Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Seasons Greetings!

Dear Friends,

As we sit down to look at what we have been up to and condense it into a letter that we can send out to all of our family and friends, we are amazed at how wonderfully blessed we have been. We’ll do our best to give you some of the highlights…

We welcomed the New Year with our friend Heather Johnson in London. Heather came over from the States to be with us for fireworks on Westminster Bridge. But, not more than a month later we would welcome someone else…

That right! We were so pleased that Pippi Lois Suel made her stage debut on January 21st, 2008. All of a sudden, the bundle of joy that we had been anticipating was here. A week early, too! We think we were so excited to meet each other, we just couldn’t wait for that due date!

Not long after that (early March) Pippi’s Uncle Brett and Aunt Paula came to visit! Well, actually, Brett proposed at the top of an old English castle while they were here, officially making her “Aunt” Paula (we are thrilled!) and they have since been married. It was wonderful to get to spend some time with them and show them around England. Then, also in March, our great friend Liz Dally came to stay with us! We had Pippi dedicated to Christ on Easter Sunday with Liz, Claire, and Jez being godparents.

In April, Jason completed what had been an obsession of his for awhile: he ran the London Marathon! His goal was to run it in under 4 hrs and he came in at 3:58…just in time! What a great (but rainy, cold, and typically English) day! In May, the entire Suelfam (Jason, Sarah, and Pippi) continued our exploration of Europe with a trip to Vienna, Austria. We had a lot of fun and learned how to travel as a family. In June, we took a trip to Disneyland Paris…AND, we got Pippi’s picture taken with Mickey Mouse. We loved every minute.

In July, our friend Shannon Yates came to visit. Of course, we had a grand time showing her our little corner of England, but we didn’t know that we would be seeing her in the States later that same month. In late July, we had to travel home because Jason’s cousin, Rachel McManus, passed away due to complications with her Juvenile Diabetes. She was 19. The family was (and is) devastated by this tragedy, but the silver lining was that the family got to meet our precious daughter. And we got some much needed time with our families during this difficult time.

Since then we have just been hanging in and around Hereford mostly. We are both still enjoying our jobs: Jason as a Theatre Education Manager with 2XL Youth Projects and Sarah as an OT with the Dept. of Mental Health for Older People. We still spend LOADS of time with our dear friends Claire and Jez, whom we are happy to announce will be adopting in the new year…we can’t wait!! Jason did complete the Cardiff Half Marathon in October in 1:43, his best time yet. Pippi continues to astound us with her growth, and we love every second of her…she is more of a blessing to us than we could ever have imagined possible.

Pippi’s birth this year reminds us of how special Christmas is, and the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He was born into this world to save us and bring eternal joy and life, and we are thankful! By reading this letter, we pray that you are touched this Christmas by the love of your friendship in us, but mostly that you remember the true meaning of the Christmas spirit and take note of it in your own lives. Thank you for your friendship, support, and love this past year, and as we make plans to move back to the US in the months to come, we look forward to spending more time with each of you then.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Jason, Sarah, and Pippi Suel

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pippi Crawls and Peek-a-boos!

Here is a video of Pippi crawling. She has been crawling for about 3 weeks now, but the video is still amazing! It's so great to see her learn and develop. Watch her go!

And I thought you might enjoy some Peek-a-boo pictures. She just learned how and instead of covering her eyes, she prefers to cover her ears. Cute!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Hello Friends and Family!

It’s been soooo long since we’ve written and put pictures on this blog, and for that we are sorry! Of course we are busy, but what’s new? Winter has already set in here, with scraping the “windscreen” every morning and freezing all the way to work. We’re all three well into our coats, scarves, hats and mittens!

While we are busy with day-to-day life, nothing major has happened for awhile in the Suel’s lives…no trips recently for once! We’re saving up now (with the credit crunch, it’s hard!) for the big trip home…but more about that later.

