Originally, 2010 was going to be the year we were scheduled to move back home....since we are ringing in the New Year here in jolly old England, that plan wasn't the one which came to fruition. That said, we could not be more pleased to still be here in England and when looking back at the year, it has been a very good year for us. Now with 2010 coming to a close, I wish I had properly kept track of more facts and figures related this past year, but I will keep better notes for next year! Recounting the major bits of 2010 include:
Travels. More stamps on our passports. Scott's passport actually filled up this year! Our travels included trips to 10 countries on 4 continents - Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America. A few countries were visited more than once (I have counted England in there since we did a few long weekends and exploring in our own back yard).
In January, we woke up on New Year's Day in Rome. We left my family members after a nice Italian holiday and returned back to England.
In February, we traveled to Morocco where we stayed in Marrakesh and also visited the nearby Atlas Mountains.
In April, we visited Istanbul, Turkey - one of our most favorite trips we have taken in our time abroad.
In April, we ate schnitzel larger than our head in Vienna, Austria.
And then next we went exploring Budapest, Hungary, where we experienced the traditional Hungarian Baths and a night at the Opera.
In June, we traveled with Scott's parents on a 3-city, whistle-stop tour of Germany. We saw Hamburg, the Berlin wall, and of course drank many steins of local beer in Munich (paired with one too many sausages!).
In July, Scott traveled to the northern land with some friends and they drank their way through the fine scotch of Scotland and golfed some of the world's best courses up there.
In August, we headed towards the sun to see Portugal. We explored Cascais and Lisbon.
October took us north again....to Edinburgh, Scotland, with some friends for a long weekend.
In November, we took our first Eurostar trip and went back to Paris (our 2nd and 3rd times there). We will probably always find more reasons to go back because the city is just that great.
The additional trips we took included three trips each back to the US (two together, and one each alone) - Scott in the spring, both of us in August, I went back in September, and then both of us went back together again in November.
London seemed to be our favorite weekend and/or day trip destination here in England, although I did not track how many train tickets and trips into the city we made in 2010. My guesstimate would be somewhere between 20-24 trips...the city never looses its appeal to either of us.
VISITORS. We welcomed friends and family into our home over here and were thrilled to have such good friends make the journey to see us in England.
In March, Shawna visited.
May - June brought Cris & Craig for a visit.
In July, we hosted Chris, Chad and Andy.
In October, Amy visited.
In December, Sarah visited and the travel gods just didn't want her to leave....so she stayed an extra 5 days!
Change. Each year brings more. Part of this year was spent wondering where the year would end - would we still be in England or would we be returning home? The verdict was England for a while longer. With that news came a new job with the same company, and a promotion for Scott. A good change and one that may keep us here through 2011, possibly into 2012.
Meanwhile, I have spent 7 1/2 months out of this year with physical changes by expanding. A strange statement to think about, but it has been happening for a while now....and with a good purpose....
By mid-September, I was already measuring some growth....
And by the end of November, I was really starting to show signs of expansion and weight gain....all because of:
This little baby who will be debuting (hopefully) in early February 2011! Although this photo is slightly ET-ish, I think it is pretty amazing that we can see the baby's features and face from an ultrasound. We cannot wait to welcome this baby into our family and hope he or she arrives as healthy as can be.
We have been fortunate and blessed in 2010 in so many ways. We look forward to more adventures in 2011, and most importantly hope that we can learn to be good parents to our little one.
Happy New Year!