Archive for November, 2007

Outside our window

As you know, we live in an apartment building that has a pretty good view of the city.  Most of the time we can only see smog, rain clouds, or beautiful sunsets.  But other times, the view, or perhaps more specifically Life, can be quite interesting.

For example, a while back we saw some sort of photo shoot at a nearby house.  There were cameras, wind machines, and people dressed in black posing in weird positions.

Last Friday, we looked out our window and saw several U-Haul sized trucks and about 20 people milling around one of the houses.  I went out that night to rent a movie and asked the guys what was going on.  They said they were filming a commercial.  Right in the middle of Pride & Prejudice (yep, I even picked it!), a huge spotlight shines right into our front room.  We turn around and look out our window and, duh, there was a spotlight…shining into our front room.  They quickly shield/reflect it and I guess used the light for the filming.  We went to bed around midnight and they were still filming, but were gone by 8 AM.

About a week ago, Kristen went out for a few hours and Jackson and I hung out together.  After he went down for the evening, I turned on the Colombia vs Argentina World Cup qualifier in Bogota.  Argentina pulled out in front, but Colombia came back to tie it.  I was flipping between channels when I quickly realized that Colombia had scored because all of a sudden everyone was shouting and sirens were going off right outside our apartment.  With not much time left in the game, as Kristen was getting out of a cab in front of our apartment, she heard more shouting and sirens.  She quickly ran in the apartment unsure of what was happening.  When she got upstairs, she realized that Colombia had scored and that crazy Colombians were not about to attack her.

Those are just a few stories that have happened while in our apartment.  I’m sure Kristen has a lot more experiences, but you’ll have to wait for some other time to hear those.

by seth

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Things we are missing…

We had a great Thanksgiving here in Bogota. Our first turkey turned out beautifully, we had new friends from church in our home, Jackson sat in his bouncy seat for the whole meal so we both got to eat, the pumpkin pie and homemade rolls were great despite the threat of high altitude sabotage, the first time use of our china and Seth’s grandmother’s fostoria went off with not a chip or crack, and we are all healthy and happy the day after! Tired but happy. Despite it being a good Thanksgiving we still miss home so much. Here are some of the things we are missing this holiday season…

Family and friends….there is something so nice about being with people that you know and that know you. With family it is perfectly natural to crash for a Thanksgiving nap…with a house full of guests it was a bit more awkward. And there is something so nice about mom’s cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Wow, we never realized how much work it is to pull off such a fancy feast! We miss our parent’s homes and the farm. Jackson caught wind that his cousin Tommy was getting to go squirrel hunting and was very disappointed to not be there. (Mommy used living in Bogota as the reason he couldn’t go along, I will have to think of better excuses when we are actually present) We missed seeing all of the cousins at the farm..we hear there are lots of new babies around! Jackson can’t wait for his first farm visit to meet everyone. We are also missing time with my grandparents who have not yet met Jackson. Thank goodness for skype because they got to see him for the first time the other night.
The food…there are some things that are just more complicated here, like grocery shopping. We found most everything we needed but it takes such a long time to navigate through what we need and what is available. Thank goodness for a commissary with Stovetop stuffing, pumpkin pie filling and crusts and Oceanspray cranberry sauce. I miss my mom’s pumpkin bread and I miss Einstein Brothers pumpkin cream cheese (if you haven’t tried it go for me! Trust me it is so yummy!). When I was doing homevisiting for speech therapy in Dallas I would get really excited when a homevisit would get canceled on a chilly Fall morning when I was in close proximity to the Einstein Brothers. Seth was missing his mom’s sweet potato casserole (sweet potatoes are not available here..maybe Seth’s parents can smuggle them in for Easter????). Seth also missed the spicy queso his Aunt Nancy always makes when the crowds pour in. The other thing that we would be starting to anticipate missing (if that’s possible :)) are my mom’s buckeyes. Fortunately months ago we became aware of this deprivation and secured a visit from my parents. I think this insures us a batch of hand-dipped buckeyes here in Bogota.

