Friday, August 31, 2012

Throw me one!

Vacation time! Yesterday was my last day at work (how sad!) but I'll be back to see all the girls at work in the spring. After I left the dress shop Raymond and I finally figured out our class schedule for Newman, ate fantastic carne asada fries, and hit the road!

The drive to Topeka wasn't bad at all. The sun was shining, we were in a great car, and we made great time. It was absolutely wonderful to see my grandmother for a night and catch up. She only lives a few hours away from me but sometimes it is so hard to find nights to get away! Raymond was able to really get to know her a bit too, which was great. He fixed some technical difficulties she was having with her computer so that things are now (hopefully) running smoothly! She's excited for us and our big adventure, and feels a little better about us leaving now that we had the chance to sit and talk awhile. She also makes a fantastic chocolate pie that we had priveledged rights to!

The drive today, however, was not so great. After a drought of a summer it rained the entire way to Branson (thanks hurricane) and is likely to rain throughout the weekend. We will still make the most of it!

We did stop for something fun in Springfield because we were sick of driving in the rain! Just as Raymond asked me if I was getting hungry we hit the exit for the Lamberts flying rolls restaurant. I had never been before but he insisted it was something we should do. We stopped, and after only half an hour of waiting we snagged a table. It was absolutely delicious! By far the beat food I have eaten out at a restaurant lately and there was so much of it! Who knew I would ever ask a waiter to throw food at me?

Anyway, it was fantastic and the great lunch made the rest of the drive to Branson go quickly.

Only a few more days! Tomorrow, rain or shine, Raymond gets to experience Silver Dollar City for the first time. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One checkmark at a time.

What a full, long day! It started early when I got up to babysit my niece. She's pretty much the cutest 7 month old ever.

I had the day off of work so I filled it with things I needed to do before I left the country. Dropped the car off for some brake work, went to the bank to arrange accounts, checked with the post office that my mailing address had truly been changed, went to sams club with my mom, watched the baby some more... Ended up helping mom clean out the garage too.

What did I not get done? Packing. I'll throw a bag together for the weekend in the morning and figure out the rest on Tuesday!

We leave in less than a week now, so I can start simply stating days of the week and they actually make sense.

Tomorrow I get to see my grandmother! I'm leaving a bit of a messy bedroom and suitcase behind, but I will somehow find time o deal with those in my last 24 hours in the USA.

Less than a week? Really? We have been dreaming for so long and now the days feel surreal.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Our Visas are here! Our visas are here!!

Our Visas are here!!!! Our Passports are back!!! Everyone please stop, thank God, and celebrate!
Now that we have our passports we can officially leave the country. Our flights are on Sept. 5th and we will be in four different airports in 30 some hours.

Raymond is already done at work and I only have two more days. Wednesday will be my day at home to finish packing, help my mom, and figure out all the last minute things! We leave Thursday for a short family vacation and then we are off to England.

Rachel ran off so I hijacked this blog :p IM SO EXCITED!! This is really happening, its still not real in my mind. Plus im only taking online classes for the time being sooo...What to do but CELEBRATE!?  Rachel is coming back now Okay Bye! - Ray

Haha blog hyjacked. Yes, we are celebrating! Plus, today is my dad's birthday so we ate lots of good cake (thanks mom!). My mom makes the BEST red-velvet cake around. Raymond agrees.

no more cake for you! sorry!
Me, praising God
here they are! finally back from NY

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thank God, this is good news!

Finally, we have some really great news to report today!

Thanks to the power of money and Dr. Golden's professional titles we were able to get through to someone who allowed us to expedite our visas yesterday. This morning we both received an email that said we were GRANTED those visas and that our passports should be back in our hands no later than Tuesday. Praise the Lord! We were really worried we were going to have to change our flights.

Now we can truly pack and plan for leaving in ten days. These will be the fastest ten days to pass of the entire summer!

Although we do not actually start in the classroom until September, both of us are taking a couple online classes for Newman here in Wichita that start on Monday. To be honest, it feels a little strange and my mind is a bit resistant to starting homework when I'm not actually going to be in the classroom. Surely summer isn't over yet, is it? I should still have another three weeks before I have to do anything out of a textbook.

