Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bioware Ireland Inauguration

This past Monday has been a culmination of all of Jason's hard work as they opened his building for Bioware Ireland! Up until now Jason and his staff were working in rented space as Jason and his coworkers fitted out the new place. I can personally testify that Jason has put so much work into this process! Looking at the new building its hard to imagine that last year at this time there were just maybe 4 people at Bioware Ireland, now they are pushing 100 on there way to 400- All with Jason at the helm! We are so very blessed that Jason has finally found a job that uses all of his talents- even the interior design ones! Here is a link to the EA announcement of the opening. Take a minute to view the tour video so you can see what we see. More pictures to come! (Spoiler Alert- we got to meet the Prime Minister of Ireland)


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One Room Anyway!

Here is Alex's room. We've decide not to paint too much (I would have painted some walls grey) as this is a rental house. But I do love that his room is simple and neat and has a big floor space for him to play. Thanks Ikea!


video

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My New Years Resolutions

I definitely feel like making goals in January, but there is something about a new school year that makes me say: "Right, what are we going to get done now that the kids are in school and we are back to a routine?" Since for the first time in a really long time, I know we are going to live here in Galway for this next year, I am thinking that I want to hunker down. Sure we moved in, Jason did his thing and our house if beautiful, but I feel like our rooms are just unpacked not cozy. Hopefully some of you know what I'm talking about. Everything has a place, but it just doesn't seem on purpose, or cohesive. In Luxembourg we had a few places that we did up and I really loved those. Our first house we ever bought was also like that. I know, given our nomadic lifestyle and Jason's full-on career we aren't going to be investing on going all the way on the house. But I know there are a few ways we can turn it up. So here is my plan/goal: We have a big house with many rooms/spaces. I will take one of these room/spaces a day and clear the junk out, put things in order etc. This will take me 27 days. That seems like a really long time BUT its a pace I think I can realistically keep. I mean some days will just be a little bathroom. By starting with a clear palette, I will feel free to frame and hang up new pictures, paint a few walls, and re- arrange some furniture. Why am I telling you this? I will need a place to showcase my results when I am done!

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's easier knowing

Hey gang. So as of last posting I was uber tired and trying to self diagnose and control my health. A lot of that had to do with money. Here you have to pay upfront for everything and you get reimbursed once a year, so I was going as long as I could to try to fix it. I was doing really good with lowering stress but physically my body was getting weaker. My legs and hips were especially restless so I was not getting any REM sleep. I had the foreboding that this was something more serious then a sinus infection gone awry. Because I have an aunt with rheumatoid arthritis I was sent to a rheumeatologist to get checked out. My blood work and joints checked out and so I was clear but he diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia.You can read about it here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001463/ My first reaction was that I was upset to have some weirdo disease. The doctor was very positive and said that I am young and motivated and that my body is in my hands. I can learn how to regulate it and improve my situation but its all on how motivated I am. So even though I was upset I was sure I could be positive about it and take control of it like I do with so many other things. He put me on Lyrica and another drug called amitripidine (I think). The medicine is to help me be pain free and sleeping so eventually I could get to the part where I can exercise and participate in my life again. Its working but I am still learning what the balance is. At first when I felt so much better I threw a BBQ for the 4th of July. I did way to much. It was really fun but for the next three days I was wiped out. I spoke with one of the nurses and she was really great in giving me a pep talk. She said I had to give myself time to learn to listen to my body. I don't have to figure it all out today. I am still learning and making mistakes. Our whole family is learning and changing some of the ways we have thought about our future. For instance Fibromyalgia is exasperated by cold and damp..... yeah I live in Ireland y'all. So maybe our future is not here. But for now I am taking it one day at a time and trying to remember to be grateful for all the diseases I DON'T have. I am blessed that we have a good situation, with an au pair that helps me, and a husband who gives good rubdowns :) . I am grateful for my faith that gets me through so much. I am grateful for my extended family that stays close even on the other side of the globe. Life is different, but still so good.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just Plain Worn Out

