Christmas 2015

Our last Christmas in Thailand.  (Yes, I now see everything through the lens of we’re moving and it’s the last time we’ll do blank in Thailand.)

I did something a little different on Christmas Eve.  I went to CrossFit Circus school – it was a juggling/acro class.  The juggling I’ve got to work on, but how awesome will it be when juggling random (non-pointy and not-on-fire) things becomes my cool party trick.  I’m pretty much a pro at the acro.  I should probably add carnival side show to my linkedin profile.

After circus school, I did some grocery shopping.  It’s really nice to be able to wait until the day before to do the grocery shopping for the Christmas day meal.  Then it was home for family time and staying awake for the candle light service at church.  This gets harder and harder each year.  I might have nodded off a few times during the service.

Christmas morning we were greeted by our house-help (& friends) and their kids, Khao, Jim, Beckham, and Patty.  They sang carols, prayed for us, and gifted us with eggs.

Then it was present time.  All my pictures are of Sam opening presents.  It’s tough being the only kid left. All the attention is on you. Unless , unlike Sam, you’re the kind of kid who likes that.

After presents were open it was time to cook.  Our tradition the past few years has been to order ham and/or turkey (this year just ham) and to pick one side dish each to go along with it.  This year we also ordered stuffing and rolls.  Our side dishes were broccoli rice casserole, macaroni & cheese, brussel sprouts, and banana pudding.

I got a little teary as Sam made the banana pudding.  I can’t remember a holiday with out banana pudding.  My great grandmother used to make it, then my grandmother made it, then I took over and now Sam.  I’m pretty sure that makes it a tradition.

Dinner was delicious.  Turns out I really enjoy cooking when Sam takes on over 50% of the kitchen work.  After dinner we played a game of Axis & Allies.  Michael and I were the Axis and we proved you can’t rewrite history.




I wrote my first blog post on 01 September 2007.  We’d just found out we were going to be moving – we weren’t yet sure of where we’d be going other than South Asia – and I thought it would be a good idea to blog about our move and everything that would happen during our transition.  I remember the thrill of all that was to come.  It was all so unknown and for the most part exciting and (on occasion) scary.  Well, the time has come to go the other way.

We’re moving back to America. We’re moving back with Michael’s job.  This should be a good move for him – career wise – and I totally support him.  However, I am not at all ready to go.  I’m not sure I’ll ever really be ready to go. It’s months away (7 months or so), but I’m not able to approach it the way I did our move here.

So here I go.  Blogging about returning.  Right now it doesn’t feel like returning home, even though we’ll be returning to the same house we lived in before.

There are folks who are excited for our return and we are so thankful for them, but we also don’t know how to make them understand that we can’t share in their excitement and that we need that to be okay.  Eventually we will get there.  I think.




Channel 4 News Team

This past weekend I competed in the Bangkok Brawl 2.0. I’ve judged several comps and even had a hand in planning a few, but until this weekend I’d never participated as a competitor.  I made it through in much better shape then I thought I would. I’m proud of my efforts and so proud of my team. The boys I competed with really showed what teamwork is about. They carried the bulk of the load through several of the workouts. They encouraged me when I thought I was done and stayed positive and upbeat when the outcome wasn’t what they might have wanted.  5th place out of 20 teams isn’t too shabby.

photo credits to: Mick Soncharoen Photography, the Training Ground, and Khon Pavel


I can see clearly now…

yep, that’s a trash can in the background.

Lately – like the last 6 months, maybe year, maybe more – I’ve noticed my eyes weren’t right. Reading glasses went from handy to have around to must have around – my vision just seemed off.  Things finally got bad enough that an eye exam couldn’t be avoided.  Turns out I’ve got old eyes (that’s a self diagnosis).  Like eyes old enough to need bifocals.  The eye dr guy gave me two options.  He said I could have two different pairs of glasses – one for distance and another close up.  That seemed a little excessive to me.  My other option was progressive lenses (like bifocals, but progressive-er.)  I went with progressive lenses.  I picked them up today.  Turns out there is a learning curve when it comes to progressive lenses.  For the first week I’m only supposed to wear them while I’m sitting down.  The 2nd week I can wear them and walk with them, except when I’m going up or down stairs. (or at least that’s how I’m translating “second week wear them all the time, except when you walk on different steps and after that you will feel better.”)  After week three all should be good.

As a side note I realized that maybe I don’t know myself all that well.  My glasses are purple.  My hair is bordering on purple.  I’ve always said that I don’t really like purple.  Maybe I’m wrong about that.

Bike Riding along the Tiber

It was our last day in Rome. Everyone elses’ flights left about 4 hours before ours so Sam and I opted to be responsible for getting ourselves to the airport so we could enjoy one last morning.

We decided to rent bikes and ride along the Tiber River.  We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning or a better way to end our trip.

Plus, I got one more opportunity to hone my selfie skills.

Pretty sure that selfies while bicycle riding is like pro level.

There was also time for one last gelato before turning in our bicycles.

We grabbed sandwiches for the road and began our journey back to Thailand.

The David

Our second day in Florence and Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze was the #1 to do of the day and Rick Steves was gonna guide us.   We were off to see Michelangelo’s David.  (Turns out what I’d seen the day before was just a replica.)  It is incredible. 

But really what I took away from touring the Academia Gallery was that things haven’t changed all that much in the last however many centuries.  In the Gipsoteca Bartolini hall there are lots of statues and I noticed a few of them showed women reclining and watching TV.  I bet when the museum is empty they switch over to The Real Housewives of Firenze.

We finished our time in Florence with the Renaissance walking tour, once again Rick Steves was our guide.  The red dog in the window was not covered on his tour.

We had a short train ride back to Rome and then we all headed out for a celebratory birthday dinner for my mom.

The Duomo and the Uffizi

We were up early Tuesday to catch the train to Florence.  We got in, found our hotel, and headed out in search of food and coffee (the search for food and coffee was never very taxing). I knew one of the things to see in Florence was Michelangelo’s David.  I wasn’t sure exactly where they kept him and was a little surprised to find him in the middle of a food court.  I was also slightly alarmed to discover he’d developed a bit of an addiction.

After lunch it was time to find the Duomo.    It was a little hard to miss.  We took some time to tour the Duomo and climb the tower.

After the Duomo it was just a short skip and a jump to the Uffizi museum and another Rick Steves’ tour.  A good deal of the Uffizi was closed for renovation and I found myself a little bit mesmerized by all the painting on the ceilings.  Lots of man hours were dedicated to the painting of the ceilings. I mean lots.

We finished at the Uffizi had a late dinner and then hit the hay.  Pretty sure we were asleep by 9pm – at least those of us in my room.