Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 265 of 365: A Year in Review

Well, really this should have been just about my last blog post, but with the months/weeks/days I have missed (including this week), I'm behind by 100 Oh well.

But anyroad! Since today is New Year's Eve, I just wanted to recap 2009, because it has been an amazing year.

The best thing that's happened to me this year was getting married to Ian:

I made the big step and moved to England:

I made some amazing friends in Jamie, Alan, and Josy:

Had great times with other friends and my English family:

Went to Germany, The Netherlands, and Yorkshire to see the sights and catch up with really good friends:

I got to meet the ever so adorable Veerle for the first time:

Got to go to my first football match:

Mel and Rob got engaged!:

And Ian and I moved into our first place together:

All and all, it's been a pretty amazing year, and I can't wait for 2010.

Things to look forward to next year:
-Our 1 year wedding anniversary
-Jamie and Alan having their baby
-Mel moving to England
-My Dad and Pam coming out for two weeks for the blessing
-The blessing itself
-And many, many more!!!

So, I hope everyone has a safe night tonight, and congrats to those that have had a big and wonderful 2009. And big ups to the ladies that made the move over the pond this year as well....we're quite the brave souls. :) Here's also to those that will hopefully be making the journey to England next year!

Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 264 of 365: Cock Fight!!

I am pretty well hung for a lady, if I do say so myself!

Was invited over to Carole and Matt's place tonight for tea before the quiz, and Matt showed us a video from Christmas morning on his iPod. I was of Carole and their son, Jack, playing this game called Cock Fight.

Basically, you wear this belt and you velcro this giant, blow up penis to the belt. You have to see who can knock the others' penis off first.

Good times, good times.......I thought it was hilarious and envied the blow Ian has since said that I can not have the game, but if you want to purchase one, it's available at Harper's Bazaar.

But the night was good. We didn't do too well at the quiz (5th out of 7 teams), and when we got in I finally got to talk to my Dad and his fiance, Pam. Pam too said that my voice sounds different, but unfortunately, when I was talking to my Dad the line went all fuzzy and we had to say goodbye. Buuuttt......they're most likely coming to visit next year for about two weeks, and they want us to go to Scotland with them for a few days as well! :) Hope it all works out, because I miss them terribly.

Anywho, off to bed here. Ian is on call tomorrow and if he has to go out for repairs, he would like me to go with him to spend time together. We're also going to see Nowhere Boy tomorrow night, which is a new film that is out about the teenage years of John Lennon. Hopefully it's good. :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day 263 of 365: Boxing Day

It's Boxing first official one.

Now, I THINK normally people go out and shop and party, but today we had the family come over to eat and celebrate. Was a nice evening. Ian did most of the cooking, so I did the cleaning up tonight. Plus, today was my day to drink (lol).

A small selection of the food we had to offer

We played "I Spy" for awhile, which was fun. Then after my BIL's family left, we played the Wii for about an hour or so. Good fun there as well.

Dawn, Alex, Yogi, and Ian (being a cheek for the camera)

Kathryn and Carrick

I don't mind boxing day one bit. :)

On another note, I spoke with my Mom and brother last night on the phone for the first time in months, and one of the first things my Mom said to me was that I have a British accent now. Don't know how she feels about that...

Anywho, I'm off to play the Wii a bit more. I fancy doing a little archery before going to bed.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Day 262 of 365: Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas Day today. :) What were some things that you did?

Ian and I had a lovely lie in this morning, then woke up and had a bucks fizz (which, I do not suggest if you are a lightweight drinker AND you've not had anything to eat for over 8 hours due to sleep).

Then we hemmed and hawed as to whether or not to have breakfast (it was a no). We watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, then prepared our Christmas dinner. We had lovely honey glazed ham, veg, roast potatoes, cranberry and cashew stuffing, and I had cranberry sauce and a bit of sweet potato. It was delicious.

Our friend Mel phoned as well today, so big shout out to her! :) Mel and her fiance, Rob, got us a really cute calendar with pictures of the 4 of us throughout the last year or so. VERY cute and sweet, so thanks again, you two!

We watched Elf afterwards. Ian had a little laugh fest. Was nice. :)

After Elf and my shower, we opened presents (yay!). Ian got me some really cool things this year.

Some original Beatles items (woo hoo!):

A couple of CDs, this Weenicon of John Lennon (WAY cute), and a DVD Marilyn Monroe collection (since I didn't bring all of my films over with me, plus the majority from the collection were ones I didn't even have in the States). Then Matt and Carol got me a lovely bath set.

I got Ian new slippers, 4 books, 2 CDs, a Spurs scarf, a lazer gun for the Wii, and the new Call of Duty game (which my sister-in-law, K, went in on with me). Also got him some good smellies from Mary Kay.

The aftermath of opening presents:

After presents we went to Kathryn and Yog's house for tea/supper. We watched TV (did anyone see Eastenders!!?!!), ate finger foods, and I had a long (but lovely) conversation with Yog's step-mom, Pauline. She asked me lots of questions about

Now, we're home, and I'm just waiting to call my Mom and brother back. I had called once and got the answering machine, so needed to wait a bit I think to try back.