In other great news, we received some positive results on my dad's latest scans! As many of you are aware, he has been in chemo treatment since April. The test results from yesterday were the first that showed a decrease in the size and scope of the cancerous lymph-nodes and we couldn't be happier! According to the doctor the cancerous area they tested decreased by about a third. This is great news! The plan is to keep on the same treatment path and see how the next scans go in two months. Please keep sending prayers his way, we still have a long path ahead and the treatments are getting hard on him.

This summer has been a little difficult and more than a bit chaotic, but we're fighting on.

Late night I'm sleepy. Sorry.

It's late, but here I am posting.

We were able to get our visas expedited today for a hefty fee so they should be here within five business days. I wish we had known they could be rushed when we sent them but there was no advertising of the service! Many thanks again to Dr. Golden at Newman University.

The UK visa system is extremely difficult to work with. Thankfully I think we finally have it figured out so that we do not have to change our flights (which would be very expensive).

Raymond and I have a lot to do in the next week but I'm looking forward to getting away with my family to Branson for a few days. I think we all need a little vacation!

For any of you tracking the progress on my dad, we were able to do another round of chemo this week because his red blood cell count had come back up enough. That's good news!

The other day we had a long choir retreat, but it was really good to see some people from school. It's crazy to think we're really skipping an entire semester at home. What will happen in that amount of time?

Bed now -

Monday, August 20, 2012

On the Train to Wichitaaaa!

Note to self bring one of those small nice smelling tree things for the next train ride.

Hey all Ray here again, this time writing you from the train on my way back to Rachel and Wichita. It's been great to see some of the back woods of Missouri because they're gorgeous.

Wait, this just in...Rachel says we can have a "walk around and eat as much gellato as we can day!! In Rome and I'm so excited!

Ahem. Anywho I'm in KC now and should be on the next train soon.

I love yo faces! Talk with you soon!

I hope my hair doesn't have to end like this.

WOW. Over 100 hits on our site in a single day? Thanks for the love you guys! This definitely merits a new vlog at 3 am when Raymond gets off the train.

How can we have this many views and yet only three followers of our blog? Please, keep the love coming and press the blue button on the right that says "Join!" All you need is an email address, and it will ensure you can find our blog any time (and have the posts emailed to you if you like so you won't miss anything amusing).

If you remember, we don't have our Passports back yet! Although we over-nighted them to New York over a week ago (and we know they got there the next day), the office didn't open the packages until this morning. Everyone reading please say a quick prayer that they are processed quickly and mailed back because I don't know what we are going to do if they do not get here in time! Unfortunately we cannot board our planes without those pesky passports and visas (and we've spent a lot of money on airlines!).

I will look like this if they are not here by next week! Government, why do you give me such stress?


Sunday, August 19, 2012

At the End of the Day...I'm still Thirsty.

Hey everyone! Ray here writing you from my bed at home! This is the last night I will sleep in this bed for a very long time so this may be short since I leave tomorrow or today or in the past, when ever you may read this. I LOVE THIS BED!!

I came home to see my mother and little brother before he went off to college, he left a few hours ago its really quiet, and to go to a family picnic. There was so much food at the picnic and so many little kids running around and people playing cards and laughing and talking, it was great. It was just really nice to see my family before we run off to different countries!

I feel bad leaving my mom now that she will have an empty nest but I'm sure she will manage and probably have parties every weekend. Well maybe not so much the parties but you know what I mean, I'll miss her but I know she's proud and wants us to have a great time and send her lots of pictures.

BTW Matthew if you're reading this I drank your Mountain Dew since you aren't here to claim it :D

I've got to get packing this carry on bag to go back to Wichita tomorrow, we're so ready to go its ridiculous!
Don't forget to check out our vlogs to the right of this blog it really helps us out and shows us you care!

I love yo faces, goodnight!

32 pounds and counting... of luggage.

I'm starting to feel a little less nervous and more excited every day. Things are coming together. Plane tickets are purchased to get us to London and Rome, train tickets for Birmingham, classes almost in order, and I've put together a giant binder of information to make sure it's all in one place. My mind was getting a little full of "things I'm supposed to remember," so I made sure I printed all email receipts and schedules!