I think this has to be the quietest June of my life. June is usually my favorite month and every year I would count down the days until my birthday. It wasn't just my birthday but it was the magic of June itself. School was getting out, the nights would be soft and warm, vacation plans were on the horizon, everything became looser and lazier. So I think I am correct in saying this isn't my normal June. Over the past probably, 5 years, I have become this wound up person, always making lists and GETTING THINGS DONE. We have moved every year, 3 times internationally. I have wielded major jobs at church, I have been involved in a cause or a hobby, I have been a best best bestest friend, and I have always tried to make the culture of our family fun and exciting. I think all these things are good things. I kind of made it my thing to be that way. When I moved to Ireland this year I tried to transplant all of that here. Like a diseased body rejecting a new organ, my idea of who I am, did not take root here. I tried to force it for 6 months. At the 6 months in the past I was able to say "I am settled in my new place". Again Ireland was different. In the months following I have been on a mental journey (I HATE using the word journey- it sounds like I'm on a reality show) to figure out who I am, who I want to be, and what Ireland has in store for me. The conclusion I have come to is to let it go. Let it all go, and let whatever comes to me happen. (Usually I go get things, if that makes sense) I love to label and declare things. I have let that go. And just as I started to settle in to whatever this new me was going to be, I started to get sick. I have had a series of sinus infections since moving here and so I went to get my normal antibiotics as usual. A week later I was still tired and with more joint pain. So I tried steroids. A week later I have constant joint and leg pain and fatigue. My blood work is clear and a week later there is no change. So that is a total of 3 weeks and my beautiful June slipping away. The conclusion I am making right now is that I am just worn out. After all these years of intenseness I am just worn out. I know this sounds nieve but it is what I am going with for the next few weeks until school gets out. I have the opportunity that I have NEVER had of being sick and taking care of myself while the kids are at school. I have the help and time to do minimal things and let my body heal. When school gets out, and if I am not better, I am going to take the scary walk to the joint specialist. In the meantime I am doing what I can to become a calm person. I am sharing this with you because it is a new adventure for me- a quiet June, an unplanned summer- and I could use all the prayers and good vibes you got out there. But don't worry- I am not depressed, I am actually feeling very good and peaceful about all of these decisions, I just wanted you all to know what was going on. Thanks for listening.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The biggest news is no news-

So yesterday we made the decision NOT to come home for the summer. It wasn't fun. I actually thought I wouldn't be able to do it. But now that we have pulled the trigger it feels right. I still have trepidations about entertaining the kids all summer but I think I can do it, if as usual I organize the crap out of it. Here is a copy of the letter we sent out to everyone on facebook, just in case you were ask WHY!?

"We are sorry to let you know that we won't be able to come home this summer. I know we made some great plans together when we saw you last, and we wish we could make everything happen and make everyone happy, but we've decided that it is best if we take this summer off. Over the years we have always come home no matter what, we think you know how much you mean to us that we have made that happen in the past. But now, its time for us to be practical for once. Jason has limits on his time in the States for tax reasons, and so for us to have more time as a family it is more realistic to spend our vacation days here. The good news is by doing that we will have more opportunities next summer, financially, and with tax days. We hope that you can support us. We would also like to encourage you to come to visit Ireland. Start today, put a few dollars in a jar, save a few vacation days. We want to share this with you. It is rare that you could visit a foreign country and have free room and board plus a tour guide who loves you! Please use missing us this summer as a catalyst to coming here! Anytime all year, we will have room for you."

Part of us just wants to break the cycle of always visiting people, and maybe give some motivation for someone coming this way. Maybe it could be you! We'll miss everyone really bad I'm sure. It's lonely here sometimes but maybe a slow summer is just what the doctor ordered!



Monday, May 23, 2011

I'm a bad bad blogger



Hello my friends. I know I'm no good at this. I am doing interesting things and thinking deep thoughts, but I am just not great at getting on here to report it all. So here are a few things I've been thinking of or doing in April and May. I also want to say for the record that Blogger's interface sucks. I hate this tiny little window and how crappy it is to add pictures. Any tips??

  • Alex turned 6. Notice the awesome Yoda cake I made! I thought I would save a few bucks and have the party at home but having 8 6 year olds over was crazy! We played games but I also made the mistake of making it 3 hours. There is no game long enough. You are welcome parents- hope you enjoyed your afternoon!
  • We went to Austin Texas. Jason was traveling a ton in March and early April so we were excited to tag along with him as part of our Easter break. We made sure everyone got to see all of our friends and it was fun to see what dad does when he travels. He really does work the whole time. We also got to see the sun and swim everyday. It had been a LONG time since we had done that.
  • Then we went to Hawaii. We get home leave tickets to America every year and the company said anywhere in America so.......tada Hawaii! It was all kind of last minute cause the powers that be said if you are going to go, go now, the end of the year will be nuts. So we sold some stock to afford it and went. 10 days in Maui. It was pretty amazing. But the best part is that we were just our family for 10 whole days. The kids did GREAT with all the travel. The only hiccups we had were with a grumpy old dude that told the kids to shut up on the beach, and we missed our flight out of Hawaii. I am proud to say we handled both situations pretty well. My favorite part was the road to Hana. Google it, it's pretty cool.