So, hope everyone had a lovely day!!! And don't drink TOO much on Boxing Day. :p

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 261 of 365: Happy Christmas Eve!

Ian and I got to have a bit of a lie in this morning, which was nice since Ian got up every few hours last night to make sure the leaking ceiling wasn't dripping anymore.

The landlord and repairman came by quite early this morning, so Ian drove me into work around lunch time. The repairman did a "temporary fix" in our neighbor's place (which is where the leak originally began due to a hole in the roof), and will fix it properly after the New Year. Our neighbor is now spending Christmas somewhere else, because her ceiling in her kitchen is now falling apart, and her wooden floor is so wet that it would squish a bit, and the heating in our places is NOT good.

I showed White Christmas to the residents in the day centre, which was really nice (even though I ran around making hot chocolate, taking people to and from the toilet, and escorting people back to their rooms). We had a total of 18 residents, and only 4 were left at the end of the 115 minute film. Atleast I live and learn and now know not to show as long of a movie anymore.

My boss, Jan, wanted to say thank you to those she felt worked really hard, and gave me a bottle of champagne, which I thought was really nice. She said "You're a star!" which made me feel pretty durn special. lol

This evening though was spent cooking tea, drinking another large glass of mulled wine, and watching Ian prepare the sprouts for our dinner tomorrow:

Can't believe I'm spending my first Christmas with Ian tomorrow, and the first one ever I've not spent with my family in the States. Weird.

So now that the mulled wine has really made me sleepy, I think it'll be time to go to sleep here.

Hope everyone has a very Happy Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 260 of 365: ARG!!!

Today, was by far, the worst day I have had in a really long time.

First, Ian phoned and suggested I not drive to work early and I noticed how icy the street was, so I phoned work to let them know I was going to be late.

So, when it was safe to head out, I went out and warmed up the car. I got out at one point to wipe the ice off the wiper blades, and somehow the doors locked. So, I was locked out of the car while it was running, as well as locked out of the house because everything was in the car. I didn't have my mobile to phone Ian because that was locked in the car as well, so I went to my landlord to get the spare key...

...which, I didn't know, he didn't have one.

He was able to break into my house through a window, and his son climbed in to open the door. I ran upstairs to get the spare key and call Ian, and couldn't find the key. So I had a bit of a mental break down on the phone with him.

After finding out where the key was, I got into the car, turned it off, and took my landlord a copy of our key.

Work was crazy as well because it was the residents' Christmas party tonight (which went VERY well).

But, I was going to call Ian before I left to drive back home, and saw I had a missed call from him. He informed me that we had a large leak in our lounge ceiling and he thought that it might collapse if the rain kept on. It also ran into our light and blew that out.

The dripping has stopped, and this is the aftermath:

And it was so lovely, all white, before.

So, tomorrow I may not go to work because we need to wait for the landlord AND the repairman to arrive. Plus, we'll probably be up off and on throughout the night to check and make sure the ceiling doesn't start to drip again. It's due to rain all night too (lovely!).

HOPEFULLY tomorrow will be much better than today.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 259 of 365: Durn it!

I said in yesterday's post that we were due to get snow today. And we really did!

I had never seen snowflakes so fat before in my life.

In the middle of the afternoon I got my phone and took a photo of the courtyard at work:

By the time I left work you couldn't really see much of the pavement in the parking lot. And I still don't have a snow brush (do they even sell them here?!), so I wiped off my car with my glove, and prayed for the best. I was nervous driving, because it's the first REAL snowfall I've driven in here in England (did it for over a decade in Ohio, I know...). Lots of roads were closed on the way home, but as I was heading out of work and towards Winchester, I was literally basically sitting still for about 45 minutes in this traffic jam:

I was at the head of the queue at one point, and tried to turn left into the city so I could go through the one-way system just so I could go in the opposite direction, but of course, no one let me in. So, once there was a break, I made my move.

Long story short, it took me over 2 hours to get home tonight. And the most I drove, the more I thought I really am fine! It's everyone else that's holding me up! Everyone just needs to remember to not go TOO slow (the constant hitting of the breaks because someone ahead is going slow could cause someone to skid), and to pump your break instead of slamming on it, and it would all go quite well!

Well, now that I've had two glasses of mulled wine (YUM by the way!), and it's nearing 10pm, plus I have a Dr.s appointment before work tomorrow, I need to get some sleep....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 258 of 365: Oh Come All Ye Faithful

Gotta love Matt and Kathryn in their Santa hats!

The quiz tonight was quite the laugh. Another team got us all a HUGE coffee mug that says "Size Matters" on it (our team is called Size Doesn't Matter). We sat drinking, eating sweets that were stuffed into the mug, and answering the questions to the Christmas themed quiz. We came in 2nd out of 8 teams though, which is not bad!

The rest of the day? I went to ASDA to do a bit of shopping for Christmas dinner and also for the Resident's Christmas party on Thursday. I picked up the film White Christmas for £6, which is not bad, and will show the residents on Christmas Eve.