Firstly, I’ll start with an update on Jason. Work at 2XL is going really well for him. The company is expanding, and he’s gotten a promotion this month! His new title is Theatre and Education Manager. Fancy, eh? He works hard, though, and has earned it. He is still going into local schools doing drama with the kids, and educating them at the same time (on issues like sex ed, alcohol and drug abuse, and bullying). It’s a perfect fit for him. We see kids all over town when we’re out, yelling, “Jason!”. They are always so excited to see him and point him out to their moms and dads. It’s cool. Also, he just completed the Cardiff Half Marathon last weekend, with his best time yet: 1:43. He was so pleased. (He was aiming for 1:50!) Jason is still leading worship on Sunday mornings, and also doing various puppet and drama skits (we’ve just had some teenagers around with their furry monster puppets practicing, with Pippi loving it!). Jason and I are both doing a Bible study right now, looking at the book of Romans. We take turns each week: Girls one week, and boys the next. It works for all of us couples who have kids. But since we are all doing the same study, us couples can talk about it in between.

As for me, my work is super busy. I only work 4 days a week now since Pippi’s come along, but I actually just do 5 days of work in 4 now. It’s a little crazy. One of the groups I created 2 years ago, a Carer’s Education Group for carers of people with dementia, has started up again last week. It’s our 5th time to run the group, and this is our biggest yet with 19 carers attending. It’s a big success, and I do love having a group to facilitate each week. As for the rest of my work week, I am constantly dealing with crises in my patient’s lives; for example, 2 weeks ago, on the Monday one of my patients with dementia flooded her house, and on the Friday, another lady with dementia caught her stove on fire…it really never ends! I do love my job, though, even with the craziness and busyness of it. Most of my patients are really just very sweet old people who need to “have a chat” with me over a cup of tea about their mental health and well-being. I did just have a big night last week, when I gave a talk about “Coping with Stress” to 71 people at an Alzheimer’s Society Event. It was really nice. The other thing I’m working on is making Pippi’s babyfood myself. It’s so much cheaper and better for her due to her food allergies. Since we’re also using cloth diapers, we feel so domestic and “green”!

As for little Pippi, she turned 9 months old last week! She is aaaaalmost crawling, but not quite! She has finally gotten the hang of solids, and is eating more regularly now (we have been struggling with this for months!). She still hasn’t got any teeth, and no signs of them either! Her skin is still doing really well, so she is sleeping a lot of nights through (praise the Lord!). She is generally a really happy baby, and just smiles and laughs all the time. Her favorite things to do now are: being outside in the sling or baby-carrier, swinging, clapping, being tickled in her tummy, shaking her bell toy at Miss Heather’s, singing, saying “ogle-dy, ogle-dy, ogle-dy”, looking at herself in the mirror (this is the ultimate!), having a bath, eating finger foods (rather than being spoon-fed), and playing with mommy and daddy on their bed. We’ve got an appointment with a dietician in 2 weeks who is going to help me get Pippi on a balanced diet with no dairy (due to her allergies).

As for the big question most of you are wondering about, yes, we are still looking to move “home” in the near future. Our original plan was New-year-ish, but that looks to be moved back a little. That is because Jason has his resume and CV out to a couple of places, but not much has happened on the job front. As most of you know, we are going back once Jason has found an appropriate job (full-time, good pay, theatre-focussed, what he wants). We are not happy to just take anything just to get back to the US. We’ll wait until something comes up that is worth moving for. That’s because we have no dates to be out of here by, and because we both adore our jobs here. It’s hard to leave a perfect job for a crappy one just because it’s in the right area. Thank you to all of you who gave Jason information earlier. He has or is looking into all of it. That is not to say we are done accepting ideas!! Anything you’ve got, we’ll take! Ideally we would like to live closer to our families, but realistically, we’ll take the best job! So we’re still on the hunt, and we still need your prayers and support and help in this.

We will be traveling to the Lake District at the beginning of December for a much needed break. This is one of the places we have always wanted to go to in the UK and we are so excited to have the opportunity. Our great friends Claire and Jez will be going with us! So, we will be sure to let you know how that goes.

I suppose that is all that’s happening here. Pippi was a chicken for Halloween and she was very cute, as you can see here!
Love to you all,

Jason, Sarah, and Pippi

Thursday, September 18, 2008

First Suel Family Photos!

