Monday, February 18, 2013

Our very little snow this winter

It's almost end of February so I am starting to think this winter is as bare as the one before. Unfortunately hardly any snow came our way to help us give Alex a proper introduction as to what snow is and how much fun you can have with it. We keep reading and talking about it but that's not enough. The little dust we had towards the end of January, I tend to believe it only annoyed him more than anything. Here's his reaction to it, first curious to step outside and see what's all about but then three steps down the stairs, he had enough. The didn't want to get out of the house until the little layer of white dust was gone:( I hope his attitude will change in the future. I used to LOVE snow as a kid, I think I still would if there would actually be some around...

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Our grand finale of the year (part two)

On December 31st we flew from Brussels to Heathrow, London where we rented a car and drove two hour south to Eastbourne, East Sussex. Neil's parents live there so we headed that way, feeling funny while driving on the opposite side of the road. I couldn't wait to make it there to finally see Aggie but also meet her precious son, Daniel. 

We finally made it to our destination through the pouring rain, typical British weather I guess. How surreal it was to be in the same room with my bestie and our adorable kiddos. God has blessed us both so much, beyond our expectations. We met the best guys we could have through a method that not very would venture to use, a Christian dating website. Well, I did it first, met Michael, got married so I highly recommended the website to other single girlfriends. Agnese and Victoria, another girlfriend had the same successful results.

But I am deviating a little here… let me go back to the end of 2012. We were dead tired but made it to midnight, watched the beautiful London fireworks on TV and then   quickly headed to bed at 12.10 am. The next day the sun came behind the clouds and we enjoyed a brisk walk around the bay. We have never been to Eastbourne before but we fell in love with the cute area. It was so quaint. 

Later that day we went for a special outing at this beautiful English village not far. We stopped at a cute cottage where we had tea, delicious pecan cheddar scones (must find the recipe on the internet!!) and food. On the way back we stopped by this beautiful spot by the sea. It was breathtaking.

Alex's favorite thing to do while traveling: pulling that carry on all over the airport.

Hi Daniel, SO nice to finally meet you!!

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Agnese and I got a kick out out our hubbies seeing them pushing the strollers with our precious babies inside. 

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Loved this shot Aggie caught of us- notice the cute kissing shadow too.

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The whole gang.

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We enjoyed exploring the Eastbourne area but one day we had to catch the train and head to the city. London was calling of us way too strongly. We took Alex with us but left Daniel with Nana and Papa. The first thing we did the moment we boarded off the train was to find a Pret A Manger for Neil… notice his happy grin?:) That's his favorite food spot, we had to make a proper stop there and enjoy lattes, chocolate croissants and delicious sandwiches. 

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I was so thrilled to see Alex enjoying London. He had no idea where he was but there was no way he is not going to be a world traveler like mommy and daddy are. He was a trooper, behaved well and enjoyed the experience. Made us proud for sure!:)

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What an amazing way to start the new year!! We returned to the States with the biggest smile on our faces and a great attitude for the new year. Let 2013 roll out… 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Our grand finale of the year (part one)

We eagerly waited for the end of 2012 because of the fun international trip we had planned for a couple of months now. When we first heard that our wonderful friends, Agnese and Neil Middleton will travel all the way from Australia to Europe, we kind of figured we can make the flight across the pond and meet up with them for a few days. Then we got thinking and extended our trip to Belgium for another three days, my brother Lucian and his family moved there last year. It was just such a good occasion to see them as well, we couldn't pass it. The best part was that Wendy and Barry came up with the generous offer: buy flight tickets for my parents to fly to Belgium from Romania and spend those three days with us. That's exactly how the plan happened and we couldn't have asked for a better trip and time together. Well, maybe it was a bit longer than three days it would have been much better but we are not greedy, we will take the little we've gotten. 

Another incentive for our trip was the desire to squeeze one more international flight before Alex turned two and had to pay for his full ticket. We still got away with just taxes so made the trip more affordable. Alex being the big boy he is, we had to show the passport as proof that he's still under two. We were amazed and pleasantly surprised of how well Alex did on the flight. He fussed when he got really tired but eventually he would fall asleep and Michael and I would lay him down across our laps, he was way too heavy for one of us to hold him for a longer period of time. 

I will let these few photos show the good times we had. The cutest thing was when Alex got the hang of this bag, a pretty heavy carry on that I filled up with all the heavy stuff I wanted to take over as gifts. Alex pulled that carry on through every airport we made it: Dulles, Brussels, Heathrow and back to Dulles. 



Not sure who's more excited about this flight, mommy or Alex...


And we finally made it!! Actually, it was a pretty short flight to Belgium, about 6.5 hours. Michael and I did not sleep at all, by the time we got comfy, checked out the movies etc. it was almost time for landing. Must say the flight went by fast. Alex slept for a couple of hours, enough to be in decent mood when we made it to see bunu and buna. 



The first thing we did after kissing and hugging everyone was sit at the table and enjoy the yummy food Lili prepared. I still felt a little surreal for all of us to be around this table, in Belgium of all places! God is good on how He makes things happen. I couldn't be more grateful for this wonderful opportunity to see each other. 

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Saul and Pati, all grown up. I saw them for a few days in the summer in Romania but they seemed to have grown even more since then. They are such good kids, smart, obedient (most of the times:)), sweet and funny. They are adjusting very well in the public school they are attending and seem to catch very well the difficult language Dutch is. 

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Happy bunu and buna surrounded by grandkids, the ones they don't get to see on regular basis. Only Rebeca, Lorena and Saul are missing. 

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That's us taking a nice walk downtown Turnhout, where my family lives. It was still decorated for Christmas, very pretty. 

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When In Belgium… we had to try out the famous Belgian waffles and the beer of course. 

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One evening we made it to a Turkish donner place with a bunch of Romanians, some of Lili's family that lives in Turnhout as well. It was a fun and delicious experience. 

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The next day we made it to Brussels and visited the Atomium.

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Here's our soon to expand family in front of the letter O. 

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After waiting for a couple of hours, we finally made it to the top of the Atom. It was a beautiful view of the city, well worth the wait especially that the sun came behind the clouds. Here's us asking another tourist to take a picture of the entire gang. 

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I took this family shot of Lucian, Lili, Pati and Saul after we made it back down again.  

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This was the next morning, one last meal together before my parents flew back to Romania. It was short but enough to make some great memories that will last a lifetime. Alex refreshed his memory of bunu and buna and by the end of the time with them he was calling them 'bumba' and 'bumbu'… so cute:) 

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We stayed in Belgium for one more night but then early in the morning of 31st of December caught a flight to our second leg of the trip: UK! Check out the part two of our incredible end of 2012 and the perfect start of 2013!! Alex's smile says it all. 

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