Monday, March 26, 2007

Less Than 3 Months

Where has all the time gone…? It just doesn’t seem fair that we are just now finding our groove here in Ireland. We have learned to navigate without TomTom (our GPS) and drive safely down the left side of the road. We have finally found good food, good weather and met some very good friends. We are getting used to the slow pace, slim pickins’ and life of leisure. We can finally understand most of the different accents we hear and have picked up some fun Irish phrases. We have learned to really appreciate and take advantage of sunny days. We have uncovered some magical places here. As Spring approaches, we are about to see the Emerald Isle shine its brightest. We have strengthened bonds within our family that only being together 24/7 can do and embarrassingly not have much of a life outside of each other. We can now hand over our change confidently without examining each piece and our US currency is starting to look like fake money. We have stopped trying to keep up on the latest music, news and sports and have embraced the music that doesn’t make it across the Atlantic, follow the football (soccer), GAA and cricket. (OK, not really cricket because we still don’t understand it, and I do still watch American Idol twice on Saturdays although it is old news by then) We have found a thousand more places that we would love to visit and know that when we return it will be with jet lag and a rigid itinerary. We can really appreciate a good rain jacket, good duvet, warm slippers and hot cocoa. I don’t mind cookie cutter houses so much anymore as long as you have your own colorful door. I am just now finding the great destinations of mass transit and the power of walking to the neighborhood grocery store. I am finding out we are more the same than we are different. I am finding all these things as I find myself on the homestretch. We have packed our schedule to take advantage of every moment as we sense the close of this chapter nearing. But even with all the new experiences, feelings and people it doesn’t replace the anticipation of returning to the greatest country in the world, seeing old friends, spending time with family and just, coming home.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St Patricks Day!

It was interesting to be in Ireland during this holiday. I was able to find out some interesting facts about the celebrations here. Firstly, this was usually a religious holiday. A break from Lent, a celebration and an extra Mass. Not so much anymore. The first St. Patrick's Day parade was actually held in the United States. And from what I can gather, if not for the US the festivities would not be so big here.

Parents aren't obsessed about getting their kids dressed up in green and the pinching thing...not here. You see more national colors: green, white and orange. I like it more so than just the green. This is the only time I have seen an abundance of national pride and flags coming out in full force. Oh except, maybe the England vs Ireland rugby match a few weeks ago.

The two older boys and I ventured down to the city center to witness the parade. All recommendations say to get there early (we did) and leave early (we did). We stood waiting for about an hour for the parade to start. We were about three people deep, we would have had to show up about 3 hours early to get the front row. And we had about 3 or 4 rows of people behind us. From what I can tell if it weren't for US High School and college marching bands and other nationalities there wouldn't be much of a parade which I am sure is just fine with the Irish. It is lucrative for them to have all the tourist(so much so the festival lasts five days) and gives them a long weekend to do what they do best: PARTY. I heard more Americans around than I have since I have been here. The weather was chilly and we didn't stick around but the atmosphere was fun, apparently that changes as the day lingers. It gets a little crazy if not dangerous when the drink starts flowing and craic sets in. Sorry no photos, I forgot the camera.

So we can say we have been there, done that and have some great St. Patty's (that is just not said here) paraphernalia for the years to come.

The Red Sox wore green jerseys? It is definitely a bigger deal in the US.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Feeling a bit Introspective

I Did Not Dream This for Myself

I have not accomplished many of my dreams
Yet, I don’t feel unfulfilled.

It was as if there were different dreams awaiting me
That I could not imagine

I have just followed this path
With a listening heart and a wandering soul

I am surrounded by love and friendship
Yet I did not dream this for myself

I have been blessed with an abundance
Yet I did not dream this for myself

I have gone to faraway places that I did not know existed
Yet I did not dream this for myself

Someone’s dreams for me are bigger than my own
And I recognize Him and feel comfortable following His lead

I did not dream this for myself
And that is a dream come true.

What does this mean?

Jay and I both forgot our 14th wedding anniversary?! How does that happen that we both forgot? I think we should buy each other these.