TGIM

Move over TGIF! The new best day of the week is Monday. This may sound like blasphemy to many, but, to the stay at home mom or housewife (which ever you like) Monday is the best. ALL my kids will be at school from 8:30-3:30 for five whole days!

I love my kids; they are so cute and say funny things and give me kisses when I want them. But, they are terrorists. My house and laundry basket hate the weekend. There is sticky bits of who knows what on many surfaces, crumbs from toast or parathas litter my sofas, and there are dinosaurs everywhere I look!!

Today it will be quiet. No chattering, crying, or complaining. TGIM.

Job update & busy weekend

What a busy two days!

First, the job update! H’s file is complete for the Jeddah job, next week(ish) a formal offer will come through. Hoping, wishing, and praying for our magic number in terms of pay and school fees. Considering the whole process takes for-ev-er we should be able to start school there in September. Let’s see. Who knows.

Second, it was the kids big birthday party today. 61 kids, 12 lanes of bowling, 175 cupcakes, 3 happy children! Thank God the party is over until 2015! It was exhausting. We had to have the party super early (10 am) because H and I had to go to an anniversary party in a different town later that day. The bowling party felt like chaos to me but my friends and a few other moms said it was fun and not crazy. Phew!! Tomorrow operation gift opening will take place, then, operation thank you cards. I’m ready for Monday and the kids to be at school so I can have a minute to breath without Spanx.

I wanted to add some pictures but cannot figure it out on my phone right now. Next time, I guess.

Figured it out!!

These two are the highest point in England. It’s close to Huddersfield (I think!)

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Ready for the party.

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Birthday party fun!

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Wow

I am in shock. People have been reading my ramblings! What?!

Hello to my followers and those who have ‘liked’ my posts.

I write this all straight out of my head, no filter, on my iPhone, letter by letter. And people read it! Wowzers.

I feel like most of the time I want to write when I’m down about living here, but I should just be more honest. It doesn’t totally suck. I promise.

The expat life is not glamorous like many think. It’s just life. Day in and day out just life. Routine and generally not exciting. It’s not “sexy” to hear a British accent all the time. (It never was for me). Black cabs are no longer quaint. Red telephone booths are disgusting and get pissed in like once an hour.

What’s so different being in the UK rather than the USA? Everything and nothing at the same time.
-My extended family is not close to me. I cannot drive to them. It takes no less than 16 hours and £3000 to see them.
-Drive thru banking. OMG it rains here like, every day!
-Super size Coke. Some times no less than 42oz of sheer delight will do!
-Lemonaide, Rootbeer, Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream. Sadness.
-Driving without wacky depth perception problems.
I could go on. For days. I’ll spare you.
But the normal life persists as well.
-Taking the kids to school, PTA, after school swimming lessons.
-Housework, bills, taxes, etc.
-Best friends to share life’s ups & downs
-Gym work outs, naps, grocery shopping
-Loving the hubby, hating the hubby, repeat.
Some things just don’t change no matter what country you are in.

So fellow expats, do you have a love/hate relationship with your adopted country or have you made it your forever home? I’d love to know!

Until my next rambling session. . .

10 years is looming

It’s 2014. Where has the time gone? Honestly. Where?! This June marks my 10 year anniversary in England. How has it gone so fast and why (why, God, why) am I still here? I am making the best of it because I have no other choice right now.

I have decided over the past few months to stop telling inquisitive strangers why I live here and not America. I just tell them I’m on vacation. It is so irritating every single time I go out to be reminded that I am not in ‘my home’. I am lucky to be a white American though. At least people ask why I choose to stay rather than tell me I don’t belong here and I should just go back home. I do feel grateful for that because cannot be easy for my Asian or African friends.

As we open 2014 I’m excited for the new year. Life is a lot better this year than last and I’m ready to be more positive. I’m letting go of a lot of things, people, needs, desires, but clinging to my truths.

It’s only January but I’m ready for summer. I need to get home. I need to be with my family and a few friends that remain in my home town. I feel as though, sometimes, I’m wishing my life away. Always looking for the next big trip. It would be easier if I had an unlimited cash supply as well as time. Not easy to strike a balance when where you have to be and where you want to be are not even remotely equal.

The job search continues. There has been quite a lot of interest from the Jeddah hospital that H interviewed with in May (I think it was May!). The whole process has ticked on in what I can only assume to be Saudi style. The original offer was lower than we were prepared to accept so we left it. Then over the summer a few emails were exchanged but nothing really happened. H went for Hajj in October and when he came back after 4 weeks he swore up and down that he didn’t want to go back except for Umrah or Hajj again. He didn’t like it. It was hot and busy and backward. Then, he got a phone call from the director of the ER in Jeddah asking him to send some new references to his secretary. The offer went up and low and behold, H is back on the Saudi bandwagon. The new references have been sent off to the secretary in Jeddah. Let’s wait oh, 3 months and see if there is a reply. I’m not holding my breath but I’m not officially discounting it either. The job is still open for applications on the internet so I guess it hasn’t been filled. Who knows.

I wish I could know for sure that I’d love Saudi, UAE, or Qatar. I feel as though I will tolerate it more because I am choosing to pick up my life and move for good. I didn’t intentionally move to England for the long haul. I came with a plan; 12 weeks then back to Michigan for my Junior year of college. Then the plan change slightly. Stay in the UK for 1-2 years until H got a residency in the US. But that never happened. Then the USMLE ran out; then… 10 years have passed. I’m not supposed to be here. I feel like if/when we leave I will feel the whole range of emotions from elated to grief but I hope that once settled I will hit the ground running. There is so much pressure to get a job here once all your kids are in school full time. Why do I need to explain myself or situation to anyone? I don’t want or even have a desire to work. There is so much to do at home as well as after school. Plus, I just spent the last 9 years with kids at home full time, I need a bit of me time; I have sacrificed enough of myself. Time to reclaim my identity as a woman, wife, and friend. At least in Saudi I have no need to explain my lack of job or burning desire to be a lady of leisure housewife.

Only time will tell and we will wait for the right offer.