"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

March 30, 2009

We're back! - Part I

Dear Diary,

We came home last night at midnight.

What a week! Where do I start?

First off, no photos in this post because the camera is in Connecticut (more on that later) so I hope Isla doesn't start walking this week because I won't be able to take a photo of her first steps!
I'll recap our trip.
We left for NYC on March 21 driving our van. We couldn't have asked for better driving conditions for which we are VERY thankful since last week was a severe weather week throughout the mid-west States. It was a bit windy, OK very windy, and I was concerned about the ugly roof box blowing off but Colin assured me it wasn't going anywhere. Still, I made him tighten it up as I had visions of my pillow and his suit blowing down I-80!
Nebraska and Iowa are the longest states, they just don't end. Pennsylvania we LOVED and if I could've stayed there I would. It has loads of trees, green grass, just beautiful, I felt right at home.
We arrived in NYC on Wednesday and we knew the drive into Manhattan to our hotel was going to be trying but seriously, we risked our lives. My advice is don't make a wrong turn in Newark, New Jersey, scary! Let's just say we won't be going back to NYC anytime soon. It's a case of been there, done that, not again, thank you very much.
Colin's UK work colleagues had already arrived and were eager to get started and he had a few meetings on Wednesday so Isla and I chilled out. She was really good during the drive. She would sleep for a couple of hours in the morning but then was up pretty much until she went to bed at night. Later in the afternoon she would get really whinny but at 13 months I think that can be expected.
We also found out how much she loves her bed at home. My-o-my, it took many "Twinkle, Twinkle"s and Gerber cheddar treats to get our girl to sleep. We soon found out that with the pack'n'play close to us, some Dramadine (much like Benadryl) and alot of milk and cheddar snacks she would eventually sleep. After a few nights we didn't even need the cheddar treats any more.
Thursday we went shopping while Colin worked and Friday I was planning on taking her to the Central Park zoo but she wasn't feeling that well. In the evening we managed to get down to Times Square. On Saturday we crammed all our tourists stops in while we took a bus tour that was a little less than acceptable. I will be writing a letter, provided photos of wet seats etc. and requesting my money back. It was horrendous but I won't get into that now.
On Sunday we drove to Bob and Nancy's in Connecticut and spent a few hours with them before heading off to the airport. We left our van at their house until Wednesday this week when Colin will drive back to Colorado. Once he is back I can get the camera with our photos.
I wasn't originally planning on coming home with him yesterday but Isla wasn't sleeping or napping well and was eating like a bird. To prove my point, she slept 3 hours this morning but came down with a flu bug after lunch. Anyways, she wasn't enjoying the trip and I was stressing about it so we decided that it would be best if we all flew home together. Colin doesn't mind driving by himself and he can certainly do it quicker than if we were all together. The downside is that I won't have a car this week...
It was a long week and we enjoyed some good family time but it wasn't a vacation. I could do with one right now!!!
As I mentioned we have no plans to return to NYC. I can think of more negatives than positives but think everyone should experience it for themselves and decide if they like it. I think it's one of those cities that you either love or hate.
We're home getting back to rountine, happy and thankful for a safe journey. It was wonderful that we could experience at least nine very (geographically) different states during our trip including Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. (I know I'm missing one or two but can't think which one!).
Watch out for Part II coming up, with photos!
'Til next time,

March 26, 2009

New York, New York

Dear Diary,

We've arrived!

The sirens are blaring, the people are busy rushing down the streets, hotdog vendors on every street corner so yeah, it must be New York...... and it only took us four days to get here!!!
We arrived yesterday afternoon and Colin quickly got stuck into work but Isla and I have dandered around and did a little shopping.
We're on our own until Saturday when Colin, Nancy and Bob will join us so I'll get some pics then, if not tomorrow. The forecasters are predicting good weather tomorrow and I plan on taking Isla to the Central Park zoo.
I'll post more a bit later on but just wanted to let you all know we arrived safe and sound.
'Til next time,

March 19, 2009


Dear Diary,

WHY do cats have to sleep on countertops? Do they know no boundaries?

'Til next time,

March 17, 2009

13 months old!

Dear Diary,

Our happy girl is 13 months today AND she started standing on her own today.

YAY Isla!

She has stood in the past but today she started doing it on her own without assistance from Colin or I. If it's like when she started crawling, she'll be standing all the time this week and hopefully (fingers and toes crossed) she'll be walking before too long. When she becomes more confident, I'll post a photo.

'Til next time,

March 16, 2009

What's your style?