  • Then it was our anniversary and Jason and I went to Scotland for the weekend. We went to Edinburgh. I had bought the tickets months ahead of time so they were dirt cheap. We didn't make any plans but Jason was able to use his points to stay at the Sheraton. We only had to pay for our rental car and food. We had so much fun wandering around and being alone! We pretended we were young and carefree and were able to relax and be our true selves. The good news is we still enjoy each others company. We also had the privilege of speaking to a group of young single adults about the joys of marriage. It was fun!
  • This past week Jason had all of his Texas team over and combined with his Ireland team they had a busy week of meetings and Irish fun- meaning castles, boats, and pubs. HE is doing really well at work and is still really enjoying it despite being at work a lot. He is getting ready to go to India next month!
  • Now things have calmed down and are pretty routine. I realize I haven't spoken of our routine very much, but it's all school music lessons play dates groceries church stuff and the occasional village occasion. For instance Kat's class just had their first communion and we all went to support them and then attended the parties afterwards. (She wore her baptism dress so that she could be honored too) I've also started to volunteer with Age Action- a group that supports seniors. I am tutoring them in computers.
  • Lastly I have just been thinking about life in general and how important it is to live it to the fullest and with the best attitude. One of my personal heroes, Lowell Wright, whom we met and worked with in Russia, is about to pass away. Last year we made sure we went to see him before we moved to Ireland. We had the most perfect goodbye. We attended the temple together and talked about Sacred things. The Wrights absolutely know how much we love them, and so I have no regrets about not being there right now in his last moments. His faith in meeting death is amazing and I hope I can face my trials that way.
So I hope that gives you just enough to not give up on me completely. I would like to say I will get better but I don't know. For now my priority is documenting our lives on Shutterfly in books so by the time I am done with that I am worn out from reporting! Forgive me and keep in touch!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Own March Madness


Hey guys- There isn't one site that does everything I want, so I will write about what we have been up to here, but if you want to see pictures you have to go to the shutterfly site here.

I can't believe a forth of the year is over already. It was a year ago that we found out we were moving to Ireland, and here we are still trying to figure this place out.

We are having a lot of fun. Jason is working a lot but when he doesn't have to work, or when we are using one of his 22 vacation days, we find cool stuff to do.

One of the coolest things that went down recently is our support of our village Hurling team. Hurling is a Irish sport that is unique to this island. Our good friend Hugh Ford has two brothers and two cousins on the top team. This year they went all the way to the top and won the all Ireland Championships. The final was on St. Patrick's Day, in Dublin, at Croke Park. We drove the two hours there the night before and stayed a hotel. It was one of the few family rooms I've ever stayed in that was really for a family! It had three single beds and a king! The streets were croweded with all the Paddy's Day revelers but we were in our Maroon and White! We had a huge flag and we made our own parade as we walked to the stadium. It was so much fun waving at all the passing cars with other Clarinbridge flags, and also chanting at the cars with green and white (Kilkenny) flags. It was the first time since probably the Redskins in the 80's that I felt any Athletic pride. We've never followed sports as a family but this was personal. This was our tiny village, and our friends. We were the underdogs with odds of 200 to 1, but like a train gathering momentum the boys won 24 to 12. Afterwards everyone was in the streets cheering and making their way home to Clarinbridge. It seemed like the whole village was at the truck stop off the highway. Once home the bus with the players on it did a tour of the parish the came home to make speeches and start the party. It was a long weekend of cheering dancing and boozing. Jason and I went down Friday night to hang out. The band was really great and it was so fun to be part of it. We really felt like we belonged to the village. All weekend you could hear the celebrations. Last night everyone lit bonfires and the players did another tour. We had some of them sign Alex's hurl and we plan on hanging it up. This victory has never been achieved since Clarinbridge started playing- everyone said it is a once in a lifetime thing and that we are so lucky we moved to just the right village at just the right time. We feel the same way!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Some New Projects

Hey Gang! So living in a new country and PAINFULLY Slowly making new friends I find myself with extra time. I have tried many new things and have gotten bored with many old things. One of the new things I am working on is a travel network for Mormons. Its kind of like couch surfing but for members of the church. In all of our travels we have been taken in by so many and have helped out also, so I have started helping other people with my new website www.hostmysheep.com Go on and have a look, and if you are inclined sign up! Also I have started a sister blog for all of our travels so that we can share what services we used or mistakes we made. That site is http://uutravel.blogspot.com . Hopefully as I start to feel more interesting I will be blogging about our normal life, our usual unusual life.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Better Pictures!

Hey everybody! I have decided to use Shutterfly for all my photo needs since I was putting all there anyways. SO now you can look at my site http:theusualunusual.shutterfly.com to catch up visually on everything we are doing. It is undecided if I will be writing on here or not... we'll see. But anyways, check out the site to see what we got up to over the holidays. Click on Photos & Videos to see the albulm Ireland 2010. Thanks!
PS- you will need a password to see this site, so write me at sarahknows@gmail.com to get it!