Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to Britain

We are settling in nicely. Madison is doing ok. She is definitely getting older. She doesn't see or hear as well as she did. We are finding things that used to be easy daily tasks with her not as easy now. She definitely drinks a lot more water than she used to. I can hardly keep her bowl full. Jeremy did a dip stick test on her urine for diabetes but it didn't indicate that she had it. Keep in mind that it was human dipstick but he said it just measured sugar in her urine. Anyway, we really have to stay on top of keeping her bowl full of water and her bladder empty. We started keeping her in our bathroom at night in case she wets then it won’t be on the carpet. The door is right next to my side of the bed so it feels more like she’s right there next me. We have lots of great "footpaths" near us so we all have enjoyed walking together. Everything is really green and beautiful!

Work is still going well. I’m grateful to have a job I like!

I'm going to start working on my business cards, business info sheet, portfolio, etc. for J Bird Designs again next week. Hopefully I can take some more classes this fall.

We bought at dinning table Saturday. It's being delivered on Friday and I can't wait! It's nothing fancy but I really like it. It is a round drop leaf table. It'll be perfect for just Jeremy and me to eat at with the leaves down. Or we can raise them for up to 6 people but it'll be a cozy fit. Our chairs are a mix-matched but I'm going to paint them all the same color and distress them the same. I haven’t decided what color yet. I miss doing projects like that so I'm really excited to pick my color and get going. We bought them at a charity shop (like Goodwill) so we saved a bundle!

We have been looking for a car. Boy-o-boy am I ready! We are going to rent one, not this weekend but the next, if we haven't found one buy then. I have always wanted to take Madison to the beach but now we can take her to the English Coast. I saw a place I think Jeremy would love. It’s called the "Jurassic Coast". It's a stretch of the southern coast that is known for it's fossils and rustic shore line. He’s into fossils so I think it'll be lots on fun. We really enjoy exploring when we have rented a car in the past. We always run a few errands when we have a car too. Cost-co, IKEA and Tesco are always on the list to get things that are too hard to carry on bikes. This time we'll be getting a few organizers for our closets, a mop, a new broom, and a curtain rod. Having are car will defintaly make life here easier!

I hope to upload some pictures and video of our last flat and our new house in the near future...stay tuned!

Friday, June 12, 2009

New, new job

I interviewed for a job at Jeremy's clinic, or surgery, as they call them here. Today they offered me the job. Phew! I start a week from Monday. It's more hours, better hours, better pay, easier to get to, the list goes on... I'll be doing administrative stuff. I'll still be able to take more graphic design classes and pursue a career in that. We hope we'll have the money in the fall for me that start back with my training.

Here is our office

Saxonbrook Medical - Maidenbower Surgery

Working girl


Sorry I’ve been in touch lately. I started my new job a few weeks ago. Can you believe I get up at 5AM now?! Anyway, I was so relieved to finally get a job. Guess what. I hate it. Well, the past weeks have been better. I started off Tuesday morning with a 5AM alarm. Anyone that knows me at all knows I am NOT a morning person. Since I’ve not had a job I sleep until 10AM most days so my body was not diggin’ this 5AM thing. Tuesday was a wet morning. Let me rephrase that, it was a “need a canoe to get to work day.” Since I cycle to everywhere, I layer up with all my rain gear and hit the road. The water was so deep in some places I couldn’t ride next to the curb—I had to ride in the middle of the street. Fortunately there aren’t many cars out at 5:45AM.

