Saturday, June 23, 2012

Changes... (Cue Tupac song)

WOW... I was doing so good there for a while.. then life hit the fan! : )

So I wanted to share a blog that kind of brings everything in our lives up to date.. Starting with the end of April.. Towards the end of April I began working a bunch again, and we went into full time house hunting mode in preparation for my visit home in May. So those last few weeks of April, first few weeks of May pretty much flew by!

Then on May 14th I was on a plane that was Kansas bound!! I got to spend 2 3 weeks in Kansas (my trip got extended a little due to what we'll just refer to as an over booked flight). While home, I hardly had time for anything but house hunting! It was looking pretty bleak at first... On the first day we went and saw 5 houses... and all I could say was.. eh... They were nice.. just not perfect! I was about ready to give up when we broadened our search a bit and chose our top 10 houses of the 87 new houses our realtor sent us. Of those 10 we I got to go see our most favorite 5. And surprisingly I loved 3 of those 5!! I invited my parents to come along to help with the decision, and we decided to move forward with Everett's favorite. If you go to this website you can read all about our new house and see some pictures: Our New House!! I call these pictures "before" pictures.. because I have LOTS of changes planned!! : )

So with the house found, we started getting paperwork together! And in a few short days we will officially be home owners!! (And I can officially cross one of my 30 before 30's off!!) On a home Everett has never even seen before!! Wow.. he's a trusting guy.. that's why I love him! : )

So, with a job acquired and a place to live under my belt, my only task is to finish packing up and figuring out how to get me and the dogs back to the states! I should be arriving on July 9th via military jet, and the pups should be coming around the 18th, but I'll have to go pick them up in Texas! So that means I only have 2 weeks and 1.5 days left in England.. SAD FACE!!!!!

I have really really enjoyed my time here, seriously one of the best experiences in my life!! Definitely got to check a lot of bucket list items off! I know that many of you are worried about how Everett and I will deal with the distance. Obviously it is not going to be easy, but we already have numerous trips planned back in forth for the year. For example I'm coming back to England for Christmas and next summer, and he's coming back to the states in September, October, and maybe sometime in the spring. I will be extremely busy as a Middle School teacher, and he has been and will be super busy finishing up his degree so he can move forward in his career!!

This next month will be bringing lots of changes for the Marshalls.. some we look forward to, others not so much! I plan to continue this blog sharing experiences I had overseas, including future ones!

XOXO : )

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Will Survive!

At first I was afraid, I was petrified. Kept thinking I could never live without you down the street, but then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong and I grew strong; I learned how to get along!

Part Three: Surviving without Walmart

So, I'm obviously doing these posts in a very haphazard order... I just post what I'm feeling that day, and today I'm feeling Walmart (not literally, of course). Off subject, you can thank my Mom for the little ditty above, her ability to turn any mundane thing into a song throughout my youth has carried over to me. My students thank her every day I'm sure of it!

Back on subject.. Yes, I have lived the last 2 years without Walmart.. and I LOVED IT!! Do you realize how much extra money is spent in superstores such as that?!?! I didn't until I moved here! We are way old school here in England, like we still have butchers and bakers, and probably candlestick makers... And they all set up shop on High Street. The closest thing they have to Walmart here is called ASDA, and the closest one is about 30 mins away. Too far.

I'm not going to lie, this was one of my biggest fears of moving overseas. Yes, I was afraid of not having a Walmart within 1 mile of my house. Where in the world was I going to buy my shampoo at?! Luckily we do have the BX on base (that's the Base eXchange for all you non mil out there) where I buy most of my household goodies now. But it's just not convenient like Walmart. Because there are 3 bases within about 15 miles of each other over here, our BX is split up between the 3 bases which makes it way inconvenient. On RAF Mildenhall (where Everett works), we have sporting goods, pets, toys, gardening, and tools. On RAF Lakenheath (where I work), we have household goods, clothing, make up, and electronics. On RAF Feltwell, they have furniture. If I wanted pet food, a new desk, and a waffle iron, I'd have to go to THREE stores instead of just one. Oh, and don't even think about buying food there! You have to go to a commissary for that....

Obviously, though, I'm fairing much better than if we were to solely live off the economy (that means buying off base). I don't even know where I would purchase something like a waffle iron at here in England!

