Sunday, August 2, 2009

Visiting the McLaffertys in Durham, Thursday, July 2 through Saturday, July 4

Unfortunately, I spent most of Thursday sick in the passenger seat of our rental car, although it was probably more painful for Chris!

When we finally arrived at our destination, we were warmly greeted by Ken, Margaret, and George. We had a lovely dinner (some of which I ate, although I wish I could have been well enough to eat more) followed by a very early night.

Friday was a traffic-ridden drive out to Newcastle for the best fish and chips meal I've ever had! Totally worth the traffic! We also went for a short stroll around Durham. The university's graduation ceremony was held in the cathedral, so we were unable to go in, but we did get a photo posing outside. And we even caught a glimpse of Bill Bryson while there!

Outside Durham Cathedral
Me and Ken posing along the River Wear

Ken, Me, Margaret, and George on a rainy Durham day!

Early Saturday morning, we said our goodbyes, and off to the airport at Newcastle for our flight to Barcelona....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Visiting the Dodds in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, England - Tuesday, June 30 to Thursday, July 2

On Tuesday, we left Notting Hill for a short drive out to the countryside to visit his sister and her lovely family. Chris and I arranged to pick up the girls at school. We took Frances home, while Rachel stayed after for dance practice. We met Susanne back at the house, and Frances (yes, the seven-year-old!) cooked us a delicious dinner of salmon and mixed vegetables. Afterwards, we attended Rachel's school show where she performed vocally and on the recorder. Great job, Rachel! See photo below.

Rachel performing at her school summer concert. What a ham! I love her!

Chris, Susanne, and I spent a fairly lazy Wednesday afternoon relaxing and drinking tea. After picking up the girls, we went for a short hike in the Chiltern hills a short drive from their family home.

Rachel (clearly very hot) in the pink hat, and Frances (chose her own hiking cloths) in the multi-colored dress

A lovely dinner on Wednesday evening, prepared by my wonder sister-in-law! Delicious cheeseburgers and home-made "chips" (thick-cut French fries for my American blog audience).

It was a lazy afternoon!

We said goodbye on Thursday morning before the girls went to school. It was another day on the road for us, but we were glad to get up early and say goodbye to the nieces!

Visiting Paul and Marion, Notting Hill, London

No pictures here, but we had a great visit. Marion made a delicious spaghetti Bolognaise. Chris surprised Paul by setting up a wireless Internet connection for his birthday. Brotherly love!

Fair Oak Farm, Mayfield, East Sussex, England - Friday, June 26 to Monday, June 29

We stayed at Fair Oak Farm, consisting of a converted barn, cow shed, and feed store, pictured above. Over the course of the weekend, 14 friends from Chris's university years stayed and enjoyed the festivities. By festivities, of course, I mean eating, drinking, and playing croquet.

Chris's shirt reads "Prose before hos" with a portrait of Robert Burns. What a catch!

At Bewl Water, a lake near Fair Oak Farm. We lost the friends on the country roads on the way to the lake, so we had a few hours to ourselves in the English sun!

Chris, Gilles, and Kathryn during the croquet wars.

Two of the guests joining us for every meal. Pure white peacocks. Only in England!

Vacation 2009

Chris and I are just back from our trip to Europe. I have carefully outlined each portion of our trip in its own post with pictures.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's been 10 years!

Today, June 18, 2009, marks the 10-year anniversary of our meeting!

It was a Friday it 1999, and I had just graduated from high school. I drove to Camp Neumann for the start of my second summer there. It was only an hour or so later when I laid eyes of a tall, thin, red-headed hunk that would be my husband. From that very first moment, I was hooked, although the immature teenager in me wouldn't show it. It was five weeks before we actually revealed our interest in one another.

I knew back then that he was the one for me. I just didn't know I'd be right!

It's been a great ten years and I love my husband!

Celebrating our 10 years together with dinner at our favorite curry house in Philly.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tired and feeling old...

I have been trying to post all day, but silly grad school work kept me away. I am posting just to say it's too late to post now. Goodnight, cyberspace, I'll see you bright and early tomorrow morning for my last week of work with students this school year.