Do you remember that game show from the 80’s called “Supermarket Sweep”? My job isn’t that unlike it. I am what they call a “Dot Comer” for a chain called Tesco. Lots of people buy their groceries online here. I pick their orders. Easy enough right? Wrong! I have a little computer on a “trolley” that I push around the store. It tells me where to go and what bin to put the items in on my trolley. Now, if I had a realistic amount of time that might be nice. There is a clock on the computer telling you how you are doing in your allotted time frame. Blue means you are picking at an excellent rate, green is good, orange is slow and red is…well you get the point. My first day out on my own I couldn’t get out of the red. Our Tesco is HUGE, all the product packaging looks different, the trolley gets SUPER heavy when it loaded down, all the wheels turn and rotate making it damn near impossible to control! As a matter of fact I was pushing it down the wine aisle one day picking a wine order and a man said I was driving it like I had been drinking the wine. I wish! Anyway, there are 50 of us Dot Comer’s and there are always customers in the store and cages of stock and employees restocking. It like pushing a heavy cart through an obstacle coarse on time limit. Sometimes items aren’t on the shelf. We get “dinged” against our goals if we substitute it but there is no way we can look for it and still stay in our time frame. It’s a no win situation and it was killing me. I came home everyday really discouraged.

By the time Saturday rolled around I was exhausted. Some jerk in the bread department chewed me out for being in his way. Here I am, in a new country, where I can’t find a job. Then when I finally find one and I am no good at it. I came home after my first week and bawled my eyes out.

The past 2 weeks have been better. I’ve learned some of the tricks to make things good faster. I still don’t like it but at least I’m not in tears over it…for now.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's my pick this time!


We leave for Switzerland tomorrow. I'm really excited! I've always wanted to explore this Swiss Alps so it was "my pick". Jeremy picked Athens, Greece last month 'cause he wanted to see the ruins. I still have more to blog about Athens! Maybe I can get all caught up when we get back! We won't travel internationally for a while 'til we come back to the States in July. The cost of travel goes up this summer and with me not being able to find a job...well, you get the point.
Later friends!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sweet, sweet Maddie Pooh


Jeremy and I joined a gym this weekend. Please try not to keel over in disbelief or burst in hysterical laughter. I'll talk more about "the gym" later. We went for our first training session yesterday. After out training sessions we went to Tesco to get a few groceries. We everything away and I opened my lap tap to check my e-mail. A message popped up on Skype from my sister "Maddie's sick...call me right away". I felt a little sick myself at that moment. I told Jeremy and asked him to sit with me while we called her back. It turns out that Madison is ok. She has a scratch on her eye. It was droopy and she threw up. Melanie also said she'd be acting a little sluggish and sleeping more. The vet seemed to think she would be fine.

Madison and I have been together, literally, half my life. She will be 15 in May and I got her when I was 15. My dad suggested getting a dog after my first broken heart. She was my first and has been my only dog. I never knew I could love a dog so much!

I see other a walking their dogs and wish she were here with us. Especially since I'm not working. Then she'd be here with me during the day to keep me company.

She is with my family until we bring her back with us in August. Yes, I’m worried about the flight over the Atlantic. I've researched all I can so I know what to/not to do. She will be done with her stateside quarantine and her all her papers & microchip. So, that’s all I can do for now.

Hang on Maddie. Mama's coming to get you soon!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Land of Feta and Olives


I love all things salty. So naturally feta, olives, capers, etc...are a few of my favorites.

When we arrived in Athens we were starving. We'd not eaten all day so we found a great restaurant called "Quick Pita". I think it's a chain but great food none the less. Jeremy mentioned getting a Greek Salad and honestly I had not even thought about it yet but I LOVED the idea. When our server brought it out I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear. It was so pretty. Almost too pretty to eat...almost. So I snapped a picture of it. And so the trend began. I took a picture of almost every Greek Salad we ordered and we tried to order 1 at every place we ate. Jeremy was embarrassed every time I'd whip out my camera and hover above the table to get a picture. They were all great and yummy in there own way but the first was my favorite. Maybe I liked it best because it was my first or maybe because it had capers and a tangy vinaigrette dressing. Who knows! But it was darn good!

I'll try to upload the video from the changing of the guard in Athens next and soon. It was one of my favorite things.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What time is it?

This Saturday night we will Spring forward. We will move our clocks forward to BST, British Summer Time. Currently we are on GMT, Greenwich Mean Time. We are changing our clocks 2 weeks behind to US so for a little while we were an hour closer to our friends and family back home. Starting on March 29 we will be back to 5 hours ahead of Georgia, 6 ahead of Nashville and 8 ahead of Portland. Just thought you might like to know.
Thanks goodness for longer days, warmer weather and BST!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

phone home

I only have a minute to share a quick story. I've been looking for a job which is a full time job in itself so I've been staying busy.
I'll finish Greece this week and start again on "becoming a Brit". But until then...

