Life for us Nomads right now is just small things happening every day – some good, some not-so-good, and some very, very sad.
- Brett and I are deeply grieving over the terrorist attack that took place on Monday in Strasbourg. The city is currently celebrating its annual Christmas market, so there were lots of locals and visitors out and around, and we can’t see the attack as anything but planned and intentional. They know who the terrorist is, and hopefully he will be caught soon. When we saw the path he took we knew exactly where it had happened, just a tram stop away from where we stayed and in an area where Brett and I had often walked. I hope you will hold Strasbourg in your thoughts and prayers.
- Both Brett and I got our teeth repaired on Monday – yeah! Brett’s was a permanent fix but I will have to go back for more work when we return to Portland next May. The angle of the break made it look a bit scary at first because it appeared that part of fracture had occurred below the gum line. If so, it would mean a couple of extra procedures in order to attach a permanent crown. But, on closer examination the problem didn’t exist so I will only need a crown. I am also going to have the bridge on my lower teeth replaced this summer too – it’s almost 30 years old, and frankly a miracle that it’s still in place. Thank goodness for good dental insurance!
- We also both got our hair cut yesterday, and boy does it feel great! I am so glad I no longer have to walk around with whatever that thing was on my head. The host at one of the places we’re staying in New Zealand happens to be a stylist and you can arrange to have her do your hair during your stay in her home. It will be the perfect time for both Brett and I to get trimmed up again so I’m going to set that up and then we’ll only have to worry about finding a stylist later in Tokyo. There is no way I am going to let my hair get so long again. (First world problem, I know.)
- It took me a while to decide to do it, but back while we were in Florence Brett and I decided it was time for me to upgrade my phone, so that’s something else we did on Monday. T-Mobile currently has an offer that let me trade in my old phone (almost four years old) making the new phone quite affordable. My old phone worked, but it was very slow when we were traveling compared to Brett’s newer model, and at times downright useless. As a sort of promise to myself, I bought a phone case when we were there for the new phone, one made with beautiful marbled Florentine paper. My Christmas present has been taken care of!
- All of the gifts we bought for the girls are wrapped and ready to put out on Christmas morning. I’d love to show and tell what we got for them, but they may be reading the blog now in hopes that I would do just such a thing before Christmas. Brett and I came up with a plan before we set off and stuck to it, and were able to find everything we wanted all while staying within our budget. With one major exception the girls are pretty much getting the same things, but we’ve personalized each item to each girl’s taste. I still have to purchase a gift for my Secret Santa recipient but will take care of that once the girls are here.
- It feels like ever since we arrived in Portland that we are hemorrhaging money – we seem to stop in at a grocery store almost daily, or at a Target to stock up on travel needs. I also got the new phone, we got our hair cut, etc. Intellectually I know we’re getting stuff done that needs to be done, and we’re getting ready for the girls who will be eating us out of house and home if past experience holds true. Travel stuff also has to be replaced. I think it’s because after just buying food for the two of us the past few months I’m having a somewhat difficult time now buying the amount of food required to feed five people. We’ve paid cash for everything and are still well with-in our budget, and under our daily spending average, but it still seems like it’s too much at times.
Can I just say again that we’re greatly enjoying our Portland “downtime” even if the weather is lousy? We’re getting plenty of rest, slowly getting over our jet lag, and we love being able to eat lots of Trader Joe’s and other goodies that we’ve missed these past few years. Our colds wax and wane depending on the weather, but on the whole they are diminishing every day. All that’s missing for us now are the girls, and they’ll be here next week!