Last weekend, I finally realized that we were only two weeks away from the end of the year. Every other year, I had a countdown for at least six weeks. The shorter the countdown, the happier I am... what a way to measure happiness!

A whole school year! Wow! I have finished six years of teaching and the scary thing is that my first class is graduating from high school this year. That means I could actually see former students at Gwynedd next year. I am completely freaked out! I am getting old.

Old lady's bed time. Goodnight!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Earlier today I wrote about watching less TV, and here I sit, writing about a television program!

There are so many questions...

Why is Jacob not-so-mysterious anymore?
How is John Locke both dead and alive simultaneously?
Is this show a metaphor for destiny?

I really am quite blown away by this show.

The Duggars

I love the Duggars! Jim Bob and Michelle and their 18 little (and not-so-little) offspring are some of the sweetest people TLC have ever filmed.

Here they are in 2008. There are only 17 kids pictured.
The most recent Duggar was still in utero at this point. Also missing is Anna Duggar, Josh's wife.

In a discussion with a couple friends the other day (and I know one of them is definitely reading this), we talked a bit about the Duggars, and I shared with them that I would love to be as joyful as the mom on that show. Now, I like my clothes better, and I am pretty sure I prefer my hair to be proportional (no mullets for me, thank you), but Michelle is one happy lady with a lot of appreciation for the simple things in life. She doesn't need fancy clothes, pampering vacations, or even attention to make her smile. Despite what some may say about having 18 kids, I have to say that this woman is truly admirable.

Now, onto Josh and Anna... they were engaged in the summer of 2008 and married the day before us! They had not a drop of alcohol at their wedding, nor dancing. I'm not so sure I could have offered that sort of party to my friends and family without some major complaining, but it worked for the newest Mr. and Mrs. Duggar. The latest news is that they are expecting a baby. (Mom, don't get any ideas!) Congrats to them. They really do seem in love, if not a bit young and naive.

So here's something else to think about... while America watches their every move on TV, the Duggars rarely turn theirs on. That makes me wonder: if I want to be more like Michelle Duggar, what sort of changes do I need to make? Hmmm? Cutting out some television seems the most likely step, as I'm sure I am past the age where having 18 children is possible for me.

Chris is cringing as he reads.

With all the jokes I make TO HIM about having lots of babies, he rarely expects me to share it with the outside world. So it took him by surprise when buying life insurance, and the agent asked us when we thought we might like to convert our policy from term to some other crazy kind, and my response was, "Let's see, by the time we have the tenth baby, I'll be 43..." Jaw off the floor, insurance man! My husband loves it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Terrible blogger... what I am! Or I could just be honest and say that I have been hibernating since the last post.

And another reason I'm a terrible blogger is my mis-named blog. For a blog entitled "The Kelly Newlyweds" it sure looks like all I want to talk about is the darn wedding!

So I am brainstorming some new topics to discuss with y'all. Feel free to comment on the topic I should blog about next...
  • Why red wine is so delicious
  • How difficult it is to keep a house clean
  • Why I've gained the "freshman 15" since getting married
  • What I think of the family with 18 kids
  • (On a similar note) what I think of the octuplet mom
  • That I'm super excited to almost have a Master's degree
  • How great it is to work from home
  • Why I love Ikea
  • How I struggle to stay organized and clutter-free (that's one for Oprah)
  • Why my family is the best family ever
  • How my cats exactly mimic Garfield and Nermil in every way possible
  • How great a new kitchen would be in our home
  • Why "Que Chula Es Puebla" has the best Mexican food in Philadelphia
  • Why I think the movie Vacancy is not horror, but horrible
  • Why we don't want a dog before a family
I have to mention here that when I was a little girl, and I would get a new journal, I would write religiously for a week or so, then it would somehow slip my mind for months. When I'd find it hidden in a drawer somewhere, I'd write again in a very apologetic manner, as if the diary felt the pain of abandonment. Funny how I am doing the same thing with the blog (21st century style)!

Monday, January 12, 2009