I left the library today feeling a little sorry for myself. I know it's ridiculous because I have so much to be grateful for. Really, I know that. I decided I needed something to cheer me up. I hit play in my Ipod and Dave Hunt was the first to pop up so I played it. I was be bopping along through the park when I think I hear my mobile phone ringing. A few things run through my head...
I'm sure it's Jeremy. It always is.
It read "new number" on my screen.
So then I thought it's someone trying to sell me something. Grrr.
Then I noticed it was a Georgia number...oh wait...it's my dad. Naturally I thought it was an emergency.
The first thing he said was, "Hey J! It's not am emergency. I just though I call you on your cell phone."
We chatted for a while. It left me with the warm fuzzies. I cried a little.

It wasn't just a long distance call. It was a really long distance call. It made me feel loved. I cried some more.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Clean Underwear

Jeremy and I were packing for Greece until midnight Tuesday. Our flight was supposed to leave at 6am Wednesday. The walk from the door of our flat to the train platform is about 7 minutes. So we decided to get up at 3:35am so we have enough time to get dressed, eat and head out the door with our suitcase.
Can you sense where this story is going?
I had a few more things to wrap up so I was up until 1ish. By the time I got in the bed, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned until about 2ish. I kept waking up wondering how much longer I had to sleep. After finally falling asleep, I woke back up and realized I’d actually been sleeping. I looked at the clock. 4:10.
4:10? 4:10? Is it really 4:10? Wait. What time we were supposed to get up?
“Jeremy!”
He looked at he clock and said a few phrases I won’t repeat. Obviously neither one of our alarms clocks went off! We just knew we could make it but we were gonna try! I threw the few things lying on top of our suitcase in. Threw on my clothes. When I got the bottom of my stack I clothes, I realized I’d not put on the clean underwear I’d laid out with my travel clothes. I put them in carry-on… just in case.
I have no idea what time we left our house but we turned off the lights, locked the door and RAN to the station! We get to the front door of the station and the door was locked! Jeremy was just short of pushing the doors off their tracks when I remember there is aside door from the parking lot.
So, once again we are off…running as fast as we can to try to catch the train. Fortunately we "just happen” to buy our tickets the night before. We were running up the steps, ‘round the corner and…thank God the train is still there! We dashed through the doors and sat…still in shock from the morning events. We were so relieved and jolted we just giggled. Jeremy’s eyes were still red from lack of sleep and I’m sure my morning hair was sticking up. I reach in my bag to get my chap stick. Jeremy handed me something that fell out of my bag. I quickly took it from him because…you guessed it…what had fallen out on the train was my clean underwear!

Follow-up

I'll come back to "Becoming a Brit" after I get all my posts about Greece done. Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Becoming a Brit

I'm going to blog all about lots of experiences we've had here soon. Is there anything specific you want to know?

I was thinking you all might like to know hear about...
what our flat is like
what our church is like
English vs. English
the weather here
encounters with true Brits
the friends we've made here
Jeremy's job
what I do all day

Is there anything else?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lost at Sea

Lost at Sea

What does your music library say about you?

*Put Your iTunes, winamp, mp3 player or whatever on SHUFFLE
*For each question, press the next button to get your answer (no cheating)
*You must write down song/artist even if it doesn't make sense
*Include any comments in parenthesis
*Post into a NOTE with #25 as your Title
*Tag at least 10 friends- include the person who tagged you

1. What do your friends say about you?
Sunshine - Grits
(Awww shucks)

2. How would your coworkers describe you?
May The Words of My Mouth – Tim Hughes

3. How would you describe yourself?
Drama Queen – Family Force Five
(Really?!)

4. What do you like in a romantic partner?
Clumsy - Fergie
(Shhh. Don't tell Jeremy.)

5. How do you feel today?
Space Cowboy – N’SYNC

6. What is your life's purpose?
How We Do – The Game

7. What is your motto?
Wake Up Call – Maroon 5

8. What do you think about the most?
All Bow Down – Chris Tomlin

9. What are you going to do on your next vacation?
Velvet - Fergie

10. What do you think of your first love/date?
Take It Off – The Donnas
(Yes, the song title is what it sounds like…hate to ruin it for you…that was not the case for my first love/date!)

11. What is your life story?
Black Hole – Aqua Lung
(I hope not!)

12. What did you do yesterday?
I’ll Fly Away – Kanye West

13. What do you think of when you see the person you like/love?
Holy Is the Lord – Chris Tomlin

14. What describes your wedding?
If I Fall – Match Box Twenty

15. What will they play at your funeral?
Love Addict – Family Force Five

16. What is your obsession?
Hotel Song – Regina Spektor

17. What is your biggest fear?
Good Morning Baltimore – From Hairspray the Musical

18. What is your biggest secret?
Skeletons – Stevie Wonder
( I guess this means I have skeletons in my closet!)

19. What is your biggest turn-on?
Yours Alone – Phil Wickham

20. How do you describe your friends?
Bobbin Bouncin’ - Grits

21. What would you do with a million dollars?
Bye Bye Bye - N'SYNC
(Yep! But I kinda already did that.)

22. What is your opinion of sex?
Green Light – John Legend
(I'm blushing.)

23. What is your biggest regret?
Fairytale – Sara Bareilles

24. What would you rather be doing right now?
High & Dry – Jamie Cullum

25. What will you post this list as?
Lost at Sea – Jimmy Needham

Monday, February 9, 2009

waterproof pants

I thought I spoke English--until I moved to England. There many differences so you have to mind what you say. For example, what most Americans refer to as pants the British refer to as trousers. This can become quiet comical as it was today.
Since we don't have a car, Jeremy ride our bikes almost everywhere. Today it is 39 degrees and rainy. Jeremy mentioned buying some waterproof pants to wear over his works clothes. When I Googled "waterproof pants" I got this!



Thanks to http://www.arizona.free-online.co.uk/pp_1.htm

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Cadbury Eyebrows (official version)

This is a commercial on TV here in the UK. It cracks me up. I hope it makes you smile too!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 random things about me

1. My husband helps me be a better person. Truly. He’s a catch!

2. I didn’t have many girl friends until college. I had girl friends growing up but around middle school I learned most girls were catty and cruel. My college girl friends Mary Catherine, Brooke, Kelley and Kasey showed me what it means to be a true friend.

3. I’m always thinking. Sometimes I wish I could turn my brain off.

4. I have a love hate relationship with TV. I love absolutely love it. However I think it is a total waste of time.

5. I can’t stand it when women are catty.

6. I am tomboy at heart. I love to dig in the dirt and climb trees. I have a decent collection of power tool and I know how to use them!

7. I think snorkeling is so peaceful. I find that when I’m swimming with the fish all I can hear is my own breath and the water. It is so peaceful. I could explore the coral; follow fish and collect sea treasures all day. I’d LOVE to learn to scuba. We have talked about taking lessons and making a special trip to New Zealand. Maybe one day!

8. I hate the “F word”. That’s right I hate the word fart. What did you think I meant?! Oh, I hate the other “F word” too.

9. Church language grosses me out. As I Christian, I think we should be able to carry on a conversation with anyone.

10. I have always been horribly insecure about my skin. It started in the 7th grade when a boy teased me by calling me albino. I also remember, in the 9th grade, where one person in each class asked me when I was going to get a tan. To a teenage girl that was a day that changed the way I viewed myself. That was the day I felt like I would always be gross because I was so fair. I hated wearing shorts, a bathing suits and skirts for years! In my early twenties I still wouldn’t were skirts because I didn’t want anyone to see my white legs. One day I got sick of it. I decided I was going to get over it…No easy task…to just “get over” something like that. I decided that the way God made me was just fine! Just when I thought I would never have to deal with that again an old boyfriends best friend went on and on about how I needed to get a tan one day at the pool. 10 years of trying to accept myself the way I am was undone in about 3 minutes. Skip ahead to present day—I still struggle to be ok with my fair skin. Last spring I found a shirt that says “Pale is the new tan.” That’s my new self-motto. I have decided once again that the way God made me is just right. I’m just gonna be me! White legs and all! ☺