I promise I didn't intend for this post to sound like a huge rant. My point was to say, "Yes America, it is possible to live without Walmart!" Second, I'm truly scared of seeing my money saving skills go down the drain once I live closer to a Walmart again. Third, well... I don't have a third reason... Really I'm just bored and procrastinating on studying for an upcoming test...

On a last and final random note, I didn't really think about it until I was discussing this with friends the other day, but whenever us overseas folks go back home and enter a Walmart again for the first time it is extremely overwhelming to us. Because we don't have stores so large over here, it takes us a bit of time to get used to it again. So don't laugh when I'm home next and you take me to Walmart and I cower in the corner with pee dribbling down my leg... Just take my hand and let me know that everything's gonna be alright...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's up, Your Majesty?!

Part Two: What is the likelihood of meeting royalty?

To give you a picture of your odds of meeting royalty, I will give you a few statistics... According to the 2010 Census, the population of Great Britain (to see what area of land is included refer to Part One) is 62,218,761 ( The number of members of the Royal Family residing in Great Britain are approx. 25 ( That means you have a .0000004% chance of seeing a Royal. Right? Eh.. whatever I'm not a statistician...

Now we all know that our chances are significantly increased when we attend a function where Royalty will be present. For example, the Queen holds the Royal Ascot races every summer in June and attends all 6 days of the races. She also does a Royal Parade before the races every day, so as long as you are there and paying attention, you will be able to see the Queen!

Picture I took of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal Ascot 2011
  I did not get to meet her, but at least I can say that I've seen her!

So let's say for some odd reason, you actually get to meet the Queen... what do you do?!?! Here are a few tips taken from Hello, Your Majesty: Rules for Meeting the Royal Family:

Do rise when the queen walks into the room. The only person who was exempt from this particular rule was the Queen Mother, who passed away in 2002.
Don’t introduce yourself. Wait to be presented by a host or attaché.
Do bow or curtsy if you’re a British subject or a citizen of any part of the Commonwealth. Americans are under no obligation to show deference in this way (since they are not her subjects), but a small nod of the head or curtsy-like motion is still appropriate and appreciated.
Don’t make exaggerated displays of fealty, such as a Japanese-style bow from the waist or a low, sweeping curtsy. A low nod is the proper form for a bow, and a small, dainty curtsy is fine. However, if you happen to be particularly graceful or well-practiced in the art of the curtsy, it’s said that Her Majesty greatly appreciates the gesture.
Do feel free to make eye contact and smile.
Don’t offer your hand to be shaken or touch the queen in any way. Even after a first meeting, it’s a good rule of thumb to never attempt to touch any member of the royal family.
Do take her hand to shake if she offers it.
Don’t grasp tightly or shake vigorously.
Do refer to the queen as “Your Majesty” the first time you address her. After this first time, feel free to address her as “Ma’am.” The queen, since she is the monarch, is the only member of the royal family who should ever be referred to as “Majesty”; anyone else should be called “Your Royal Highness” on first meeting and “Sir” or “Ma’am” on subsequent meetings.
Don’t ever refer to any member of the royal family by his or her first name. Instead, refer to him or her by title. The queen should always be referred to as “Her Majesty,” and other members of the family should be referred to as The Prince of Wales or The Duchess of Cornwall instead of Prince Charles or Lady Camilla.
Do dress appropriately and conservatively to meet the queen. Modest sleeveless dresses are acceptable for ladies; if a woman chooses to wear gloves, it’s not necessary to remove them. It’s also not necessary for men to wear hats, but it is still appropriate. If a hat is worn, it should be removed before being presented to the queen.
Don’t ask the Queen or any member of the royal family any questions about their personal lives, political opinions, or anything even the least bit controversial. If you have even the slightest doubt about whether a question or comment is appropriate, skip it.
Do make polite conversation, following Her Majesty’s lead. Keep conversation general, impersonal, and suited to the occasion. There’s no need to be overly serious or formal, but it’s also not the time to crack jokes.
Don’t address any royal personage as “you.” Refer to whomever you’re speaking to in the third person. Rather than “Are you enjoying the weather?” ask, “Is Your Majesty enjoying the weather?”

If you can't remember what to do, just do what comes naturally... Unless what comes naturally looks something like this: