Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Good Samaritan Gone Bad

Winter finally arrived in Budapest today, and we welcomed the sight of falling snow. By mid-morning, the streets were covered in white. Logan and I headed out to pick up Meryl and Patrick for our baby gym class. On my way to Meryl's, I was affirming my great snow driving skills and thinking how I used to be afraid to drive on snow packed streets, but now I just cruise along. Go me.

About that time, I had to turn left and onto a steep hill. I headed up and there was an old woman slowly climbing the hill about halfway up. I felt sorry for her, so I stopped and asked her if she wanted a ride. She didn't understand, but with enough gestures she figured it out. She pointed to a nearby house and told me köszönöm sepen, and she continued on her way.

 I continued up the hill, except I didn't. I quickly began sliding backwards. Yikes! I pulled the parking brake, put the car in park, everything I could think to do to stop. And it stopped. Then I tried to go up again. Fail again. After a few tries and fails, I decided I would be leaving the car where it was. I steered backwards to the curb, called Meryl, and abandoned the car. Logan and I hiked up the hill to Meryl's car, where Meryl informed me that the number one rule of snow driving is never stop in the middle of a hill. Oops.  Lesson learned - no more good samaritan for me!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

European Figure Skating Championships

Last weekend, we enjoyed a really fun day out watching the European Figure Skating Championships.  The event was all week long here in Budapest, but we had tickets for the Pairs Free Skate. Our seats were great and the arena was small, so it gave us a whole new perspective of the strength and speed of the athletes. 
 This is the winning pair, Tatiana and Maxim from Russia. Check out the height and her arm muscles!!!  We are excited to watch them in the Olympics!

Our seats were close to the area where the skaters would enter and exit the arena. The skaters were all so gracious to talk to the kids and give autographs. The guy above was giving autographs before the event,. We had no idea who he was, but Chelsea got his autograph anyway. Turns out he was the men's champion, Javier Fernandez from Spain. He is a tiny dude. The women were all super tiny, of course, and looked in need of a cheeseburger. 
This is Stefania Berton from Italy, she and her partner were so kind. 

This was our first Hungarian sporting event, so it was interesting to compare to events in the US. Here, even for this international event, there were no metal detectors or bag searches. The official program/book only cost about $2, and drinks, etc were $2-$3 each. The tickets said no photography, so we were going to be good little rule followers. After a while, it seemed everyone was taking pictures so Larry pulled out the big daddy lens and no one cared. There was a security guard near the skater entrance/exit, but I'm pretty sure anyone could've gotten by them. It is nice to be in a country where you don't have to worry about safety and crazy people, and everyone can just enjoy the event!

We also had some good life lessons for Chels - she is small for her age, and sometimes brings that up. This was a good opportunity to show her a sport where it is good to be small. She also is a bit of a perfectionist, so it was nice to talk with her about how these skaters are the best in the world, yet they still fall. I think ice skating lessons are in our future! :)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Where's Winter?

Last year at this time, the kids were skiing in the backyard. This year, there is no snow in sight. During the day, the highs have been in the 40's. That is barely jacket weather for us - haha.  We are biking and making grass angels instead of snow angels. I do enjoy being able to walk outside without freezing or bundling everyone from head to toe, but we would like to see some snow! 

Christmas Wrap Up

After the cruise, we headed back to my parents house. Santa had left gifts there, and there were also cousins waiting for us! Hooray! We had a full day of opening, celebrating, eating, and playing together.

My dad got Logan all of his favorite things...his own toilet paper roll, a pair of glasses, some door stops, and a toothpick container with a small hole to put the toothpicks back in after dumping them out. A hit for sure!
The other big hit was the dogs...Matt and Kayla brought Gracie and Birdie with them. Logan looovveeed the "puppies" and followed birdie everywhere. Birdie liked Logan, too. 

Zac and Cade played puppy

The rest of our Texas time was full of errands, family, shopping, and fun! 
Cade insisted on buying flowers for Nana and I on one of our Costco trips. 

All too soon it was time for the packing party to begin, and we flew back to Budapest over New Year's Eve. Only 12 bags this year as compared to 15 last year. :) And, some were pretty small this trip. We arrived in Budapest on January 1, tired but thankful for a safe trip once again!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Feliz Navidad

In lieu of gifts, this year we took a Christmas cruise with Larry's family. We were on the Carnival Triumph, aka the ship that got stuck at sea last year, so the trip was a success just by virtue that we made it back. It was nice for everyone to be together, and we enjoyed the Mexican sunshine.

Not the best pic, but the best we got of everyone

Cade was thrilled with his Mexican souvenir

Logan fully embraced the siesta culture

Beautiful sunshine and beach in Cozumel

Chelsea testing a hammock with Uncle Kenny

Sweet cousin time at the splash park and on the boat.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Nutcracker 2013

Chelsea danced in the Nutcracker Ballet at her school again this year right before Christmas break. Again this year, she was sick the week of the show. She missed some school, but come showtime she was ready!   She had 2 parts, playing the "bad girl" and dancing in the Chinese dance. She was nervous but did a great job - so proud of her!

Fighting for the Nutcracker

Showing a little sass - her favorite part!

Chinese dance

So proud of our ballerina!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy 2014!

Hello! My poor blog has been sadly neglected due to the busy-ness that was December. Parties and performances and traveling to TX and shopping and celebrating and Christmas and traveling back and unpacking and jet leg and....

Now, the jet lag is mostly gone and the stuff is mostly put away (thanks to my amazing housekeeper!), so now I can catch up on the blog. We loved our TX time as always, and as always it went too fast. We anticipate moving back later this year, so we look forward to being able to spend much more time with everyone very soon!