Dear Diary,

To quote from

Your personal style is a mix of 3 specific styles:
40% Wine Country Style
40% Nantucket Style
20% Classic

Wine Country Style

Tuscan sun, here we come! The Wine Country style reflects the feelings evoked by the seaside regions of Europe such as the South of France, Spain, Italy and Greece. The style manages to be both refined and casual, such that you can mix beautiful antiques with more rustic wrought iron or wood and the result is both sophisticated and cozy.

Furniture is large and comfortable, colors are bright and cheery, and regardless of the color palette the spaces almost always feel warm. You can easily translate the style into the perfect family environment but you can just as easily emphasize the more formal pieces and make your room the perfect adult getaway.

'Til next time,

March 15, 2009

Our itinerary for the next few weeks....

Dear Diary,

We are driving to NYC on Saturday.... with Isla...
Are we crazy travelling 1800 miles with a 13 month old? Probably but for a good reason.
Colin has a convention at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan for a couple of days. He has loads of stuff, aka. computers, terminals and even our TV, so we decided to drive and make it a mini-family-vacation. At least I hope its a vacation, we'll have to see about that.
Another thing, after the convention Colin has to come back to Denver to meet a client and I'll stay on the east coast. While he is away Isla and I will be staying with Nancy and Bob in Hartford who graciously offered to put up with us for a few days. By way of history, Nancy was Colin's mom's pen-pal for over 50 years - they were like sisters.
Colin will fly to Hartford late Tuesday night to meet up with us and then we drive back to Denver and should arrive back home on Saturday at the latest...
Phew, nothing in our lives is straight-forward, that would be boring.
So this week I'll be getting ourselves organized or shall I say getting Isla's stuff organized. She has been struggling with dinner food - she'll take about five bites and then refuses to eat anything else unless it's from a jar. I'm hoping it's just a transition stage and once she is used to it, she'll eat our dinner with us. I could fight her while we are away but I think I'll just load up on jarred food and feed her that and try her on "regular" food when the opportunity arises. She eats generally well and has no problems with bread, cereal, potatoes, pudding, etc. but the problem is mainly with (small) chunks of meat, vegetables and even pasta. I'm also thinking of buying a can of formula if there isn't a suitable fridge for her (whole) milk. Thankfully I don't have to worry about sterilizing bottles this time round!
All these plans are subject to change especially considering our current visa hasn't been submitted to be extended yet. It expires on March 25 but Colin is in contact with our lawyer frequently and it sounds like she's ready to submit our application for the business visa extention at the same time she applies for our new visa and green card.

If we don't get the extension, we have to leave the USA and we'll be driving to Canada rather than New York. I already warned my mom and dad we might be moving in next week ;-)
No disrespect to Mom and Dad but please pray we don't have to drive to Canada and we are able to travel to NYC. We have invested alot into our Colorado lives and would really like to stay here as long as we can.
Once we leave, I'm sure I'll be able to update the blog as we travel.

'Til next time,

March 14, 2009

WARNING, severe cuteness below....

Dear Diary,

Yesterday showed Isla's rare naughty side, the other side of Isla is her cute side.
In case you forgot how cute she is.....

At this point, the closest to standing unaided so far
She can only move backwards!!!!
The easiest way to get off
And this is the closest to walking on her own

'Til next time,

March 13, 2009

We call her "Monkey" for a reason

Dear Diary,

Even though she isn't walking yet, she still manages to live up to her nickname, "Monkey".
It's better illustrated in photos...
Under the laptop table and all those tempting cables -
check out the grin, silly girl!

These two pics represent plant dirt... she ate it, just like her mother used to do.
What you don't see is the dirt in her mouth I had to scoop out.....
Guess what this is?
It's my shoulder, with teeth marks.
She bit me on Wednesday when we were practicing standing...
I don't think it's the start of a biter,
I think it's the result of molars coming through
and a short attention span.

'Til next time,

March 12, 2009

I couldn't wait any longer...

Dear Diary,

A few weeks we had our family portrait and Isla's first birthday portrait taken. It's a bit shameful but since Isla has been born, we have never had a professional family portrait taken. We figured it was about time now that our life is calming down a bit.

We LOVE them, they turned out so well.

I was going to wait until we received the CD with the edited photos on it but hey, I'm impatient and couldn't wait to share them with you all.
Below is the link to all 201 of them. Isla has a big scratch on her nose but that will be edited out along with other things that we've requested - these are just the proofs.
Enjoy - Precious Poses - enter the website - click on Proofing (top right corner) - Password is Isla and that will take you to our photos.

We are getting a CD with 20 photos on it. I'll post some of them when we have it, hopefully next week if not earlier.

'Til next time,

March 11, 2009

Thank you Uncle Alan, Auntie Clare, Erin and Amy

Dear Diary,

My present from Uncle Alan and Auntie Clare arrived today, almost a month since it left Northern Ireland. I think the boat must have got lost.