I also did some very important things like look up food in Rome and find a Dublin recommended pub crawl. :)

Yes please!

Last night I started trying to pack. To say this is going to be difficult would be like saying there are a few crickets around Wichita right now. NO! This is going to be VERY difficult and there are hundreds of thousands of crickets around Wichita right now. You can thank the drought for the plague of insects.

I decided to not bring the biggest suitcase I have and instead take a medium size one. The weight restrictions for Europe are a little tighter and I know how easy it is to over-pack the giant piece. That being said, it's really hard to pack four months in a medium size suitcase, carry-on, and personal item! My first attempt yielded 32 pounds of checked luggage (and that included four pairs of shoes), so I'm actually quite impressed with that.

The catch? My suitcase is full and I still have a lot to pack. Where, pray tell, am I going to fit my leather coat, running shoes, hair dryer, straightener, and all the clothes that need washed before packed? I keep reminding myself that I lived in Guatemala for two months with a lot less!

Raymond comes home tomorrow before our big day of Troubadour Retreat on Tuesday. His train ride will be about 11 hours long (Amtrack doesn't travel even a 1/4 of the speed of Euro trains).

Friday, August 17, 2012

Medium. The new Pinterest?

Today has been a great day exploring new ideas about travel and the future of communication! Ironically, one of the courses I will be taking in Europe is called Media Futures, so I'm excited to get there and get started.

First, I started looking at phone info today for UK countries. Raymond has been researching this for awhile, but today I thought up a good idea (I think)! Basically, we thought we had two options: pay our American phone companies a lot of money to make them international or buy or rent a phone when we get there. Alternatively, today I wondered, what if we just take one of our old phones we don't use anymore and get an English sim card when we get there to make it useable? That way it doesn't matter if we're jail breaking it or whatever--we don't use the phone anymore anyway.

I suggested the idea to Raymond and and his text response was, "omg. OMG. We could!!!"

I think that means I had a good idea. Yay!

Then I started looking at things with my bank. When I stopped into Bank of America the other day to talk about traveling, they basically told me my current debit/credit cards should work in the UK, but they will charge me a 3% fee every time I swipe it because they have to convert the currency. This is true for any time I would use the card except with a couple certified bank they have a partnership with. However, what I looked into tonight is a BofA Travel Rewards credit card. Raymond suggested it weeks ago but then I forgot about it. 

Through this particular credit card the bank will not charge the extra 3% fee for ANY currency conversion, meaning it will save me a lot of money and not make me pay cash for everything! The only problem? I applied online and they said they would get back to me within 30 days. Since I leave in 18... that might be a problem. Worth a shot though, even if my parents have to end up mailing the card to me! Again, something I wish I had looked into a couple months ago.

We're also figuring out classes. Newman here in Wichita is actually entering the classes we're taking in Birmingham into the course catalog here, so we can enroll and get full credit!

Another site I've been looking at (thanks for the recommendation Theresa!) is It's full of cheap travel deals including airfare and hotel rooms, and even has deals for entertainment and theatre tickets. I'm so impatient to explore Europe and save some money while we're at it!

Finally, the future of communication I alluded to earlier. I read a news article about a new Twitter blogging platform that made me really curious, so I looked up this new company called Medium. Basically, the idea is that it is a middle of the road blogging site, a place to give a little more info than Twitter, but not have a full blogging page to keep up and maintain. The site was created by the same designers as Twitter and Blogger, so of course I was intrigued. Although it isn't ready yet to be fully used, the beta looks really cool! 

Another way to describe it is blogging Pinterest. There are different collections of short, concise, topic-specific blogs ready to be explored. For the DIY enthusiast, there's a collection for that. Travel lover? You can check out sites and locations other people have been and hear about how they got there (tips and tricks for certain places). When you like something, it improves the rating of the blog and automatically pushes it to the top of the collection, so you don't have to look through all the bad to get to the good (or the same pinterest post 50 times!). It allows people to share ideas in complete sentences about a lot of different things. Their personal blog doesn't have to have a specific idea or point of motion! Hopefully this kind of social media can help people move toward writing actual sentences again instead of only sharing other people's work and trying to only squeeze ideas into 140 characters. 

