Friday, March 4, 2016

A Busy February & An Announcement

My Uncle Lal and me - our birthdays are 2 days apart
The last time we visited the UK was in February 2013 (and oh my word, look how small the kids were!). We swore we'd never visit England in February again. It's just the time of year when, if you're taking the trouble to go somewhere, it ought to be more...tropical.

But as Daphne is now fond of reminding us, "Never say never."

Our first stop was London to see my Aunt Melanie and Uncle Lal.

Walking "over the common" behind their house - a very British thing to do
our family visits are usually pretty low-key
We didn't know, however, that the whole London gang would be gathering at their place during our visit - to celebrate Lal's birthday, and to hang out with their nephew/my cousin Jesse before he moves to New York.

My Aunt (with Pete's chopping help) prepared an amazing authentic-Sri-Lankan-multi-curry-mega-feast.

I'd say don't be jealous, but you really should be. So tasty!
all my London family + significant others!
London cousins + me!
Hey, hey, it's our birthday
looking through family photos after dinner - my Nana and Granddad
On our way up to Chester to see the rest of the UK crew, we stopped to visit our dear friends who we met in Luxembourg but have recently moved to Peckham, and were expecting their second child any moment.
Just a few days to go!
More first-borns
And then we finally made it to the north...
typical Chester
typical Chester walls
February in Chester = fireside time at Aunt Susan's 
her pink house
We even took advantage of some sunshine and went to the semi-famous Chester Zoo.

baby elephants are the best
And the highlight of the trip: seeing my Nana Alice.
Nearly 94!
Nana has recently moved to assisted living. Sadly, she mostly doesn't remember who we are anymore except for in fleeting moments. But her big personality and sharp wit is still there, and she sure loves the kids.

yep she's that short :)
So it was a great and very worthwhile trip. If you're going to be cold and wet on holiday, you might as well be cold and wet with family. And we did have one minor excuse for squeezing in a quick winter visit...

We're MOVING TO SEATTLE this summer!

So the news has been out for a couple of months now, but this is the official Ts blog announcement. Pete has already started working remotely for the home office in Seattle, and we'll head back to the USA soon after the school year ends in mid-July.

But why, and why now? We do like living in Luxembourg, but the short answer is that we felt, for many reasons, that it's just time.

The strongest motivator is to be closer to family again (and the grandparents may be just a tad excited about the news!). Pete had already been looking for a change or new opportunity at work, and this new role fit the bill. Many of our closest friends in Luxembourg have either moved away or will soon. If we leave this summer, the kids will have one year together in elementary school back in the States before Daphne makes the intimidating jump to middle school. They've both especially enjoyed the teachers they've had in Lux the past two years and would be moving on to new teachers next year. The new teachers might be good too, but we could definitely leave now on a very positive note regarding the Luxembourgish school experience. The longer we wait, the harder it will be for the kids to reintegrate to US schools. And, the harder the school work and languages would get here and the less we'd be able to support them at home. And, we filled our original commitment to lead the music at our church for three years in January... basically, everything began to align to clarify the decision and its timing.  But, of course, it's still bittersweet!

The last week of February, Pete and I went to Seattle to have a first look around. He had to go for work anyway and I decided to tag along. We've visited a few times over the years but not with an eye toward living there. So we left the kids with some kind friends for the week and set off to check out our new city.

But not before James broke his thumb on the playground!

His left/dominant hand, of course!
More on our preview-to-the-preview trip coming soon. And no doubt I will chronicle our repatriation here at The Ts, so stay tuned!

Spoiler alert: I already have major reverse culture shock and we haven't even moved yet. And it's not even all Donald Trump-related.
Seattle, here we come!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting, Rosie, Love. Wonderful photos!