Monday, January 14, 2013



It feels a bit like a dream, still far enough away that it's not yet a reality.  But, whether I can believe it or not, in August we'll be moving there.  The husband is up to his eyeballs in French class, which is a constant reminder to me of how atrocious my French has become.  As he reminds me, though, I haven't spoken it in 10 years so I suppose that's allowed, but still.  I am thrilled at the prospect live in a French speaking country - to get some French back, or at least to improve it, in any way shape or form.


As we are still 7 months away from our departure, we don't know any specifics about where we'll actually be living.  We are learning bits and pieces about our soon-to-be-home as we go, though.  In case you've never heard of Mauritius or you just don't know anything about it, it is located about 1200 miles off the Eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean.  Portugese explorers discovered no indigenous people living there when they came across it in the early 1500's, but they didn't settle.  The Dutch, however, colonized it in 1598, but after unfortunately assuring that the Dodo bird (only ever found in Mauritius) was good and extinct, they deserted it and the French then colonized it in the early 1700s.  Then the British took control in the early 1800s during the Napoleonic Wars and wikipedia tells me it became an independent state as a commonwealth realm in the late 60s and a Republic within the Commonwealth in 1992.  And that's your history lesson for today!

Poor Dodo.

French is the most widely spoken language, which I'm thrilled about.  We know that the island is small enough to drive across in about 45 minutes, and the traffic can be infuriating because - well - there's only so much room for roads.  There more than enough things to do on the island, like snorkeling, catamaran sailing, diving, swimming with dolphins, golfing, horseback riding on the beach, even horse racing at the track.  There are plentiful markets, botanical gardens, a theatre, even a couple of museums.  The dozens of high-end resorts on the island ensure that a good dinner out is never hard to find.


But, if we find ourselves bored, we can hop over to one of the neighboring islands to see what they have to offer.  In fact, the Seychelles are just a quick 2.5 hour flight away and fall under the jurisdiction of the US Embassy, in Mauritius, and we understand that a few trips to the there will be necessary.  Here's what we might see while we're there:

Hideous, isn't it?

We have yet to find out where we will be living, and I'd imagine we won't know that for a while.  We have been asked what our preferences are: proximity to the city or to schools, do we want a garden?, do we want a pool pool?(!?!?), do we want a garden, etc.  It's a tough decision given that C will likely only be in school for our last year there, and it's always harder to determine where you want to live if you haven't been there yet.  I'm a city lover, but if I m going to live on an island I think I'd be just fine with a beachside home...  Goodness, I've just realize how absolutely ridiculous this sounds.  It's all beautiful and wherever we live will be wonderful, I am sure!

Well this is about as much as we know at the moment, in case anyone was wondering what the latest is.  We will be organizing our flights soon - we're hoping to stop in Ireland on our way to see family and friends that we haven't seen in entirely too long, so if you're one of those people, make sure you're around at the beginning of August!

Questions about our new home?  Go ahead...I'll do my best!

Right, back to daydreaming about white beaches and unbelievably blue water...


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A New Year


The year before last, I wrote a new years resolutions post.  Last year I didn't bother because - well - last year was a bit of a funny year and there wasn't all that much I felt like blogging about, as you may have noticed.  As I said in my 2011 resolutions post, I'm not that great at sticking to resolutions but I think it's an exercise well worth undertaking - or at least attempting.  This year, I've decided to include some things I've already started to incorporate in my life - some end of 2012 resolutions, you might say, to kick-start things in 2013.

1.  Get Fit
This topped my list in 2011, and I'm proud to say that I am already on that road!  Also in 2011, I posted that I wanted to learn how to run.  Don't laugh, runners, for some of us running is a challenge, typically for the un-athletic population [drops head, raises hand].  I'm married to a man who loves to run.  A 5K run in the morning?  No problem.  Full, embarrassing disclosure:  I couldn't run for 30 seconds without feeling winded.  I felt pathetic.  50 minutes on the arc or elliptical?  No problem - but running has always been a no-go.  I have begun and quit the Couch-2-5K program twice.  This October, though, I began again - I hope for the last time.  And now I can run for 30 minutes without stopping.  30 MINUTES!  That is huge for me and I feel very proud of myself and can't wait to stretch that time even longer.  My resolution is to continue - and to sign up for a 5K event.