Hi All!

Check out the pic archive for our first family photos, courtesy of photographer extraordinaire Jez Hailwood. All's well on the homefront, Pippi will turn 8 months this week...unbelievable!

Take care, everyone, and God bless!

Jason, Sarah, and Pippi

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mixed Feelings on the Homefront

Hi Family and Friends!

We have had a few interesting weeks here in the Suel household, which would account for our lack of updating lately. First and foremost, there has been a tragic death in the Suel family and we have just returned from the emergency trip to the US. Jason’s cousin Rachel, only 19 years old, passed away on July 26, 2008. She had juvenile diabetes, and through complications of the diabetes and then upon coming down with pneumonia, she died in the hospital in Little Rock. It was very sudden, as the doctors told the family she would be okay at 8pm on Saturday night, but by 11pm, she was gone. We are all, of course, shocked and still a little numb from it all. The funeral was beautifully done, and the family have had lots of support from friends, but we will always mourn Rachel’s too early death. For those of you who have sent us condolences, we appreciate your kindness. Please continue to pray for us as we grieve, and especially for Uncle Mark, Aunt Sheila, and Wesley (Rachel’s little brother).

The silver lining of our unplanned trip home to the States was that all our families and some friends got to meet little Pippi for the first time. She was able to sit in the laps of all her grandparents, great-grandparents, great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins, etc. It was a wonderful time for us. Pippi was a star traveler on both of the 26-hour and 3-flight trips home. She adjusted pretty well to all the strangers wanting to hold her, too, once we arrived! She needed to know that mom and dad were close by, but all in all she was okay with all the new changes in her little world. She learned to sit up in the 2 weeks spent in Arkansas, which was exciting for us all to watch! It was nice for our families to be a part of one of her major milestones, as they are missing so many of the others.

One really great thing going on with Pippi is that we may have finally cracked the case on her eczema!! Praise the Lord! We have seen a dermatologist, as well as her regular doctors, and the current medications (2 moisturizers, 1 anti-itch cream, and 2 special medications for the bath water) seem to be working! She is still scratching (she’s got some scabs on her ears right now!!), but not nearly as much. And guess what??? She has slept TWO nights ALL THE WAY THROUGH in the past 3 weeks!! PRAISE THE LORD!! We are really feeling good about it. She is altogether sleeping better now, too; we only get up a few times now as opposed to 15-20 times per night. And this is down to her not being so itchy. We were pleased to hear the dermatologist say that since she is responding to this medication, it’s a good sign that she may grow out of the eczema. Yay! It’s so nice, too, because she is soooo much happier now! We never knew the real personality of little Pippi, because she has always been sort of frustrated due to how bad she was feeling, but now that she feels well, her true colors shine through!! Thanks for all your prayers, and please keep them up as we watch day by day how God is healing her.

Once back from the States, we dove right back into work and day-to-day life. Jason is at this moment camping at a Christian festival about 45 minutes from Hereford. It’s in a place called Gorsley, and our church and theirs work together a lot. It’s a 5-day festival and Jason is helping to lead worship and make videos for the Youth tent. It’s been going well. I’ve been down with Pippi a couple of times, and I’ll be back tomorrow. It’s a “bank holiday” in the UK tomorrow, on Monday, so everyone has a day off. Our last public holiday till Christmas.

The weather here is dreadful. After 100+ degrees in Arkansas, we were pretty sad to come home to rain and cold. Yesterday at the festival I was wearing jeans, 2 shirts, and a jacket and I was still shivering as it rained on me. And it’s August!!

Pippi has settled in at Heather’s house, her childminder. She seems to really like it there, especially with the other 2 kids that go. It’s nice to see how good she responds to Heather now that she is used to her. Pippi loves playing sitting up now. She still wobbles over every now and then, but she’s getting better. She still loves her “Johnny Jumper” doorway swing…she will bounce for over an hour happily! She is still not sure about eating solids, but we try with her fruits and veggies every day. I’m still breastfeeding, and she’s still growing, so we’re not that worried. She’ll eat when she’s ready. Her hair is growing (a little!), but still no teeth. She makes lots and lots of sounds, and it’s precious!

We Suels are the process of taking some family photos by photographer extraordinaire Jez Hailwood. Be on the lookout on this blog for these in the next few days! Also, there are new photos on the "pic archive", especially of our trips to Vienna (see photo here!) and home to the States.
Keep us updated on yourselves, and send us photos when you can. Thanks for all your prayers and kindnesses.

We love you,
Jason, Sarah, and Pippi

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Trips, Pips, and Mickey Mouse

July 6, 2008

Hello friends and family!

Well, it’s been awhile since we’ve sent an update, and a lot has happened! I guess I’ll start with our first trip abroad with Pippi: we went to Vienna, Austria at the end of May. Pippi was just great during the flight! I was pretty nervous...people had said that babies have a really hard time with their ears popping, and I just knew that Pip was going to scream through the flight in pain from her poor ears...but it didn’t even seem to affect her! She mostly got bored having to sit on my lap the whole time, but other than that, she was great! Once in Vienna, we found our hotel...the most luxurious one we’ve stayed in on our trips! It was just gorgeous! Pretty much the whole city was like this, too, we discovered. We felt somewhat out of place in our jeans and backpacks in Vienna. It was sort of a “high class” city, with an older and wealthier crowd. Not that we let that stop us! We just took our jeans and backpacks right on in with the crowd! We had gorgeous weather, and toured the city on foot each day with our guidebook. Pippi just went with the flow, but mostly she hung out (literally!) in her sling on either Jason or I. She refused to go into her stroller! This trip confirmed that the sling has been our best baby purchase yet! My high-light of the trip was seeing the Spanish Winter Riding School practices (horses). I’d read a book about these horses, and to see them in person was fantastic! (Much teasing from Ja-son came from this, but I don’t care!!)

So after that successful trip with Pippi traveling (we’ve got the Suel travel bug in her al-ready, we decided!) we headed off to Disneyland Paris in June. This time we took the Eu-rostar Train, which was easier and more comfortable with a baby. And Disneyland was GREAT! Much more relaxed than Vienna...it was so kid-friendly (obviously) that we were never nervous about Pippi crying or finding a place to breastfeed, etc. It was basically set up to make parents feel at ease, which was a blessing. Pippi was able to ride in our laps for many of the rides, and she seemed to enjoy the music and colors and lights. Jason rode the roller coasters while I breastfed, and it was just a really fun trip. I’d never been to Disneyland in the States (Jason had), and was surprised to have soooo much fun! We took about a billion pictures (see blog for a great one of all 3 of us and Mickey! It’s like somehow Pippi knew that of all the photos to smile in, this was the one to do it!), and have promised each other we’ll take our kids when they are a little bigger to appreciate it even more. We found ourselves at times watching other people’s kids just to see their reactions to Mickey and the Princesses! Soooo adorable! So we decided we’ll for sure go again one day.

An update on Pippi, then: She is growing sooo fast, of course! Up to just over 14 pounds now, and right on track for her growth scales. I’m still breastfeeding her, but just last week we started her on solids. We’re making our own babyfood, and so far she has proven to enjoy baby rice, mango, and potato the most. We have just obtained a bouncy swing for the doorway, and this is her biggest thrill right now! She laughs and screams and bounces away, and we cannot help but stare and giggle right along with her. One of our biggest challenges right now is Pippi’s eczema. This is a skin condition she’s had since birth, but has just gotten very bad in the past 2 months. Basically it’s just really dry skin, but along with this, we have discovered she has many allergies. We found this out after some major rashes occurring from some of the medications and ointments and creams given to help with the eczema. We visit the doctor weekly, who has been wonderful. Her skin at the moment is doing really well (the current mix of treatment being Hydrocortisone cream 2x/day, a medicine for her scalp, an antihistamine at night, an emollient for her bath, and a cream for all the time that we use whenever she is scratching). It’s difficult, because she scratches her body all the time, sometimes until she bleeds. We keep mitts or socks on her hands at all times now. The worst, however, is that she is no longer able to sleep well. She falls asleep quickly, but with each stir she becomes itchy and wakes up crying. We are waking with her to soothe her just about every hour (if not more) at night. This has been going on for 6 weeks now, so as you can imagine, we are exhausted. If we only get woken up 3-4 times in a night, we are praising God! We are praying nonstop for this to get under control, as it is making all three of us weary. Many children grow out of eczema, so we are mostly praying for healing to come quickly.

Other than this skin issue, Pippi is a bright, energetic, smiley, beautiful girl. We adore her so much, and even lack of sleep (to the extreme!) had not made us forget how much we love her!

I am back to work July 14, and will be going back 4 days a week. Pippi will be going to a child-minder named Heather, than we know very well from church. She will go to Heather’s house with several other kids, but Heather will take them out and about daily to play groups, etc. Heather is wonderful, and we are glad to know her so well to be able to trust Pippi with her. Of course I am sad to be going to back to work after so long with Pippi all to myself, but I have to remind myself that I love my job! I know it will be a hard couple of days at first, but it will soon be back to normal life. My 6 months of maternity leave seemed so long at first, and I can’t believe it’s now come to an end! I will miss my little girl!

The biggest thing in store for the Suelfam is a visit from Shannon (now Yates!) this week. We are so looking forward to that. We continue to be involved in our church, especially the 18-30s group. Jason continues to love his job, and overall we are just enjoying life, each other, and Pippi. God has truly blessed us with happiness, and we are grateful. He has also blessed us with friends like you, and we look forward to hearing from you each soon with an update.

Much love from Jason, Sarah, and Pippi

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Suel Spring and Start of Summer

Hello Friends!

Well, we hope the summer is going great so far for all of you! It’s gorgeous weather here in England this week (for once!). We’ve been out in the sun every day this week. Pippi doesn’t know what to think being barefoot and sleeveless! She’s been covered up since her birth in January!

She is growing so much, it’s hard to keep up! She has found her hands, and is just starting to reach for things now. She is also a little obsessed with putting things in her mouth or tasting things or sticking out her tongue. This mostly includes chewing on her hands, but can also include “eating” anything that comes remotely close to her mouth. If we are holding her she automatically starts to lick our shoulders or arms. We all end up with soaked shirts (our shoulders or her own wrists). It’s pretty funny.

She had her first real laugh just this week. She was giggling so much as I was wiping up her mouth with a cloth. Jason was in the other room, and he came running in when he heard her giggling! It was so cute, we couldn’t stop laughing. She is generally a happy baby, and as most people still comment, she is very “alert”. Her big blue eyes are always searching for interesting things. She is always moving (almost scooted out of her stroller just yesterday! Jason caught her just in time!) and wriggling. She is a busy baby if there ever was one.
We have a lot of fun together every day, going to the park or for walks or to play groups or the grocery store. I am becoming proficient with my slings that I use to carry her around. They are easier than the stroller and Pippi likes to see everything from way up high on my front, hip, or back. Jason and I have started taking her swimming each week. She is not sure what to make of it, and basically just looks bewildered the whole time!

In other news, Jason ran the London Marathon in April. His goal was to run it in under 4 hours, and he ran it in 3:58! He was so proud! It was a great day, even if it did rain buckets! It was apparently great weather for the runners, but us spectators got soaked just standing around clapping. The saddest part of the day, though, was that when Jason crossed the finish line of his best marathon ever, no one was there cheering for him!! We were stuck on the tube about a mile away…London was soooo packed with people, the tube stations were overflowing and we couldn’t get to Jason in time! He called us from the meeting point we had planned to see him at at the end, and he was just shivering in the cold rain alone, wondering where we were! So sad, but we cheered later when we finally met up with him in the hotel about an hour and half later! (PS, in the photo, he's wearing a red hat!)

We spent the whole weekend in London with Claire and Jez. We explored Greenwich village, and visited the Royal Observatory where the Prime Meridian is…very cool!

