's largest rhododendrum plant is located at Hillsborough Castle (this isn't it).
Colin, my navigator...
There is not much new news although today we were in Manchester and to discuss the possibility of taking GPC to North America. Well, as it is now, Colin and I have been assigned to determine the scope of the market, if any. Before any commitments are made we are required to get at least 6 customers, or at least very interested customers, which would make the North American taxi market profitable. There is one in Chicago so we have five more to find before the end of next weekend. Hopefully, we won't have a problem but we'll start making more calls in earnest, tomorrow. As always, we'll keep you all informed.
Hope all is well.
With Christian greetings,
Heather and Colin