Basically, I'm excited to see the work in progress. In my opinion, once they really get it up and running, it's going to shoot Pinterest out of the water. By the way, anyone think the Pinterest app needs some serious help?

That's enough of that for now.
Rachel :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Studying Abroad: Tips and Tricks

Things are moving along and Raymond is on his way home to visit his family. After he gets back time will fly by as we enjoy the annual fall Troubadour retreat, last days of work, and a short family vacation.

As we go along in planning, it becomes more and more clear that we are the pioneers. We knew this from the start, but it sure would have been helpful to have some hints and tips before we made a few of our decisions!

For anyone considering following our footsteps and moving to Birmingham for a semester (or anyone going to travel in the UK):

  • start the process EARLY! Although it has generally worked out, making the decision to travel abroad six weeks before the plane leaves was a little crazy of us.
  • First, get your passport (even if you only think you might go). Raymond had to pay a ridiculous fee to expedite his so that we could apply for a visa in time. Money makes things happen, so we received it within a week of his application, but if you apply with plenty of time you can save about $80 in rush fees.
  • The visa will be a pain, but start that as soon as you get your passport. There's no way to start it any sooner because you need your passport information, but you can apply up to six months before your actual trip date. The sooner the better, because once you finish the application and have your biometrics taken, you have to mail your passport to New York and wait for it to be verified and sent back. Once again, save money and don't wait until you have to overnight the package (and then pray for it to get back in time). Yeah, we're still waiting.
  • For us, flying into London was much less expensive because we want to go to Rome before school starts. In hindsight, it probably would have been worth the expense to either fly into Birmingham first or get flights back there from Rome. It's not that big of a deal, but if we had flown into Birmingham the school would have picked us up from the airport (we found that out after we booked tickets to London). Although it's only a two hour train ride from London to Birmingham, the train and taxis add up. It might have been worth the extra money to skip all the public transportation and get picked up by the school.
  • If you want to go to Rome, talk nicely to the sisters! We're going to stay with them and they are even picking us up from the airport in Italy.
  • Apply for housing in Birmingham early if you want something specific. By the time we applied, we were just hoping for anything! Thankfully they still had a couple standard dorm rooms or otherwise we would have had to try and find our own housing.
  • When booking airlines, don't just look at Expedia or Travelocity or Orbitz. We booked with KLM directly (a Dutch airline) because the tickets were less expensive AND they included our luggage. We also looked at British Airlines and AirFrance.

    Good luck and be ready to take some risks!


    Apart for awhile but then....the world!

    I hope the evil doers of St. Louis are prepared.

    I'm headed home for a few days to see my mom and other family members before we leave the country! This will be the only summer since I've been in college that I will have visited my mother twice! I'm a terrible son I know lol

    My mom and I were talking the other night about my oldest brother Marcus and I are her only children to ever leave the country. Marcus fought for our country and i'm going as a student and hopefully our youngest brother Matthew will travel, racing all over the world.

    I'm so excited! I miss you Rachel!

    I love yo faces! Drop us a comment sometime and let us know you're alive! And don't forget to check out our vlogs that are located to the right now! :d
    See ya!

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    Hm. I thought I was in Kansas.

    This morning I woke up, walked outside, and actually wondered if I had somehow transported myself to Europe. The 68 degree weather and rain took me surprise, but it is exactly what we expect to find in England! Only in Kansas would it be 110 one day and 68 the next.

    Speaking of weather, today I thought of a new challenge for traveling abroad: measurements. I tried to look up weather forecasts and averages and everything in Europe is listed in Celsius. Once again, I have more respect for my dear golf team girls (Megan, Linzi, Alyssa, Andrea). I clearly remember one trip in the van when the girls convinced my coach to change the thermostat reading from Fahrenheit to Celsius. I was confused. We never look at weather like that! Now I realize it probably just helped them feel more comfortable, so they didn't have to constantly do the mental math to make it their version of normal. Money, weather, time, dates... how can our country have originated from Europe and yet become so different? I think I need some conversion apps on the homescreen of my phone (which will soon only work on wireless internet).