Another thing we have just done is have a church fete, or festival. It was an outreach day in a neighborhood near our church where we provided a BBQ, bouncy castle, live music, face painting, etc…There was a big turnout, and we had a great time. Now, the funny thing is that Jason dressed up like a pirate for the day! He went around passing out balloons and candy to kids, and telling his favorite pirate joke: “Why are pirates so mean? Because they ‘Aargh!’” I was on facepainting duty with Pippi. She had such a nice time on her blanket in the shade just playing and looking around. (That is the first picture shown above.)

Jason and I are about to complete a Parenting Course at our church, too. It’s been very good, taught by a Rob Parsons DVD. We are some of the youngest parents there, of course, so we are basically there to stockpile info into our minds for later years. It’s been nice talking to other parents, though, and seeing how they have coped over the years in bringing up Christian children.

We’re excited about our upcoming trip to Vienna, Austria next week! Pippi’s first airplane ride (I’m a little nervous!!). We’ll be spending 4 days there. We’ve also booked another trip for June…Disneyland Paris!! We’ll be taking the Eurostar Train from London to Paris and spending 4 days with Mickey and Minnie. Of course, we say Pippi will love it, but really, how much is she going to take in?? It’s for us really!!

Well, as usual, please update us when you can. We love to hear about your lives, details and all. We will be going through our email list soon, too, and deleting anyone off the list we haven’t heard from in a long time. So if you’re one of those people who read our emails but do not reply, could you send us a line to tell us not to delete you? If you’ve written us lately, don’t worry about it, we’ll keep you on!

Much love and prayers to you all,

In Christ,
Jason, Sarah, and Pippi Suel

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Hotel Suel Opens...

Hi Everyone!!

Well, we have had an exciting and super busy past few weeks! We have basically been running Hotel Suel over here in England, while our American friends/family have visited over their various spring breaks. Here’s a little catch-up for you all of the happenings that have been going on.

First visitors (and first to see Pippi!) were my (Sarah’s) brother and his girlfriend, Brett and Paula. We met them at Heathrow and they fought over who was going to hold and kiss Pippi first! They pretty much didn’t put her down the whole week, either, which was great! She was showered with so much love, and was held so much, she was in heaven. We spent that first day in London, seeing the sights and catching up. Then back to Hereford that night. The next day we went to church together and Brett and Paula got to meet all our friends and then experience their first “pub quiz”. Jason and I and all our friends go to our local pub every Sunday night where the landlord holds a general knowledge quiz for all the people in the pub. We all have answer sheets and work in teams. We then switch papers with another table to “grade” them, and the winner gets a free pitcher of beer. Needless to say, we’ve NEVER won the beer, but each week is always super fun. The landlord, Ian, knows that Jason and I are American, too, which makes it fun when he asks an American question and points to us and says: “This one’s for you, Americans!” over the microphone. Anyways, Brett and Paula got a photo with Ian, and even answered the American question correctly (How many points is a field goal in American football? Easy one! Sometimes Jason and I don’t know the answers to obscure American questions, which is always a little embarrassing!!).

We spent the next day climbing Hay Bluff, a small “mountain” near us with amazing views. Brett climbed the whole thing with Pippi in her little “baby backpack” on his front!

And then the really fun day began…on Tuesday Pippi and I took Brett and Paula to Goodrich Castle, a great castle near us that is usually tourist-free and surrounded by gorgeous views of Herefordshire. I had Pippi in her stroller, and could therefore not take her up to the castle Keep (tower), which was part of Brett and I’s sneaky plan! At the top, Brett proposed to Paula!! Of course she said yes, and now I’m going to have a new sister!! Needless to say, we are all VERY excited! Paula had no idea this was coming, which made it even more fun on the day. We celebrated with a lovely dinner that night, after phone calls home to moms and dads were made!

Nothing could really top the proposal for excitement during the visit, but we continued to have a great time together until they left too soon on Thursday. They took over 100 photos of Pippi to take home to my parents, who then proceeded straight to Walgreens to get them printed!! Boy, were they happy about that. Jason and I never send them enough!

