Real Talk / Uncategorized

2013: 19,538 miles traveled

Holland, Texas, Oregon, Texas, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, and soon I will be in Texas again… I think its fair to say that I hope I stay in maybe 2 less countries next year. I really would like to make a trip to Oregon soon but I also know how nice it would be NOT to have an impending trip to pack for.

So I started this year by watching the fireworks in Haarlem with my Oma and Opa

IMG_2607My Oma and Opa celebrated their 60th anniversary together this year in the same house they have lived in for over 30 years. I bought a Rijsttafel for them to celebrate and we played lots of Rumikub.

I left a few days shy of my cousin’s wedding and headed back home to my home state of Texas. Jet lagged and sick and love struck I slept, ate, and helped my brother set up a polar bear swim. That week is mostly a big tissue jet leg daze, but I did get to spend some quality time with my brother Matthew.

Matthew and I were arch enemies growing up, now we’re pretty good, most of the time. He may have yelled at me for coughing on his remote, but we also had some good chats. Life is balance.

Then I flew off to Oregon for a few months.
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I was in Oregon for a few short months, and I savored every bit of it. I went on my favorite hikes, worked very hard to leave my job in good hands, played fetch with Moose, biked all over. Dec came to visit Oregon for a quick week on Valentines Day Week, funny that this Valentine’s we will be celebrating our wedding on practically the other side of the world (I used to say when we were in Oregon/Ireland that if we lived any farther away from each other we would go around the globe the other way). Then one day in April, I packed up my car and drove all the way to Texas. It was much more than that really but this is about the whole year and leaving Oregon was only the beginning.

Actually the drive was quite adventurous, I drove through sun, sleet, heavy snow all with Moose hooked into the seatbelt in the back. I had to sneak him into every hotel. He might still be recovering from the journey, but he does like rolling around the Texas dust.

I spent my time in Texas hanging out with my Momma, making pastries and cakes, and seeing my sister graduate high school. Doesn’t she look like she just graduated:

Having all of us there to see the last 1/4 Patty out of high school was so much fun.


Happy Tree Lit Home in Lubbock, Texas.

In June I headed off for Ireland and landed right after the First Lady and childers arrived. At that time Dec was renting a room in Dalkey, and the First Family happened to share a meal with Bono in Dalkey the day before I arrived. There were American flags everywhere welcoming me to Ireland. The next time I entered Ireland it was…less welcoming to say the least.


I only had a week to find myself before my sister came to visit. Then Mamma soon after, then Pappa the next day. Everyone came on a different day and left on a different day. Do the math that is 6 separate trips to the airport. To and from the airport 6 times. Our heads were busted, grateful, but busted.  One day all 5 of us had breakfast in Dalkey, dinner in Kilkenny, and Doolin by nightfall. This was stressful. Introducing your family to the love of you life, the love of your life’s family, and a new country should not be done on a tight schedule, BUT we did it and we survived it all. 

Dec and I spent the rest of the summer trying to relax and stay the opposite of busy. Mostly we stayed in Doolin in our caravan. One of my friends in Oregon asked if I had become a traveller. No we didn’t become travelers but we did live in our caravan. Doolin is one of our favorite places, more so in the winter because the nature and wild of the Earth is so present. This summer it had a wild of another kind. The people, everyday people jammed the pier, jumped off the pier, dumped their vacationing trash on the pier. It was overwhelming some days. Those days we stuck to the caravan park, or drove up to the tea rooms at Ballyvaughn. We did a good job of relaxing but fall came too quick and we headed back for Dublin to find a place to live.

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We found this small apartment in Naas. As I have mentioned before the walls are hideous and the fridge is tiny but it is a very special place to me. It is the place where Dec and I begin our life in Ireland. It is the place where we invested in our nice blue couch. It is the place where I make our dinners, where we commune together. So even if I absolutely hate some of the furniture, even if there is always new mildew in the bathroom, and even if there is no storage space whatsoever, there is enough room for Dec and I to grow together in. There is even room for a cat now, but that comes later.

Fall sets in and Dec goes back to school and I start to stay busy. I planned my trip to see my cousins, my new cousins once removed, aunts, uncles, and Oma and Opa. I had a great time with all my family over in Benelux. I made meals for everyone I stayed with. Aunt Karla, Uncle Ruud and Semiye got Irish Stew, Oma and Opa got Rijsttafel, and Shareya, Jonasdi, and Baby Inda got Chicken Curry. It was time well spent, but I missed Dec and just wanted to come home.

A month or so went by and finally we had fall break. My only request was that during Dec’s week off we made it to Wicklow to do for a hike. Dec told me we would go after his doctor’s appointment, but really he was driving to pick up a Tiramisu in Durrow. He also told me he couldn’t get my wedding ring because there was a problem at the shop. I believed every bit of this until he proposed that day in the Wicklow Woods and then whipped a huge Tiramisu cake out of his backpack, with a kilo of dark chocolate. I mean the woods, the tiramisu, the ring, the chocolate. It was just simply lovely. Then we had photographers, now he didn’t plan that, that was just pure fate gifting us.

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That was the beginning of November, so Thanksgiving was next. My favorite day of the year is Thanksgiving and this year it held its title as I spent it with a new family.

Now we are at December 22nd and I couldn’t be more blessed. I can hardly believe in 2/3 days I will be in Desdemona again sitting on my Grandmas couch eating pecan pie. Then in 8 days I am getting married, in the most simple of ways. Outrageous Love, Simple Wedding. He is my Anam Cara, my soul friend, and my best friend. I have had a year of blessings after blessings after blessings.

So that is it, 2013, thanks for 12 months of travel, love, and abundant gifts.