11. I have awesome friends! My relationships have changed my life.

12. I’m a white girl who loves her some hip-hop music. Don’t judge.

13. Sometimes I wish I could live on a farm and grow my own food.

14. I cry at sad movies…HARD. It’s almost like I think what is happening in the movie is real life.

15. I am always embarrassed when cry at movies. If I cry in the theatre, we have to wait ‘til everyone else leaves so no one sees my tear stained face.

16. I am obsessed with magazines. No, not Cosmo or Glamour—home magazines. My favorites are Better Homes and Gardens (and all of their specialty magazines) and ReadyMade. I read them and analyze the pictures so many times that I almost have them memorized.

17. I have the same type of dream all the time. I am usually yelling and crying at the top of my lungs at my family and they are ignoring me. Yes. I have a clue what it means. No. I’m not in counseling for it. ☺

18. I love riding my bike. Now it’s my primary transportation and I love zipping all over town, hopping curbs, dodging puddles and watching the world around me. We talked about getting a scooter but right now my bike works best.

19. I heart music videos. I could watch them all day, over and over again.

20. I was horribly afraid of having children for a few years. I’ve heard all sorts of painful stories that freaked me out. I was also afraid I’d mess them up. Spending time with my 4 nieces has helped me not to worry about it so much.

21. A dog changed my life. My sweet dog, Madison, has made me realize that if I could love her as much as I do I will love my own “real” children that much more.

22. I adore my nieces. I would put them in my pocket and carry them everywhere…if they would fit.

23. I don’t like it when people are judgmental. Don’t judge. That’s up to God.

24. I love my family…crazies and all!

25. I want to live like God intended. Jesus is the only example of that. So, I want to live like Him.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Australia for my birthday...

Yesterday I was the big three-oh. Jeremy took me out on a little birthday date. When enjoyed dinner at an Italian restaurant. After dinner we went to Australia...the movie that is! What were you thinking? That Jeremy gave me a trip to Australia?! Hmmm. That not such a bad idea! Anyway, we enjoyed the movie. It's nothing to "write home about" (even though I am) :) but it was a nice date movie.

On a side note--the theatre here is really nice. Some of the screens have upstairs and downstairs entrances. The building has movies on all 3 stories. The seats are clean and comfy. There is decent leg room. And the pictures are really sharp!

So back to our night. We left the theatre and discover it was raining. If we had driven this wouldn't be a big deal. But, we aren't planning to buy are car for a few months. Part of our decision to move here was to live like the locals. We ride our bikes almost everywhere. Our town, Crawley, has really good public transportation but we have found it to be faster to bike where we need to go. Yep. That's right we biked home in the rain. It wasn't as romantic as it sounds :). It was 42ish and we didn't bring our rain gear. However, it wasn't to bad either. It's only about one and a half miles and there is something about not be dependant on a car that feels really good. Truly, it does.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Britian or Bust!

We left out of Nashville with a truck FULL of our stuff on the morning of December 24th. And then again on the 28th. I know, I know. We had sooo much stuff that we had to make a second trip back to Nashville. What was supposed to take a day--took three. There was much "weeping and gnashing of teeth".

The morning of December 30th we headed to Atlanta in the “silver bullet” also known as my sister’s silver minivan. Mom, Jeremy and I sat in the very back. Melanie drove and dad told her how from the passenger’s seat ☺. We took out the middle seats to make room for our luggage. We got all our bags checked. I know people thought were we were nuts. Picture this…Jeremy, my and I roll up to the counter with a cart stacked high of suitcases. My dad starts duck taping the old hard sided suitcase we used when I was a kid, to help it make one last trip. There was definitely some whispering going on. I few times I had to remind myself that standing on the ticket counter and announcing “We aren’t going on vacation! We are moving for 2 years,” would only draw attention to us.