Our next visitor was Liz Dally, a great friend from Ohio. She is like a sister to us both. She of course also adored Pippi and showered her with love as well! What was so great about Liz’s trip to see us was that it coincided with Easter Sunday. We celebrated the resurrection of our great Lord together at church, and also had Pippi dedicated during the service. Liz was there as one of Pippi’s godparents. Claire and Jez are also her godparents. They all came up to the front with us and prayed over Pippi and Jason and I. It was a beautiful service, and we are thankful for such amazing friends in our lives who will promise to support us in so many ways. After church we had lunch together, and of course that night we introduced Liz to the pub quiz as well! (Ian’s comment was: “Another one?? They multiply like gremlins, your American friends!!”)

Liz then spent the week seeing Hereford with us, as well as several surrounding cities. We visited Bath (she’s a big Jane Austen fan, and Bath is known for “Jane experiences”), and even the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales so that Liz could stand on a cliff overlooking the sea with the wind blowing thru her hair just like Elizabeth Bennett in “Pride and Prejudice”!! It was great!

We also spent a night in London (Pippi’s first overnight stay away from home), which was interesting to say the least! The plan was for Jason and I to take Pippi to the US Embassy to apply for her American citizenship and get her passport. That went according to plan, but when we went to call Liz (who had my cell phone seeing the sights of London) after the Embassy visit, the phone wouldn’t work!! We spent hours running thru London on the route we showed Liz to take, hoping for a glimpse of her, but NEVER FOUND HER! Luckily we had agreed to meet back at the car at 5pm if all else failed (which it did!!). Jason and I showed up just after 5, praying that Liz was there. SHE WASN’T! We continued to pray and come up with alternative plans if she didn’t show. We finally got a hasty phone call fom Liz, though, who called us from a pay phone. She had forgotten where the car was parked! We quickly told her the street names before we got cut off, and within minutes she was there. We were almost in tears (Liz and I, not Jason) we were so happy to find each other! We felt so bad, but Liz just laughed and said she had a great time in London by herself! We took her out for dinner, then drove home, happy to be together at last.

After Liz’s visit, we had yet another group of visitors just for one night. My friend from OT school, Ashley Hagler, spent one night with us in Hereford with 2 of her friends, Shannon and Justin. They had rented a car from the airport, and were starting out on their roadtrip thru Hereford, Wales, and Ireland. Our house was their first stop. We went out to dinner to a pub with Claire and Jez, too. Then we had an early birthday party for Ashley back at the house with a chocolate cake (she was going to be on the road on her actual b-day). The next day we showed them Hereford city, then drove the scenic route to Hay Bluff and Hay-on-Wye. It was a short visit, but was great to see them.

So now Hotel Suel is closed for awhile, till hopefully some parents come to visit in June. Jason is gearing up for the London Marathon in 2 weeks, and is in great shape. If anyone wants to sponsor him running, it’s not too late. See his last blog for more info on how to do it.

Enjoy the new pics of Pippi. She is SOOO beautiful! She is laughing and smiling so much now, it’s hard to take our eyes off her. Don’t forget to look at the pic archive link for more photos of her in her album.

We love you all, and hope to hear from you soon. Please send us an update when you can.
Jason, Sarah, and Pippi Suel

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

London Marathon Fundraising!

Hello All,

As most of you are aware, amidst the changing of diapers and squealing baby, I have been training for the London Marathon! The Marathon is set for Sunday, April 13th.

As part of the build up to the Marathon, I thought I should let you all know that I am running for a charity. The charity I have chosen to support happens to be the one that I work for. We are a local organization for supporting disadvantaged young people in Hereford. If you want to see more, check out www.2xlyouthprojects.co.uk

So, the main purpose of this email is to ask you if you are willing to support me as I endeavor to complete the marathon! Donating to the cause is as easy as 1,2,3!

1: Go to http://jasonsuel.com (notice there is no www.)

2: Click on the PayPal donate icon. It is the bottom most thing on the page.

3: The link will take you to a page that will ask you to donate. Now, because I will receive the money in pounds, I believe that you will donate in pounds (not Dollars)...so if you want to give me 10 Dollars, you should enter 5 pounds...because the pound is worth more than the dollar by about 2:1...does that make sense?...email me if you have questions...

