"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Quiet Weekends

The weather here has been so beautiful.  I can’t get enough of being outside.  I have stopped taking the car for now when I can help it because its just so glorious out.  I am trying to soak it all in because soon enough I know its going to be very, very cold… 

I have never written much about it, but last winter here was really hard for me.  I have never had much experience with cold weather, and being cooped up in an 2 bedroom apartment for months and months on end with a very, very active toddler was very stretching for me… I don’t think that I survived it very gracefully.  At least Isla is still alive, ha!  There was absolutely nothing here in the city for her to do indoors.  Not even a McDonald’s playground! The locals do say that last winter was especially bad, but I am thinking with my weather luck, as long as I am here, it will always be THIS BAD.

Anyway, you cannot imagine how much I am praising God that I don’t have to be here for the worst two months of Winter, February and March, because of 2 Baby.  Not only are those months COLD, but that is when the Bora winds (hurricane force winds without the hurricane) are the worst!  I am already dreading Winter 2013/2014. The only thing I can do is turn it over to Him, but I am not doing that very successfully since every time I think about it, I am filled with DREAD.

BUT for now.  The weather is the most beautiful I have ever experienced and I am loving my little seaside town!

Last weekend we spent a lot of time together as a family, and it was really sweet.  I know that I probably sound a little bit fake, but honestly, I am just crazy about Isla and Nick, and to be 100% honest, by the time I get on here to upload pictures and write about our day, I totally forget about the times like yesterday at the Airport where I passed Isla off to Nick and said “You take her!  She is on my last nerve!!!”  And cute pictures of the two of them make me even more forgetful.  That being said, we are not a perfect family, but I am just nuts about the two of them and I am so thankful they are mine, and I don’t take them for granted for a minute. (I have been super emotional lately in case you can’t tell).

Anyway, if you have made it to this point, my hats off to you!

Last weekend Friday night was really quiet.  We had “healthy” nachos for dinner and after Isla was in bed, Nick and I watched a movie.

The next morning I had a big hankering for McDonald’s, and since it is so bad for us and the weather was so beautiful, Nick suggested that we walk to the McDonalds.  It is really far away (I would guess about 3 miles away – but I am no good at these things) so we got a little bit of a workout and could more enjoy our “nonfood”.  All in all, we were gone over 4 hours by the time we walked and ate and came back.  We also met up with new couple with Nick’s company that just moved here.  They were so nice and fun!  There are so few ex-pats here that its always excited to get some new blood.

Here’s a lovely shot on the promenade.  One of these days I will get out with my good camera and take pictures of all of the pretty spots in the city.  There are quite a few of them.

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Even without Bora winds, this city is pretty windy!  Check out Nick’s crazy hair.

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Europeans can always talk smack about McDonalds and American eating habits, but I have never been to a McDonalds outside of the US that has not been jam-packed!

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Sunday morning was quiet and relaxing (we don’t have church until 2 PM).  We had made Isla stay in her stroller for most of the walk to and from McDonalds the day before, and since we had promised her that we would throw rocks into the sea with her, we took her out the next day.

****WARNING: TOPLESS PICS AHEAD!!!**** Smile

Nick is learning to play kids’ songs on the guitar for Isla.  I got a couple of snaps of them while he was practicing, but this one is my favorite.  This right here would be the kind of picture that makes me forget that either of them ever annoys me in any way!

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Mommy and Isla trying to catch the pigeons!

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The beach along the promenade has lots of statues that kids can climb all over!

Maybe adults like to climb on it too…

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Hanging out on the beach!  Note that its rocky.  We live in the Russia’s main beach and resort region (although our town is definitely an industrial port city), but almost all of the beaches are rocky!  Even in luxury, Russians like to prove how tough they are!  You can see a little bit o’ bump in this picture. Smile

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We stopped off at our favorite playground on the way back home.

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The little promenade near our house that leads to the big promenade by the sea!

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This weirdo in a Native American headdress totally got some girl’s digits right right before I took this shot!

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This was one of Isla’s 4 of July outfits that I bought her.  This is probably her last time ever to get to wear Ruffle Butts Sad smile.  They don’t make them in her size for next summer.  For the record, she was totally rocking very cute matching socks, but she took them off…at least she let me keep in the bow!

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That afternoon we did something we never do – I skipped church to stay home with Isla, and Nick went and represented the family.  I hated to miss church, but lately Isla has been crazy without her afternoon nap.  Just a couple of months ago, she was fine with either missing her nap completely or having it very late, but the last month or so, within 30 minutes of missing her naptime, she is in meltdown city!  We are going to have to figure out a solution for Sundays since our church starts so late.

Sunday was also National Oil Workers day in Russia, so Nick’s company had a little party in the evening to celebrate at the camp where all of the rotational works live.  It was nice, and Isla really dug the music.

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We dressed her to celebrate the first game of the season!  She has gotten a lot of wear out of this dress, now she wears it over jeans, and she should still get to wear it as a shirt next year.

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The camp is right by the beach so we got in a little bit more beach time!

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That’s it for our Wannderful little weekend Smile.  Now I will move onto our week in Moscow (either today or tomorrow) and my first official Russian Doctor’s visit!

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