Anyway, the present was nice, but it doesn't taste very good....

'Til next time,


March 9, 2009

A Day in the Life

Dear Diary,

As I mentioned in yesterdays post, my furry lovelies have not made it to the blog lately.

This leads me to a day in the life of Pearl and Dixie...

7:15 - wake up

7:16 - Where's breakfast?

8:00 - run around and a have a "moment" then beat up my sister.

8:30 - wow, that was alot of running and we're tired, time for a nap.

9:00 - we love the sun, time to work on the tan.

11:30 - stomach is growling, maybe time for a treat, or two, or three, whatever we can get.

12:00 - time for some fresh air, living in an apt. is tough, no grass = no bugs, how boring.

1:00 - yawnnn, been up for hours, no wonder I'm exhausted....

5:00 - stomach is growling again, where's dinner?


5:25 - I'm thirsty, please turn the tap on...

6:00 - He's home, let's play!

6:10 - catnip, YAY!

7:00 - What a busy day, I can't keep my eyes open, better go to bed - see you in the morning!

'Til next time,

March 8, 2009

Insert title here

Dear Diary,

First, thank you for the birthday wishes in the blog comments and on FB. In case you were wondering, I'm officially mid-30's...

Also, without sounding too cryptic, we are in the middle of a visa drama. I can't say too much right now but we would grateful if you could pray that we get the visa's we need to stay here and in the alternative if it's not meant to be, He shows the way. Hopefully, I'll be able to post more about this in the near future.

We haven't posted too many pics of the little lady since her birthday so here you go, Isla, 12.5 months:

Don't worry, she's still adorable and happy.

These were taken tonight quickly before she went to bed so nothing too great, just a few updates for her Opa and Oma (and everyone else of course).
She was up at 8:30 this morning, really, she was! I'm glad she woke up when she did because we would've been late for church this morning and we had to make a side and main course for the fellowship meal after the first service before we left... Sunday mornings are always a rush to get out of the house on time!
She isn't walking yet but she cruises great and loves to walk holding our hands - she's just not confident enough to do it on her own. One day....
She's also struggling with table food (and peas). She'll eat a few bites but then she spits out the rest! It's crazy, she eats Gerber jarred food no problem. I can just see her in five years being carried around by her mom and dad and eating baby food!! Oh help....
I think I gotta take some pics of my furry girls, it's been a lonnnngg time since I've posted pics about them. They've been exceptionally cute lately.
They either draw straws or have a schedule but it seems like every night one of them is planted between Colin and I on the bed. One night it's Dixie and the next night it's Pearl - they are so cute, how can anyone not like cats!? (Don't answer that you bad cat haters!)

'Til next time,

March 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Heather

Dear Diary,

Today is Heather's birthday, she is ** today... Do you think I would get home if I told you?

Anyway I just wanted to say 'Happy Birthday' dear...

It has been a difficult year for us all, but I know through God's grace that we will be sustained through it all..

May ou LORD bless you today and forever in his sight and his covenant.


'Til next time,


March 5, 2009


Dear Diary,

Yesterday our darling girl endured the needle not once, not twice but SEVEN times...
She's had immunizations in Northern Ireland, Canada and now America and it seems each country has a slightly different vaccination schedule. For instance, MMR is given at 15 months in the UK but 12 months here in America so she got that one yesterday. It took them a while to figure out what she needed but she is now up-to-date to the American schedule and rather than carry three vaccination cards, we have just one.
She also had her first flu shot and the chicken pox vaccination. She has to go back in a month for a second Hep A shot and the second flu shot (only the first innoculation requires two jabs) if they are still handing them out at that time. I hope so because flu season lasts into May in this part of the country.
She's been REALLY good. No fevers or fussing during the day, just a bit of difficulty getting into a deep sleep at night. She cried frequently during the night but was able to soothe herself back to sleep. With only a bit of children's Tylenol, she's been quite a trooper!
After next month she won't need anymore until 18 months and frankly I don't want to know what they are after she had so many yesterday. I'm just thankful she's up-to-date now and well under way not to get any of those horrible diseases.

'Til next time,

Time for a change again.....

Dear Diary,

It's work in progress but I decided the blog needed a spring makeover.....

Colin doesn't like the bees... Oh well, I may change it more as the mood suits me.

'Til next time,

March 2, 2009

Kashi Freebie!

Dear Diary,

We don't normally eat processed food but Kashi overall is pretty good so I thought I would order my coupon for a free frozen entree.

As far as I know, the coupon is valid in Canada and the USA.

Go ahead, give it a try, it's free.

Go to the Kashi website to order your coupon.

'Til next time,