The roadtrips…in the past we really enjoyed having time together “road tripping” in Texas when we went to see our families for the holidays. It was nice to see wide open spaces and get a break from city life. We are researching where we can escape to soon! We have so many memories of great conversations on those roadtrips.

There are many more things that we miss about not being home but we will spare you for now! Hug each other for us!

We miss you!

Mom and Jack on Thanksgiving Day Seth carving 1st turkey

Thanksgiving Bouquet Thanksgiving Spread

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Meet Sonia

Sonia is our maid that comes 3 days a week to help clean, run errands until we get a car and occasionally plays with Jackson.  He just loves her! She has been so helpful in our transition to Bogota as it is pretty tricky to get around in taxis when you don’t know where anything is.  She helps me navigate the market, grocery shopping, exchanging money, etc. As I said before Jackson has taken to Sonia very well and I think sometimes he wishes I would leave him with her instead of having her clean. She dotes over him and is constantly concerned about whether or not he is hungry or cold. The other day I removed his bumper from his crib (because he is rolling around now) and she came in to see. I said I was sad because it was so much cuter with a bumper and she said he was so much warmer with it. I’m not sure that there is an arctic breeze in his room that he needs to be protected from but it’s good to know that if there was, Sonia would be right on it looking out for Jackson.  🙂
Part of the typical contract with maids here includes buying a new uniform every three months. After a month of working for us we had agreed to buy her a new uniform. We had decided that we would give her money to buy a uniform and that she would bring us a receipt. She arrives at work each day in her own “dressier clothes” and then changes into her uniform. On Friday, she arrived with her new uniform in a bag. I came in to the kitchen a few minutes later to find her cleaning the dishes, proud as a peacock in her new uniform. Her old uniform was scrubs so I figured the new one would be similar. The new one was a scrub uniform with a cheery pattern and periwinkle pants with white shoes. I complimented her on her choice. As I took a few more steps closer to get a better look at the pattern, I realize that her cheery, tailored scrub top was covered with teeth, dental floss, and toothbrushes. I said in Spanish, “Oh, it’s so pretty like a dentist” trying not to giggle. She was so proud and had no idea that she was wearing the uniform of a dental hygienist.  So, for the next 3 months I will have my very own traveling dental hygienist! Here is a picture. I don’t know if you can zoom in but you can get the idea!

Sonia and Jackson

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Three years ago yesterday Seth and I had our first date. We had “coffee” at Starbucks in Mockingbird Station in Dallas. I can remember exactly what we were both wearing, where we sat and what we ordered. Ironically, neither of us drink coffee. I ordered hot chocolate with whip and Seth attempted to order a coke which Starbucks didn’t have. So he told the guy he just wanted whatever I had ordered. In the midst of the flustered ordering Seth “let” me pay for myself. I got my drink and 20 minutes later the cashier realized that they had forgotten Seth’s drink. He got a free mint brownie to compensate for their mistake. I can remember we chatted for quite some time before we realized it was almost 10:30 pm and we both needed to work the next day. We headed out to our cars. Just as I was about to unlock my door he asked if he could call me again. “Of course”, I said. I can remember getting home to my apt to find my roommate Amy waiting for me to tell her all about it. We sat and giggled like school girls. I couldn’t wait until Seth called again!

Three years later a lot has changed. We have traded Starbucks for Juan Valdez, free date nights with babysitter fee nights, Seth pays willingly for dates, and we are many miles from that starbucks in good old Dallas, Texas. But some things never change…we still don’t drink coffee, we still frequently get free stuff due to consumer mishaps and I still can’t wait for Seth to call! I am so blessed to have married my best friend! I am so thankful to be on life’s adventures with him. And, I am so glad to share him with Jackson. It is so much fun to see how God has grown us over the past years and has allowed us to step outside of our “couples life” and into a family.

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