If you already have a PayPal account, you can enter your details...But, if you DON'T have one...the great thing is that, YOU DON'T HAVE TO! You can follow the links on the bottom left of that page to donate by credit or debit card.

Thanks everyone for your continued support!



Thursday, February 28, 2008

Parenting with Pippi

Hello all!

Well, it’s been 5 ½ weeks since little Pippi was born, and our lives have been blessed beyond all measure! She is doing great, growing every day it seems. We are both loving being parents, with the fun and challenges that go with it. Here are our top 10 things we love about it all so far:

1. The way total strangers will jump out and talk to you if you are with a tiny baby…people love babies!
2. The way Pippi’s soft fuzzy hair feels against your face when you are holding her
3. The way you get to dress her up like a little doll in precious baby clothes, especially vintage ones from thrift stores (thanks Ashlea!). See pic below!!
4. The way she can’t fit into hats yet, and they fall down over her eyes and nose because she wriggles so much (see pic below!)
5. The way Pippi’s bottom lip sticks out in a super-pout when she cries (I can’t actually bring myself to snap a pic of this…I have to pick her up instead!)
6. The way our little Pip-squeak actually squeaks! (all the time—it’s the main noise she makes, along with grunts!)
7. The way she falls asleep with her arms up over her head in contentment (see pic below!)
8. The way she freaks out when her pacifier falls out of her mouth and she wants it back soooo badly but can’t figure out how to obtain it.
9. Her BIG blue eyes, so alert and beautiful.
10. The way she will fall asleep on your chest, tucked up so tight and peaceful, knowing you’re taking care of her.

Now, of course our list could go on for days!

Jason’s back at work full-time now, which leaves me and Pip on our own for most of each day. We do go out every day now, which is fun. Some of the things we’ve been doing include going for a neighborhood walk everyday, going to Tot Stop at our church on Wednesday mornings to play with other moms and babies, hanging out with Chloe and Zac (Chloe is a church friend who had Isaac 4 days after Pippi was born), and doing loads and loads and loads of laundry!!

In exciting news for us, we have booked our first trip with Pippi in tow! We’re off to Vienna, Austria at the end of May! I guess really our first overnight trip will be in London while Jason runs the London Marathon in April, so that will be our “tester” weekend with Pippi. We are looking forward to putting her in her little baby-backpack and touring around!

Before our travels, though, we are looking forward to having several visitors in a row…first off Brett (my brother) and Paula (Brett’s girlfriend) in March. The day after they leave, Liz Dally (friend from Ohio) arrives. The day after she leaves, Ashley (friend from OT school) and 2 friends arrive! We’ll have 3 weeks of visitors, and are really excited about seeing everyone…and of course showing off Pippi! Let’s hope they can all cope with night-time crying! ☺

Well, that’s about it on our front. As always, send us news about yourselves when you can.

With love from all 3 of us,
Sarah, Jason, and Pippi

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pippi Pics

Just a quick update to say that if you are interested, you can check out more pics of Pippi by clicking on the "Pic Archive" link on the right hand side of this page and going to the album entitled "Pippi!"

We don't want to be one of those families that shoves pictures of our newborn down people's throats, so go there only if you want................to see the cutest baby in the world :)

From Suelfam (all three)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Our Beautiful Daughter

Hello Everyone,

The time has finally come for us to announce to you that our beautiful daughter, Pippi Lois, has come into the world! She was born on Monday morning at 10:33am, weighing 6lbs. 6oz's, and 19.48 inches long! She is a happy, healthy, beautiful little girl!

Sarah is fine, but had a more rough time of it. Forceps had to be used and she had a 3rd degree tear. For those who don't know what that is...it isn't pretty and she had to have many stitches after the birth. But, apart for walking a little like John Wayne...she is absolutely fine. They are both still in the hospital because they want to make sure Sarah's hemoglobin levels have stabilized. All signs point to a quick recovery and she should be home by Friday at the latest, but we are hopeful that she will be home tomorrow.

I know you want to see pics, so I have posted some on our blog. www.suelfam.blogspot.com

She is beautiful...well, they both are!


From a very happy Suelfam!