20.8.13

The Moments We Don't Want to Forget

{ Where has this summer gone?! }

It seems that just yesterday I was unpacking our summer clothes and wondering if our sweaters and rain boots should still be easily accessible. Suddenly, the glorious sunshine seems to disappear just a little bit earlier each evening, our mini fan isn't getting quite as much use, dinner on the terrace requires a light jacket, and I'm beginning to wonder where I packed those sweaters and rain boots. I'm so not ready to say goodbye to summer. 

For all of the rain and freezing weather that Belgium experiences, when summer eventually rolls around, it's easy to forget the miserable winter that was. Like proper Belgian's (are we there yet?), we packed as much as possible into our first full summer in Roeselare. Chris and I were so busy simply enjoying the season with friends and family, that this little blog was harshly neglected. I just realized that there are several months that haven't been documented at all, and I must get back to blogging because I too quickly forget the details as life rolls on. 

{ Here's a mini recap of our Belgian summer }


At the beginning of summer, we completed the main story shoot for our House Hunter's International episode (you can read about our first shoot in Subotica, Serbia if ya want), and that should be on TV in the next month or so. We don't have a set date yet. Chris and I spent three very full days with a three-person crew from the UK, and it was tons of fun re-creating our apartment-hunting experience. Of course there were some elements that required a tad bit of "TV-magic" (as the director liked to put it), but hopefully the show sticks true to our experience of moving our lives from Serbia to Belgium. 

After a rocky start, Chris' whole family made it to Europe in June for a two week trip through England, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Scotland. It was a rough start because five of the family members were stuck in Atlanta for two days waiting for tornados to blow over. Not a great way to start a vacation that you've planned for and dreamed about for a year. It was one of those unfortunate travel misfortunes that no one can predict or really fix until mother-nature sorts herself out. After two days, the five, weary, stinky travelers were rerouted and met up with us in Belgium. Once everyone was together, everything else went almost as planned, and I have about a million pictures of Chris' parents, grandparents, brother, the girlfriend of the brother, cousin and two aunts galavanting around Europe with us. Goodness, I have so much to blog about!

For July 4th, Chris and I wanted to celebrate America! Woot Woot! We're the only American's in Roeselare, so the responsibility to throw a party rested on our shoulders. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. We played patriotic songs, and I printed out all sorts of red, white and blue decorations. Unfortunately, it was a cold evening so the fireworks sparklers were canceled. Every single one of our friends followed my instructions and wore red, white and blue in celebration of America's birthday. We had so much fun; maybe too much fun because it was a work night and Chris was pretty tired the following morning. Oops. . . Yeah America!

I discovered Belgian "rommelmarkts" and my life was forever changed. Basically, a "rommelmarkt" is a big garage sale that is organized in a different city every weekend of the summer. Sometimes people sell garbage they don't want around the house anymore, but often vintage stores bring their goods out onto the sidewalks as well. You can can find all sorts of treasures if you're willing to browse! I started buying old beer signs in hopes that I can one day design a "man-room" for Chris. 

We were invited to the 40th birthday party of a dear friend, and the celebration was more of a mini-wedding than any birthday party we had ever been to. It was so much fun, and our dancing was only interrupted when the dessert buffet opened. On summer Sundays, we often enjoy a lazy afternoon at the North Sea or in the park outside of our apartment. I was invited to the largest sand castle exhibit in the world, and as the manager explained the exhibit, we were both filmed for a Belgian TV program called "Fans of Flanders." Random! Have not seen the episode on TV yet. 

I guess one of the main reasons for blog neglect has been that I finally have a job! Actually, I have two jobs! In May, I started working at Leonidas (a Belgian chocolate shop), and I started giving tours in Bruges. The jobs are both part time, but they keep me busy enough, and I am so happy to finally have structure in my week. After about seven months of waiting, I finally got my work visa and was allowed to legally work in Belgium! The waiting was not fun, but I'm finally feeling rounded and settled here. 

{ A few pictures of our 2013 summer in Belgium }


 Picture #1 - The House Hunters International crew at Rodenbach Brewery in Roeselare / Pic #2 - Chris' parents and brother and Claire (girlfriend of the bro) made it to London while the other 5 were stranded in Atlanta / Pic # 3 - the whole McCoy family in Paris / Pics #4 -8 - our 4th of July party. Look at the patriotism on display / Pics 9 + 10 a romellmarkt in Bruges / Pic #11 - Barbara's 40th birthday party / Pic #12 - largest sandcastle exhibit in the world is in Belgium / Pic #13 - me being a tour guide in Bruges.