Thursday, June 22, 2017


Well. We're traveling again.  Oh, ya'll.  I forgot about all this.  Suitcases, toddlers, overnight flights, crowded airports, weird time zones.

But we're seeing old friends on the far side, and it's been unexpectedly good to remember our life in South Asia up close with people who walked that season with us.

And...we flew through Helsinki.  That's in Finland.

Silas learned Finnish on the plane from a lady who was eager to teach him.  We drank blueberry juice, which is apparently their national drink or something.

You just never know what a day will hold, do you? 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Beach Day

We sent the older boys to school.  And hubs took the morning off so we could beach together. I even jumped in for a swim.  The water is still pretty cold, but the sun is heating up fast these days.  It was wonderful. 

Then, I popped that beef in a crock pot to greet me at 8pm after a wild driving lesson.

Yes.  I'm in driving lessons now.  I have only passed the theoretical part of the exam.  I've been waiting (since March) for a spot in the practical exams.  Hopefully, I'll get a spot this July.  This means, I'll drive for 30 minutes while someone critics everything from the way I hold the wheel to whether or not my tire touches the white line of the bus lane while turning. He told me yesterday, as I was double checking to make sure we didn't get t-boned whilst pulling onto a road from a stop sign on a steep incline in a stick shift car, that I needed to have an attitude of "command" in the car in the presence of the official instructor.

Ya'll.  I not only need to practice driving.  I need to practice having a commanding presence while driving.  

I came home to this goodness. Ropa Vieja (Cuban shredded beef), with black beans and rice.  

Hands down, the best dish I've cooked in six months.  Click here for the recipe.  I admit I modified it quite a bit based on what I like/don't like and what I can get here.  Nonetheless, it was lick-you-plate good.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits

Here's the quick catch-up on a crazy few weeks. 

1. The end of school concerts are here.  Apparently, Jude's been learning Spanish guitar at school all year.  He failed to mention this to me until recently.  They had quite a little concert on Friday night to show off their skills and we loved it.  And these beautiful buildings are never lost on me!

2. The Spanish guitar concert kicked off a round of fevers that swept through the boys.  This happens in our house in hot weather. I don't think I'm exaggerating to say that we're usually sicker in summer than in winter.  It's begun.  This heat, ya'll.  It's going to be something.

I spend my evening hours daydreaming about air conditioner installations.

3. I feel disturbed still by this image. Stirrups.  They are selling stirrup pants in Zara on Passeig de Gracia.  This is parallel to finding stirrups on 5th Avenue in NYC.  Just say no, friends.  Just say no. Sometimes the fashion world just doesn't know it's own limits. 

4. I invited a friend from my Spanish class to dine with us this weekend. She's lived in Paris for 10 years, prefers her dog to having children, and is in finance.  In considering these details, I won't deny that I felt a need to step my cooking up for the event. I went with Italian, and even purchased my noodles from the legit Italian grocer on the corner.  He said "Chow," when I left...a sure sign of noodle success.  Here's the Pioneer Woman pasta recipe I used.  I served roasted asparagus and a salad with raspberries and blu cheese. I made the Food Network's balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  

 I have a habit of complimenting my own food when I work hard on a dish.  I mean, it's all about the recipe, right.  I refrained in her presence. It was delicious. But, I'll say it here again. It was delicious. 

I'm all of the sudden inspired in cookery. Tonight I'm attempting a Cuban dish.  I went to the real butcher to get the meat and he specially selected it for me. 

And now, I better get cooking.  

Happy Tuesday to you! 

Friday, June 9, 2017


Laurin told me about this one.  I could not put it down.  Don't fool yourselves into thinking that children's books shouldn't be in your hands, people.  Pick this one up!  Definitely one of my favorites for the year. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Hubs has been down in Granada this week for work and had a chance to visit the famed Alhambra.  When time and internet permit, I'll post a few more! 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Silas & Nephratiti

Silas just finished a unit on Egypt in his class. He made a pyramid out of straws and his friends wrapped him up like a mummy. He seriously loved it.  It just so happens, that the Egyptian museum is down the street from our house and kids are free.  ( I kind of doubt they thought one person would show up with three kids...but...I did:) We popped in this weekend and saw real bones and mummies and hieroglyphics. The boys loved it.  I admit, I did too.  One of my earliest childhood memories is that huge statue of Ramses that showed up in Memphis for an exhibition in the 1980s.  Apparently, they learned quite a bit about Nephratiti and it's adorable to hear him name all the objects in Catalan, since he studied it with his class. 

The cutie also just had his class "exhibition." Apparently, they learned about chess in English class and played a silent round for the parents.  He also danced to the alphabet, video provided for grandparent viewing😜

It's been a tough year for this guy, but he's pushed through and made some serious progress.  We're so proud of him!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Park Guell

We have a few friends from Louisville in town this week. It's been good to be around folks from home.  They have also been amazingly sweet to our kids.  Tonight hubs and I were able to snag a date to the incredible Gaudi creation, Park Guell.  It's been on our bucket list since we arrived and we just haven't made it inside the gates.  Followed by tacos and guacamole in the hip part of town, Gracia, and finished off with a little gelato on the was such a fun night!