And we're due to get snow tomorrow! We shall see....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 257 of 365: Brave Soul

Ian dropped me off in Winchester today so I could finish the Christmas shopping. Thankfully, I had phoned my SIL, K, on the way in and she informed me that she and Yog were coming in as well, so we met up in front of Waterstone's.

Had a nice cup of coffee outside (and it was blinking freezing today!) Yog went off to do his own thing, and K and I stayed together to shop.

We went by Winchester Cathedral and checked out the Christmas market, as well as K picking up tickets to go ice skating there on Monday. The radio station, Heart, was there, so we went up to a member of the promotions team and got these lovely reindeer antlers and wore them around the rest of the city:

So, after picking up Subway for Ian and I (I think two of the guys working there were on the pull as well! lol), and taking the bus, I've wrapped all the gifts up and have been thinking Did I spend TOO much money?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 256 of 365: I regret...

...not taking a photo today.

Woke up and there was a dusting of snow on the ground. I was a bit nervous about heading to work since I hear all these horror stories of the lack of maintenance of the roads. But I made it fine.

Was nice watching it fall in big flakes as well today.

But yes, unfortunately, I was dumb and didn't take a photo.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 255 of 365: Lookie What We've Got!

Got in from work tonight, and look what was sitting in our kitchen.

A table and set of chairs!

Ian's colleague, Russ, had been asking if we wanted to purchase this set. We hemmed and hawed for quite a bit, but Russ delivered it tonight to us. :)

I think it's gorgeous. LOVE the chairs. So now we don't have to worry too much about seating for Boxing Day when everyone comes over to ours.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 254 of 365: Dirty Dirty

The ice was quite thick when I went out to my car this morning, and I do not have a snow brush yet for my car.

Not thinking, I just turned the wipers on, and *BOINK!* one fell right off.

So, I kept the car running, and got out to put the blade back on. Took quite awhile to do so, because after awhile my fingers were so cold I couldn't feel much (doesn't help that I was holding metal).

The darn thing made my hands all dirty too, so any itch on my face had to wait until I got to work to wash my hands.

Oh well....they're calling for more snow over the next few days as well. We shall see!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 253 of 365: Cold Chippie

Went to the chippie tonight to pick up tea, and loved watching the snow fall. Ian says that it isn't snow, it's just sleet, but damnit, it looks like snow to me! lol

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 252 of 365: I Love Spontanious Things

Today was a bit of a crazy day at work. The inspectors are going to be coming in between now and Christmas, so everyone is walking on eggshells.

But, I will say that I love activities that are not planned.

Today I started my "revamped" activities, which is basically try to get as many people in one room that I can that wants to attend the programs. The morning went well, discussing the war and how the British Army saw the American soldiers during WWII. Quite interesting. :)

But this afternoon, some of the ladies were feeling quite bored, so I grabbed some paper, and these cut outs I have, and the ladies and I made this colourful bouquet of flowers to hang on the wall.

I must say, I love it. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 251 of 365: Oh Thank Heavens!

Lookie what we've finally brought over from my MIL's place....'s our bed! :)

Ian and I thought about buying a new bed once we moved in, but we kept looking and looking and looking and couldn't find any that we liked within our budget. So after sleeping on an air mattress since we moved in, it was time to bring the old bed along.

Ian and our BIL, Yog, had to saw the bed in half to get it out of my MIL's house, but they were able to put it back together with brackets and it's stronger than before.

Really looking forward to sleeping in a proper bed again tonight. YIPEEE!!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 250 of 365: It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

FINALLY have the Christmas tree up.

I don't know about you, but when I lived in the States, I always had my tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Now, sticking with "English tradition" according to Ian, the tree goes up 12 days before Christmas, and comes down 12 days after. So, you could imagine the suspense that was killing me all day yesterday when I KNEW it was going to go up.

I thought that Ian and I could have a cute, quaint evening putting the tree together, and hanging up the baubles, but Ian slept on the couch as I put it all

And yes, it's a black tree. Ian wanted something "less traditional" so a black tree it was.

Oh well, it's up now and I'm happy. Although, it's not the same because I have none of my Christmas decorations from the States. I had asked my Mom months ago if she could mail them to me, she said she would, and I haven't received them yet nor has she mentioned them to me at all. So, to me Christmas isn't the same this year.

And I've been missing Ohio as well. The craziness of the holidays. The traditions that we had. Seeing friends and family and their trees. I've really been down since before Thanksgiving (which, Ian and I went down to Brixham to have Thanksgiving dinner with Josy and her husband, Jason). Every once and awhile something will remind me of Ohio, or some little thing will set off the water works. Maybe it's just difficult since this is my first holiday season EVER that I've been away from my family? Plus, not having internet for so long I had no contact with anyone from the States for quite awhile. will see how the rest of this holiday season goes. Mind you, I wouldn't trade being with Ian for the world, just hit another adjustment period in the "living in a foreign land" process. I'm sure it'll all pass.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 249 of 365: We're Back in Business! photo today because we just got our internet up and running at the new place!

So this weekend, a large update as to what's been going on this past month will ensure, and it'll be back to taking photos every day once again. :)

Now, to catch up on all of YOUR blogs!