    I believe this is our 20th blog post (I beat Raymond to it). We have 21 days until we fly so you can expect some really exciting posts soon!

    Many thanks to Theresa Weniger who took the time to outline some things we should do while we are in Europe! Anyone else have some helpful hints/tips or suggestions? We would love to hear them about England, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, France... pretty much anywhere. Especially about where we should go or help on public transportation! Feel free to leave comments here or on Facebook.

    Also, check out our vlogs on the right side of the page!

    All my love,

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Bring on the fall weather please!

    The summer Olympics are officially over, and as Raymond said tonight that generally means the end of summer. Although we don't leave for three more weeks, we both are taking at least one online class through Newman University in Wichita. Those classes start all too soon.

    We're so excited because our travel plans for Rome are coming together. The ASC sisters in Rome have graciously agreed to house us for our five day visit, and even pick us up from the airport. I know it will be a fabulous trip! I can't wait to see all the famous historical places and eat as much gellato and pasta and pizza as possible.

    The more confusing part is figuring out our train I birmingham when we fly bak to London. I think I need to ask the advice of a local. There are so many different train sites, and even though I think I know where we should book tickets I don't have a clue as to what station! This trip will have a big learning curve for public transportation.

    I saw Legally Blonde the musical yesterday, and can I just say, absolutely fantastic! Complete chick musical but I thought it was perfectly entertaining. The lead played my dream role perfectly.

    "See dreams really do come true you never have to compromise. Oh my god you guys!"

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    Nothings gonna stop us now!

    There were so many times I wanted to just say, "I'm done, you go and have a great time in England I don't think I can go." Because if you didn't know I'm dirt poor and to find the money for this trip would only become a reality by the grace of God and some incredible determination on my part . Well let me tell you this, the grace of God is blasting loud and clear through my life's boombox!

    I had a problem with asking others for help because people can be incredibly off-putting when it comes to asking for their assistance I learned that very early as kid growing up. Because of that I was going to do everything myself, there was no reason for me to ask anyone for help I would help anyone that needed it because I know how it feels when people won't help you and make you feel pathetic for asking. But that wasn't the right approach to anything at all.

    Knowing that there are people that are willing to help because they want to see me succeed changes everything. That gives me strength and the will to push through any and all obstacles that stand in my way so  one day I can be in their position to help someone like me. We're going to England September 5th and I'm more excited than I previously thought I could be. With the Visa process underway we already have plane tickets and are ready to go and its thanks to all of you. I'm so thankful for each and everyone of you and I can only dream about what we will gain from this trip! Now I'm just gathering funds to live abroad and that shouldn't be too much. I mean I like to eat lol

    So like the title says nothing is going to stop us and this trip will be a great success!
    I love yo faces! Until next time!

    This is real!

    Today, our trip became a little more of a reality. We finally got our visa applications mailed, fingerprints and passports and all, and just now we booked flights to Rome. We're going to Rome! The Adorers of the Blood of Christ there have graciously offered us a roof for our five night stay.

    We both moved out and Raymond is headed home for a visit soon. Just three short weeks and we will be on a plane headed to London.

    A big shout out and thank you to Dr. Cheryl Golden at Newman University. This trip would not have been possible without her help in planning and constant encouragement!

    We're definitely going to find all these places.

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

    Goodbye room, goodbye house. I'll miss you.

    A year ago today, we were so excited to get in this room and paint. It was my own space, my own little rented house shared with two friends. I spent hours agonizing over what color to go with (it was my first time choosing something for myself after years at my parents and then in dorm rooms!). I wanted yellow, because to me yellow means sunshine, happiness, and joy. Yellow makes me happy.

    Somehow when we were in Walmart, the color looked a little different than on the walls. After one coat... it was bright! I thought about repainting but life's short and I never took the time. I kept the blinds up to let the real sunshine in and the color grew on me. Now? I'm going to miss it dearly.

    I made the room my own with bright colors and giant prints of NYC. It was so wonderful to have a room all my own for a year. It will probably be a long time before I have another room I can paint. I'm no where near home ownership!

    I also lost my bed to a basement today. When I moved in a year ago I thought I was done with dorm room twin beds for good (apparently not).

    Goodbye dear yellow room. I'll miss you.

