Christmas round-up and new beginnings

Ok so my blogging has not gone as planned lately – due to the busyness of the past few months it is now nice to finally get a chance in this new year to sit and write. I will not be making resolutions that I know I cannot keep about daily, or even weekly blogging, but I will commit to trying to document the happenings of our international family and everything that inevitably comes with that! 2013 was certainly a busy year – 2 trips to back Scotland, family visits for Christmas, changes at work, the birth of a new niece and just the daily grind of day to day life in TX. It also ended on a sad note, with the unexpected death of Clay’s stepfather – a loss that we will always mourn while being grateful for short time we were blessed to know him and have him in our lives. It is still very surreal for us in many ways.

In spite of our loss, we were able to enjoy a nice, family Christmas, with my parents and my sister joining us from Scotland. Over the break we also enjoyed a visit to the Chinese Lantern Festival in Dallas, which was so fun! We had taken Erin last year but I wanted my family to experience the amazing displays – such detail and colour! Here are some pictures of Erin enjoying her night – she especially loved the dinosaur displays, as most 2 year olds would!

Mum and Wee E enjoying the lights

Mum and Wee E enjoying the lights

Erin was enthralled!

Erin was enthralled!



Next to the dragon, what Erin called "the big boat"

Next to the dragon, what Erin called “the big boat”

Enjoying time with Grandma and and Grandad

Enjoying time with Grandma and and Grandad


We also took Erin for her first authentic train ride, since she adores anything Thomas the Tank Engine. We travelled up to Grapevine and travelled on the “North Pole Express” which was a spirited, festive activity for all of us! We loved getting to see Erin so happy and taking everything in.

This new year brings with it a certain peace, now that the Holidays are over and we try to get back on schedule. As always, it is so hard saying goodbye to family but we know that this year will bring many more dear memories and opportunities for travel and visiting loved ones far away. Focusing on the good times to come and seeing what God has in store for our close-knit, scattered family is truly exciting.

Our aim as a family for this year is to focus more close to home than previous years. For example, we are finally getting around to landscaping our back garden and that will hopefully bring lots of outside time with our family as we get set up. We have a family wedding to attend in Ohio this summer so we look forward to the domestic travel opportunity we can make of that trip. 2015 will be a big year hopefully for international travel.

I am not really one for making resolutions but I do like to give myself aims going into the new year such as:

Connecting with other, local international families.

– feeling connected to a group of people in similar circumstances, even if it is via the internet, will help me not feel so isolated in the sprawling DFW metroplex.

Organizing, organizing, organizing

– taking the time to tackle house projects, one at a time, and get rid of clutter and items we simply do not need or use. This includes finishing our guest room, back garden and exploring the option of adding a fourth bedroom. Even seemingly miniscule tasks of depositing our coin boxes and “piggy banks” into our checking/savings accounts will help in this regard.

Choosing to worry less about things I cannot change and finding happiness in every moment.

Here is to an amazing 2014!


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