Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Nothing really exciting to report on our end this summer.  We are literally in the dog days of summer with no vacations planned actually, nothing exciting in general planned.  And it's been HOT here lately as well so being outside much is not awesome.  So, needless to say I'm BORED!  Sure, there are plenty of "chores" to do, but nothing FUN!  I guess the beauty of Macendonia is that we'll be able to hop in the car and be at a Greek beach within a few hours.  I could definitely use some beach time about now!  I really wish I was here, right about now:

With a good book and an icey cold beverage!! Mmmmmmm, heavenly.

In other news, I'm trying to cook and eat more VEGETARIAN lately.   In fact, I haven't had meat in a few days now.  I'm thinking maybe we'll try the whole veg thing during the week and do meat on the weekends or something.  I still LOVE a good piece of meat, but everything that I've been reading all points to meat being BAD.  Plus, we are so lucky to have all of the delicious summer fruit and vegetables available to us!  So a good opportunity to take advantage and try be a little healthier at the same time!

Also on the agenda is to plan a trip here in early September:

We have some friends planning a trip to Ireland and want to meet up with us.  We haven't been yet so hopefully it'll all work out.  It'll be SUPER close to when we move, but I'm trying to stay relaxed about the whole thing. 

But for now, I'll continue to dream I'm here:

And there you have my random collection of thoughts as of late....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 4th Week

We had quite a celebratory week for the 4th of July here in Bulgaria.  The Saturday before Matt and I hosted a summer soiree at our house.  For no particular reason really.  We do not host things nearly enough because I'm always afraid that our place is too small.  We really love our apartment but because it's an apartment seperated into 2 floors it definitely has a cosey feel.  Anyway, we bit the bullet and decided to have a gathering before many of our friends move away this summer.  As usual, with any party, I didn't take ANY pictures during the party because I was too busy hostessing.  We did manage a few before the party though:

 Our spread of food.  My mom had sent some 4th of July decorations in a care package so we used them for the party.

 Looking out over the mountain from our patio.  My flowers this year are HUGE, I guess from all the rain in May. 
The bar.  Matt, of course, was in charge of this.  I did make Sangria and Margaritas.  I'm still finding sticky spots from the Margs.  Ugh!

Then on Tuesday, July 3rd, we had our official national day celebration at the embassy.  This year the Ambassador wanted something "relaxed", he didn't want people in suits and ties and wanted more of a "backyard bbq feel."  Let me tell you, most receptions that I've been to are very similar.  In a hotel ballroom, with the same food and drink, in business/formal attire.  I think this year was a success for sure.  Our guests seemed to enjoy themselves, and we did too, of course.

                                                          The original diplomats.
                                                     Old Ford (I think they were fords??)
 The Ambassador (in the denim) receiving the colors from the Marines.
 The Marines.  I'm always impressed by how sharp they look in their dress blues.
 And at the end of the function, we even had fireworks! 
 Chloe's idea of relaxing on the 4th, well any day really, I just happened to be home to catch her lazing about on the 4th.

Then, later in the evening, some friends of ours opened their home for a Mexican Fiesta/4th of July celebration.  I told Matt that all I wanted for my birthday was enchiladas and other mexican food.  Because our place isn't condusive to children, our friends agreed to host.  Our friends recently had a little baby.  I was holding the baby for awhile before  I needed to get up and help the hosts.  I asked Matt to take the baby.  He asked if I could just prop her up on the couch.  haha.  So he took her and the boppy and this picture cracks me up.  They are both looking at each other like "hmmmm, what are we doing here???"

 Our awesome spread.  Two kinds of enchiladas, two kinds of rice, dips, homemade guac, homemade salsa, the whole nine yards!
After dinner, and when it was dark enough, all of the women and children went to a balcony in the house to watch the "men" set of fireworks.  And boy were they fireworks.  They were HUGE!  Lets just say one of the neighbors was less than please with us....whoops!

Some when my birthday rolled around the following day, July 5th, we were EXHAUSTED!!  After work we decided to just stay home, Matt made us a delicious salad for dinner, and relax. 

Overall it was  a fabulous week!  This weekend has been super low key and I think we'll head to the pool today for a cooling dip. It's been a little hot here (not nearly as hot as back home thought...)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!!

Happy 4th of July everyone!  This is definitely one of my favorite holidays.  I think it's a little bit of the summer fun associated with the 4th, the fact that it's one day before my birthday, and A LOT the meaning of this day.

  I really hope everyone is enjoying celebrating this day and our FREEDOM!  with those nearest and dearest to you.  The past couple years for us tend to be a little awkward.  Here we are, thousands of miles from home, dedicating our lives to upholding the ideals that make our country so great.  I know this may sound  a bit dramatic because we aren't on the battle lines, with guns, fighting our enemies first hand.  But we have definitely committed both of ourselves to representing the best country in the world abroad.   I think as American's we often loose sight that, without a doubt, we are citizens of the greatest nation in the world.  Being oversees and having the opportunity to experience cultures from other countries often, we are reminded even more frequently that there is nowhere better, nowhere like the US of A.

So on this day, I hope you will take a moment to say a little prayer or take a moment to reflect or think a positive little thought (whatever your beliefs are) for all the people that make sacrifices everyday to provide us with the life we are accustomed to both at home and abroad.   Today I know I thank ALL the great patriots of our nation with all of my heart!  God Bless the USA!!