2.  Get Back To Homeopathy
Homeo-what, says you?  About 7 years ago, my sister introduced me to homeopathy (if you live in Ireland, go see Jennifer Gordon. You can thank me later!).   Simply stated, it's the practice of taking naturally derived remedies made from the highly-diluted extracts from plants, animals, minerals,  which are prescribed to stimulate and strengthen the body’s own healing response/immune system by getting to the root of the issue, rather than simply masking/treating the symptoms.  
I was a skeptic at first, too.  But when I say that doing homeopathy has changed my life, I'm not kidding.  I used to get chronic sinusitis for YEARS.  I took more antibiotics than I care to remember and I was so tired of taking medication that either didn't work at all or didn't work for long.  Since I began homeopathy 7 years ago, I have not had ONE sinus infection.  I used to have horrible acid reflux (tmi? sorry).  For 6 years I had not a single symptom - I could eat all the spicy food, drink all the coffee, eat all the peppers I wanted, something I couldn't do for years before homeopathy. There are other things I take it for and trust and believe me when I say it has worked and is amazing.  In Ireland and the UK it's widely practiced and accepted, even by medical doctors.  It is safe to do if you're pregnant or nursing and you can take it with conventional medicine - it doesn't conflict, and it's safe for babies and children (think ADHD, etc).  
Since we moved back Stateside just over a year ago, I haven't taken any homeopathic remedies and most of my symptoms have returned. I don't feel like myself anymore, it's not fun So three weeks ago I called my amazing homeopath and got back in the saddle.  What I love about her, aside from her being a very gifted homeopath, is that not only is she a genuinely nice person, understanding, and easy to talk to, she is also not afraid to tell you that some things do require conventional medicine (which I also believe), but that homeopathy is a great first step in strengthening your immune system and healing.  Homeopathy truly has changed my quality of life - I encourage you to look into it (it is available in the US, as well), especially if you find yourself frustrated with conventional medicine not helping or fixing what is wrong.  

3.  Write More
I'm not a writer, per se.  I didn't study writing or major in English.  I certainly wrote my fair share of papers in college and - surprisingly - enjoyed it.  Well, most of the time.  However I like to write - even if I'm not a serious or sophisticated writer - it fulfills something in me, something I can't quite put my finger on.  So this year I will endeavor to do it more.

4. Blog More
In 2012, I wrote a whopping 5 posts.  That is pretty pitiful.  This year, I am aiming to be a more frequent blogger.  Perhaps not every day, but I hope once a week, at least.  With our big move coming up in August, I hope that this blog will become a way for you to follow our adventures in the Indian Ocean.  It also fulfills that longing I have to put some of my thoughts on (digital) paper.  So as long as you're willing to humour me and read my posts, I'll write.  

5.  Quality Time With My Family
That should be a given, I know.  I have been lucky enough to have my parents visit us three times since we moved back to the US at the end of 2011.  My sister visited last February.  However, I have not seen either of my brothers in a year and a half and I miss them - I miss them all.  The same goes for my aunts, uncles and cousins.  I hate that the passage of time means seeing less of the most important people in my life (at least in my family, that's the case).  I'm hoping to see them at least once this year.  I'm also hoping that the lure of tropical beaches and crystal clear water will lure them to our new home!

6.  Be A Better Wife and Mother
I feel like I fail, a lot, in both these categories.  Working from home part-time with a child at home full-time often leaves me feeling like I fail in the Mum-department more often than I succeed.  To discourage C from climbing all over me and my "comput-a-ter" when I'm working, I rely on technology too much to keep her occupied.  I can't take her outside for as long or as often as I want to.  But I'm working to help provide things for her that she wouldn't otherwise have.  It's a tough balance and one that I continually struggle with.  And as a wife, I know I there are so many things I can do better at.  Listening more - really listening.  Trying harder to change things I know cause stress or anxiety.  Taking time together, just the two of us, to be truly present in my marriage and not letting outside things weigh me down.  Sounds simple, right?

7.  Take More Photographs
Two years ago, before we left Ireland, my family and Patrick gave me the wonderful gift of a photography course.  I loved it - I've always loved photography but have never really done any outside the realm of point-and-shoot.  Then we moved and everything turned upside down for a while.  This year I want to take more photographs, and moving to a tropical island will afford me some beautiful new vistas to document, I'm sure.  I also want to save my pennies to get a DSLR.  :)

8.  Disconnect
It's hard to do when you work from home and your work is on your computer (never mind that you've just resolved to blog more) but I need to disconnect from the digital world more.  I'm constantly connected - on my computer, on my phone, my kindle, and the TV is more alluring now that we have AppleTV (amazing and worth every penny, in case you're wondering), and I'm a movie buff as it is so there you have a lethal combination.  But I want to spend less time plugged in and more time enjoying the things I used to enjoy before technology took over:  a good book (a proper book, that is), long walks outside - and I'm definitely going to get more crafty and creative with C. 

That covers most of my resolutions - glancing them over they're a little on the heavy side, but I suppose thats what I need in my life right now.  

What are you resolving to do in 2013?