In England · Military Life

Halftime Show: Part 3 – Our First English Winter

We’re halfway through our assignment in England! I’m reviewing our journey so far in four installments before I forget everything when our second son is born (very soon!). Check out Part One and Part Two to relive the ups and downs of moving overseas. This part is rather to-the-point – winter is not my favorite.

Grit

We at last had a chance to settle into a normal life after the first deployment. My dad came to visit for our son’s first birthday and Thanksgiving. We’re grateful to be a part of a small, tight-knit community that celebrated both with us, kind of like an extended family.

Birthday Boy

Of course we had to spend time in London. It’s what you do when you visit England for the first time! My dad is into history, so the Tower of London was an easy choice.

Tower Raven

Then it was winter. Dark, dreary winter. Sunrise at 8:30, sunset at 3:30 winter. Rainy, cold and confining winter. We weren’t at all comfortable in our townhouse and caught a little cabin fever.

Baby Plays Kazoo in a Box

So, back to London for a day.

Westminster Abbey

After the first of the year, our barely-one-year-old toddler stopped napping in the mornings. It didn’t take long to run out of ideas for what to do with him. So I joined a gym with childcare and went nearly every morning. I was still losing my mind, with it being winter and all, so I also signed up for a creative writing class at a local college. (That’s when I realized I like blogging. You’re welcome.)

Red Balloon

My husband came home with news of a very-soon deployment and I freaked out. My sister wasn’t well. It was still winter, and I kind of crumble every winter. I wanted to go home when he was away. I booked a flight. His deployment was cancelled. The toddler and I still flew home (and not without some drama).

We had a wonderful time visiting my family. The Indianapolis Children’s Museum with Grandpa? Awesome. My mother-in-law made the trip up to see us, allowing me to spend a day with my homegirls (eating real Mexican food!).

Bumblebee at Indianapolis Children's Museum

Thankfully my sister had agreed to fly in from Salt Lake City while we were home. There’s a whole blog post (nearly a year!) in the making about the importance of her doing this. It’s big and heavy, and I know I need to write it. I’m just not ready. Instead I’ll share a cute picture of Walden collecting pine cones at his Great Grandma & Grandpa’s house.

Pine cone collector

Spring had sprung when we returned. We got outside when we could, and booked our very first family vacation to Edinburgh, Scotland, so my husband could run the Rock & Roll Half Marathon in April.

Purple Blooms

I love Edinburgh.

The Royal Mile

But I still felt like I was in desperate need of a recovery from the past year or so. The next weekend I took a trip to Stockholm, Sweden with some girlfriends.

Stockholm

So, by May, it felt like we had officially shaken off the winter blues and needed to get moving! Literally and figuratively. We started looking for a new house in the suburbs – with a yard! – and started exploring local playgrounds.

Slide

We celebrated a friend’s first birthday at the Newmarket races.

Newmarket Races

And then… everything changed. Stay tuned for part four!

PS – A photo of mine is in the final five of a family travel photo contest at Field Notes from Fatherhood! Please cast a vote for “Boy hugging dog” before this Friday!

Read on: Part 1, Part 2, Part 4

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3 thoughts on “Halftime Show: Part 3 – Our First English Winter

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