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    They may have stolen my identity. Maybe.

    Today I went and had my biometrics take for the Visa app. That means mine is almost done!

    The system is a little difficult to understand and very hard to navigate. The UK requires all applicants to work through the Visa4uk application form, and every applicant has to to submit and pay for the visa electronically before they can set up a time for a biometrics appointment. Then to actually get the visa you have to take your printed out confimation for your appointment time to an office downtown and have your fingerprints taken.

    When booking an appointment, the automated system won't let you book a time more than 3 days away. However, when I went in today all I had to do was wait in line! Basically, the lady in the office told me that applicants just have to have the print out with them showing they completed the application, but you can come in any time after you have a print out. Good to know for Raymond's application!

    I waited half an hour for the five minutes it took to take my biometrics (in other words, fingerprints). The system is actually kind of cool because taking fingerprints is all digital now, no inky fingers! As she rolled my fingers across the pad I could see my unique prints show up on the screen. I hadn't looked at them that close since a 4th grade science project!

    The lady who does this for all sorts of visas said, "Yeah, I heard the UK system isn't very user friendly." Good to know other people agree.

    Tonight is my last night with my roomies. Tomorrow I move my bed and go home! I'll miss my bed. It's so soft... and comfy... maybe I'll go take a nap.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    From difficulty stems growth...I hope.

    So. Life is a roller coaster, literally. Its a ride that you'll scream, cry, throw up, and yell with joy all in the same day sometimes. But there are times when it absolutely scares the living daylights out of you.

    I've had a few of those upside down dark tunnel days recently and to be frank they suck! If any of you happen to have $3000 dollars laying around and would like to give it a new home please let me know!

    I wrote the first two portions of this post two days ago. Its funny how things change in such a short amount of time and its better to just laugh at it. I've been thinking more and more that this trip will change everything for the better of course but everything will be different. I'm more than ready for this change because I feel most things have become a little stale.

    Its so close I can smell the fish and chips already. Also! Don't forget to check out our Vlogs at the bottom of the page we upload them every 2 days and that can change to everyday depending on the views we get.

    Alright I love yo faces!

    Monday, August 6, 2012

    Hi Russia and Germany readers!

    It's official, my last day at the dress shop will be August 30, then I'll head I Branson for a few days with my family. I'll come back on the 3rd and leave on the 5th!

    Raymond is completely moved out. We're picking up a pizza and headed to my place so I can do the same. Moving home to my parents for a few weeks makes this a reality, but I will miss my house and roomies!

    Raymond keeps saying that the "real" Olympics have started now with track and field. It's been exciting, but I happen to like watching swimming! What's your favorite sport to watch? Leave us a message, we're curious who reading! Why do we have 25 hits from Russia??? And some from Germany and the UK (golf team is that you?)??

    Our readership stats are really interesting to look at. We have three times as many Windows people look at our blog over Mac users but more iPhone owners than Android.

    We're looking at air tickets from London to Rome, and they're so much cheaper than flying around the states! The USA needs to learn from the UK -- they can manage to keep air fare rates at bay!

    Has anyone stayed in a hostel and recommend whether or not we should or just pay for normal hotel rooms? Recommendations would be really helpful!

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

    Never too hot for the grill

    After a long day of selling dresses, moving Raymond out of his room, and working on my visa app, a sizzling hamburger straight off the grill was exactly what I needed. It doesn't matter how hot it gets, it's always the perfect time to grill. And today it only got up to 95! It felt like a cool wave.

    I finally got my visa submitted electronically, but I can't send the paper version in until I have my biometrics taken at an official office. I swear this is the most complicated process for no reason.

    We will both be moved out in the next four or five days. Then Raymond is headed home to visit his family.

    I'm hoping to get to take a few days to Branson with my family. It might be hot, but it would be worth it!

    Saturday, August 4, 2012

    pitter-patter RAIN

    Oops I'm posting a little late again! Raymond and I were babysitting so we have a great excuse. My little niece Peyton and big sis Aubrey were adorable tonight, but very active and took a lot of energy! When the 6 month old doesn't want to sleep there's a lot of walking and bouncing involved, as well as a ton of rasberries for Raymond.

