29 July, 2015

WE MADE IT

Hello from our London sitting room! My current view is a tiny toddler that has combined two Memory games and squeals "I got one, mama! I found it!" every time she finds a match.

Life fills my heart.



Everyone is feeling settled here now, and living spaces are taking their shape. Thankfully, by the time the girls and I arrived following the boys they had all the beds set up for a good night's sleep, the dining room nearly complete, and the kitchen at least in a state where the necessities could be found. Travelling down separately, with a couple days in between, was a huge stress-eliminator in this move!

We are loving it here and have discovered a few little gems in our village, though there is still so much more to see. Our second day here we walked ten minutes to the Thames and saw the Cutty Sark, the fastest tea-clipper of her time and one Peter and his father had a model of years and years ago (how cool is God?!), the Greenwich Marketthe Naval Academy, & the National Maritime Museum.



Another post needs to be devoted to the Maritime Museum (which has a beautiful room honouring Nelson and his courageous victories, and holds the uniform he was shot in), as we all found it captivating (see my Instagram for a photo of Katharina mesmerised by Nelson accepting the surrender of a Spanish ship at Cape St Vincent). It's chilling that so much history is encompassed in this relatively small English village. We can't wait to experience more of it.

As for the house, we still love it. It's a cosy (emphasis), wee (can I still use that term in England?) cottage built in the early 1800s with a lot of original fixtures, moulding, and hardwood flooring. Peter and I have worked hard at keeping the clutter to a minimum and using the 780 square feet we have well, while allowing for bigger things in areas that are important to us-- like a dining room table for 12 and a sofa bed for guests.

We have our own private garden (a luxury in London!) which has already hosted half-a-dozen barbecues, and a full laundry room with a tumble dryer, something we always did without in Scotland. And you guys-- I haven't gotten behind on laundry with that machine! What a grace it is!



After living in fully-furnished houses for four years, I'm just giddy being able to purchase things that we like, and to actually be able to have preferences. I've stocked up on house plants and bed linens and have banned plastic laundry baskets from our home.

It's the little things.

In our kitchen hangs a Pinocchio doll painted the colours of the Italian flag-- given to us by our lovely friends while we visited them in Florence to daily remind us of our time there. We have crystal candle holders that were wedding gifts and in them, handmade beeswax candles given to me by my sister-in-law.

Commanding our dining room is Peter's [unfinished] painting of, ironically, a French naval vessel during the Napoleonic wars. We have dishes that were passed down to us and remind us of the friends in Scotland that gave them to us, a tartan jug from Tain Pottery given to us by our church family in St Andrews, in the children's room we framed the art that our friend made for them while visiting us in Scotland.

We brought over afghans made by our grandmothers, an embroidery Peter's grandmother gave us on our wedding day, and have jackets hanging on the children's wall that Peter's aunt handmade for her two children then passed on to our twins.

There are small pieces here and there, but it's been our goal for this home that each of our things would tell a story. Nothing without meaning or purpose.



One of the best things for us about having moved so frequently with children is that changing houses provides a great chance for pressing reset. We can make new rules, polish up on the old ones, restructure things, and in a new environment, there always seems to be more eagerness to keep those things up. Things like "no shoes on the new white sofa" and "in this house we have older plumbing and use only two squares of toilet paper."

Peter leaves this Sunday for New York, which is scheduled to be a full and intense two-weeks of training before taking the IMC and plunging into his exciting career back here in London. We're all eager for this new season and remember how fitting a career is for our family in place of academia.



We're just content & happy and marvelling at how the Lord works all these things out in perfect succession. I'll share a bit more about my prayers for this home long before we knew it existed and the process by which it all came about a bit later. For now, I'm off to get a cup of tea.

Thanks for following our story via this blog guys, sporadic as it may be. I do hope to share more photos soon!


Angela xx

10 July, 2015

TEN THINGS TO CLICK



One. Last week we made these guiltless chocolate chip cookies with almond flour and they are the best chocolate chip cookies I've had! We subbed the homemade chocolate chips for a bar of chopped organic 80% chocolate.

Two. I was on the hunt for a doll house for our girls and look at this!

Three. These breakfast bars that are actually nutritious.

Four. I've been thinking the V&A will be one of the first museums we visit in London. They have a shoe exhibition right now!

Five. I've been contemplating a hair change. Am I ready to part with my length? This is lovely. What about this?

Six. This incredible wigwam

Seven. These leggings

Eight. A friend treated me to a day at the Old Course spaSo rejuvenating! Coming back down to earth was bit of a struggle -- ha. ;)

Nine. Greenberry Kids summer sale! How precious are their pieces?!

Ten. This guy's photos


(Photo credit)


04 July, 2015

EUROTRIP, PART II [SWITZERLAND]

Switzerland! Everything I imagined it should be-- mountains, beaches, ferryboats, sea green lakes. Truly, I'd like to go back again and again and one day never leave.

Here we stayed in the spectacular town of Lugano, just on the border of southern Switzerland and northern Italy, at a cosy motel near Lago di Lugano. We arrived late in the evening, and for dinner we shared a pizza and local wine in our air conditioned room, tucked the littles into their bunkbeds, and Peter and I went to the patio and talked until morning (can you tell this is our favourite thing to do?).

The next morning we slept in (11 am!), missed the motel breakfast, checked-out late, then spent hours in the motel's garden and rooftop pool where Peter taught the kids to cannonball. Some of the happiest giggles I've heard were uttered this morning.

Before hitting the road to Italy we stopped for [more!] pizza which we ate right beside the lake. This day of our trip especially, my soul was so nourished. It was hot and slow-paced, full of sweaty mistakes and belly laughs, then you drive the narrow winding roads of this town and every angle just takes your breath away. Truly, this place is unlike any other.