The flight was uneventful. As it should be! Jeremy and I had an empty seat between us so we were able to spread out and sleep pretty well. We held our breath as we counted our bags coming off the luggage carousel. They all made it!

On the 2nd we moved into our flat. I hope to post a video tour of it soon!

Friday, January 16, 2009

What a year!

What a year!
Last year was filled with lots of changes both good and well--not so good. We started off 2008 with high hopes that Jeremy would be offered a position in Scotland as a physician assistant. In February we found out that they’d chosen someone else. Needless to say we were disappointed. I had sense that we would end up in the UK at some point soon so it felt to me like we were just “hanging out” until then. After a few weeks Jeremy asked me if I would me interested in pursuing PA positions in England. His friend Peter and his family had been living in Birmingham, England for several years. (Peter was a PA in the pilot program that launched a few years ago.) With a second thought I replied, “heck yea!”

Moving on to March. It was full of very sweet moments and very sad moments. My dear Grandmother, "Granny Purvis” went to be with Jesus. We were extremely close when I was growing up. I’ll share more about our special bond in a later post. I was with my whole family, by her bedside as she literally breathed her last breath. My dad sat holding her hand while we all gathered around, praying and rubbing his shoulders to comfort him. I couldn’t have asked for more. I loved her so much I truly wanted to be there until the end to let her know that I loved her from the bottom of my heart.

April at last. After my grandmother's funeral my sister and her husband decided they wanted their girls to have the same great grandparent memories that we had with Granny. They decided to sell their house, buy a house across the street from my parents and move their 4 girls “home” to Watkinsville, Georgia. Easter weekend we began “Operation flip a house while 6 people are living there--4 of which are 6 and under!” The goal was to make a few upgrades to their house in Nashville to get it ready for the slowing market.

Made it to May. Jeremy attended his Annual PA conference. In the exhibition hall, he stumbled across a table set up looking for PA’s to move to England. He spent a while talking with one of the practices' partners, Dr. Thomas. He took Jeremy’s info and jotted down some other notes while they chatted.

Joyous June. I had just wrapped up my second semester in school for graphic design. I thought all my dreams were coming true when a friend I met through work at YES, offered me a job. I would be the their first in-house graphic designer!

Jumping to July. Jeremy followed up with Dr. Thomas about the position in England. Dr Thomas said he was just getting ready to contact Jeremy for his CV. We were thrilled to find out that he hadn’t forgotten Jeremy either! We submitted Jeremy’s CV and application.

August arrived. Well, to make a really long story short, around August I realized my dream job was not that. It wasn’t at all what my friend promised. I was REALLY disappointed.
The medical practice in England, Saxonbrook Medical Centre, spent sometime reviewing all the applicants and contacted Jeremy about doing a web cam interview.

Fall was finally here. At this point everything becomes a blur!
Jeremy had a few web cam interviews that went well.
Melanie’s house sold and the whole family moved to Georgia.
And Dr. Thomas invited us to England to have a face-to-face interview.
After talking with my family about what the next few weeks would hold if we got the England job, they convinced us to put our house on the market before we left…in a week Then it would be available for showing while we were gone. We absolutely busted our butts to get the house staged, and all the home projects we’d not finished yet wrapped up. That week was one of the most stressful weeks of my life! Every spare moment I had was spent getting our house ready and packing for our trip. I literally made myself sick the day before we left.

So. We felt like if were going to pack up and move across the Atlantic…now was the time. My grandmother had passed so I didn’t have to worry about not being here for her. My sister and her gang had left Nashville so I wouldn’t miss out on my regular visits to see my wonderful nieces. I was becoming more and more frustrated by the total misrepresentation of my new job. Jeremy’s was barely hangin’ in there at his job.

Saxonbrook invited us over Mid October. We booked our tickets right away. We left the States frazzled from everything on the 31st and touched down in London November 1st absolutely relieved.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ahhh...(sigh of relief)

We've arrived in England and now have internet! In the coming days I'll be writing about all of our adventures since we arrived.
Jessica