Monday, October 30, 2006

One Year in the UK!

Okay, so this blog is a little late. We actually celebrated our one-year anniversary of living here on October 28th. One year in the UK…we can’t believe it! So, I thought to celebrate I would list 28 things that we would not have experienced if we had not moved here. Here goes:

Meeting a wonderful new group of friends whom we cherish
Hearing the waves crash against the shore of Wales
Finding Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station in London (thanks to Harry Potter)
Celebrating Christmas on a crisp day in Paris, France
Listening to everyone’s “America” stories…Brits all seem to have at least one
Eating a true Belgian Waffle in Brussels
Coping with our extremely unstylish flat…complete with mismatched furniture
Lighting fireworks on Guy Fawkes Day…the 5th of November
Experiencing the Marionette Theatre in Prague, Czech Republic
Getting “Footloose” with our friend Suzy in Bristol
Biking up to the highest point of Corfu, Greece
Learning how to order a meal at a Pub
Exploring ruins in Saronda, Albania
Learning the intricacies of the British driving system
Taking in the sunset from the Algarve in Portugal
Involving ourselves in the ministry of Hereford Baptist Church
Chalking up 900 miles on the odometer as we experienced Ireleand/Northern Ireland
Running a marathon in Blackpool
Chummin’ around with Patrick in Gaudi’s home: Barcelona, Spain
Remembering to call them “trousers” and not “pants”
Seeing and hearing Big Ben for the first time
Using a myriad of new terminology, like: mingin, bangers n’ mash, bits, and burgle
Taking pictures with friends outside of London’s “Filthy McNasty’s”
Changing from Fahrenheit to Celsius
Teaching our Hereford friends the difference between a taco and a burrito
Learning how to make British style flapjacks…not the pancake kind
Watching Sarah perform in the musical “Singin’ in the Rain”
Establishing ourselves in Hereford, England and all its quaint beauty

Of course all these things, as great as they are, will never replace the memories and experiences that we share with all of our friends Stateside. And family, we miss you more today than ever. We hope to see all of you, family and friends, very soon so that we can make some more memories. Thanks for reading all the communications we send out and, as always, we would love to hear from you.

Sincerest Love,

Jason and Sarah

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rugby, Running, and Random

Hello gang,

It’s been a while, so let’s talk. Since the last email, Sarah and I haven’t visited any new and exciting countries…we’ve just had a nice relaxing time here in the UK…but that doesn’t mean our lives have been dull and mundane…I’ll fill you in.

We went to a concert in Cardiff, Wales…the band is called Embrace. They are pretty big here in the UK and getting bigger in the States. The night was fun…Sarah and I haven’t been to a concert since seeing Gavin DeGraw in Toledo…we’ll be in Cardiff to see Muse on Nov. 4th…that’s another concert I’m looking forward to!

My birthday, as you may remember, was on Sept. 3rd. Sarah bought us tickets to a Rugby match in the nearby town of Bristol…the game was Bristol vs. Bath. These are two cities that are close to each other so the match was something of a local rivalry. We went with our friends Claire and Jez and had a wicked time! I’ve been to a few football (soccer) matches, but Rugby was different. The rules are similar to American Football, so it was easy to understand it…and even when we didn’t understand it, we still were able to enjoy getting into the game with the crowd around us. The final score of the game…I think, was Bristol’s 27 to Bath’s 22, which was good because we were supporting Bristol. So that was a lot of fun.

The next exciting thing I did was run the Cardiff Half Marathon on October 15th. There was much more support for this event than when I ran the full Marathon in Blackpool this past June. I did feel like a sell-out because I opted for the Half Marathon instead of the Full, but it was a good challenge and it was fun. Sarah is such a trooper…she always goes to these Marathons and walks around with the camera and takes my picture…so we’ve got some pics now.

As for traveling, we’ve got a trip booked for Budapest, Hungary in November. Then in February, we’ve booked a trip with our friends Claire and Jez to go skiing in Bulgaria! We are SUPER excited about both of these things.

On the other hand, some rather tragic news nearly stopped us in our tracks this month. A very dear friend of ours was killed in a car accident. His name was Preston Pahl. He was a great friend of ours in Bowling Green and he was the fiancĂ©e of another dear friend, Suzy Dally. You may remember that Suzy is one of the few people who have come to visit us here in England. We lived with the Dally family for a couple of months before we moved to England, so we are close to the whole family. To say the least, everyone in Bowling Green is aching over this loss. We are too. He was killed on his way back to University when a Semi ran into him from behind forcing him to go head first into oncoming traffic. He died on the scene. My heart aches for Suzy. They were engaged for one day shy of a month, by my calculations. I can’t imagine the situation that Suzy is in, but I do know one thing…it made me consider how blessed I am to still be living the life that I love. And, I encourage you to look at your life as well and think if you died tomorrow, would you be proud of the life you’ve lived? It’s a hard question and it’s okay to wrestle with it.

For our friends Suzy and the Dally family, and the Pahl family, we ask for your prayers and support. They need it. Needless to say, worlds have been drastically changed.

For those of you who don’t know, we’ll be coming home this Christmas. We’ll be home for 2 weeks, which will be great. Anyone interested in meeting up with us, please get in touch. We’re happy to meet up with as many friends as we can.

We hope to hear from you all soon, and love getting updates and pictures from all of you.

Love from England,
Jason and Sarah

Pictured: 1. An English Country Lane. 2. The Rugby Match. 3. Finishing the Half Marathon in Millenium Stadium. 4. After the Marathon, outside Cardiff Castle.