    We went to Le Monde for dinner, a fantastic Mediterranean place on West Street. I wonder, what kind of gyros will we find in Europe??

    RAIN! We finally had a thunder storm tonight complete with lighting and a blissful pitter-pat on the roof. The smell, the sound, the feel... we've missed it. Did you know in Birmingham it usually rains 15 days out of every month in the fall? Yep, we'll get more rain than I've seen since Guatemala pretty soon. While I was in Central America I had to stop in the streets sometimes to dump out my rain boots.

    Wish we had enough rain to say that.

    Friday, August 3, 2012

    Here's a map

    Pizza Tacos! We went for some tonight and they were delicous. Now I'm getting some brownies in the oven for my work buddies tomorrow (and Raymond!) because we will be too busy for lunch breaks. Brownies are the perfect snack, right? Working in a bridal shop is fun, but this is our busiest weekend of the year. Wedding wedding wedding!

    There's been a little confusion about where we are going to be in England. Although we're flying into London, we will actually be in Birmingham which is closer to central England and Ireland. The school is Newman University College of Birmingham and is also a Catholic university. It will be so interesting to see the differences in private education here versus in the UK!

    Take a look. London is about an hour and a half train ride (on the express way) to Birmingham and just a short plane ride from Ireland. Birmingham is where we will be living!

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

    Something about a light came from a cookie

    Sooo close yet sooo far away is how I feel about this trip, I have a comic to read now that I'm thinking about it! Anywho! We went to lunch this morning and it was a great little place that has a $5.15 lunch special. SO MUCH FOOD. It was delicious and I had leftovers for second lunch and that too was glorious!

    That is another check on the list, now to the final final boss, the visa. This process is driving me crazy with how many steps there are! Just let me leave the country for crying out loud. But really I thought I'd share why I really want to go and study in England....

    To be continued computer is dying K  thanks BYE! :D

    At 20 the will reigns... no kidding!

    Raymond and I went to Dragon City today for lunch. If you've never heard of it, you should definitely check it out on Central. They have a fantastic lunch special where basically everything on their menu is $5 and comes with the best crab ragoon in town.

    Anyway, our fortunes were especially telling today. I'll let him share his own, but here was mine.

    It says, "At 20 years of age the will reigns, at 30 the wit, at 40 the judgement." No kidding! It wasn't exactly due to our practical judgement that we decided to pack up or sell all our stuff and move across the ocean for a semester.

    Going abroad was just something we both wanted to do, for a very long time. We wanted to go on a big adventure before we graduated and moved on to serious jobs, and this chance to study abroad fit the bill. We're flat broke, not sure exactly where we're headed (and planning the trip in less than two months!), but we're just riding the tide and figuring it out as we go along. Wit and judgment will come later, maybe helped along by this cultural experience.

    We're so blessed to have this opportunity and plan to make the most of it. Many thanks to all the people who have helped us along so far, including our families, people at Newman University, and the Heart of America Men's Chorus.

    Go chase your dreams!

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    it's BEDA, not BETA

    Plane tickets are bought, but we won't rest easy until we have our visas and are on a plane headed East. It has turned out to be quite the stressful process to go abroad for a semester! I have even more respect for all my close friends (shout-out to the NU Women's Golf team) who travel internationally several times a year to attend school in Wichita.

    According to Raymond I'm supposed to blog every day for the month of August (BEDA). Here's to the first! This will actually go up on the 2nd but... I'll pretend like I got it done on time.

    Usually I would be headed back to school in two weeks, but due to our trip we get an extra-long summer break. That's good since I'm not sure how many "summer activities" we've actually done so far. It's been an accomplishment that I got to the pool a few times. And Raymond grilled chicken tonight, delicious!

    Just now I finally plugged my iPhone into the computer to take some photos off and back it up. Siri had been mad at me for weeks because it hadn't been backed up in... too long. Anyway, the phone was also completely out of storage. I went to sync some photos and it told me I had over 1000 just on my phone ( haha and Raymond was surprised!).

    I like to take photos, lots of them. It's a quality I got from my dear mother. :) Just wait until we get across the pond and I'll share several with you every post!

    Here's to BEDA!