Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Three months to go

I can't believe it. In three short months I will be on Texas soil. My family and I have been living in Moscow for nearly two years now. We've learned to survive without much Russian language and I personally feel like I've even thrived a little. The personal confidence I've gained is enormous.

I am able to go and do what I need to. Im also able to do what I want to here with only the incredible traffic holding me back. Yes, it's hard living somewhere where you are the minority. It's hard not understanding when someone is trying to explain certain aspects of "this" or "that" to me, but I get by. Getting by has given me the confidence to know I can "go" and "be" and "do" anything.

It. Feels. Good.

I've made friends along the way as well. Many here at the U.S. Embassy, some out in the crazy world of Moscow. I've even made a few Russian friends... Russian friends who speak English of course.

Most notably is my dear, lovely friend Michelle. She's a well known chef here in the Embassy and out in Moscow. I've met her friends... her lovely chef friends and her artist friends. Wonderful people who, without knowing, have changed my perspective. I thank them for it. Mostly I thank her for allowing me to be included in her life outside the walls of our little American oasis.

I've met another Michelle, a Janice, and a Sarah or two that make me smile. Deep happy, joyful smiles. Smiles that are contagious and spread to your arms, knees and feet. Smiles that make a day, a week, or even a month (despite 3 feet of snow) even better. I thank them for that too. There are many others in my day to day life that bring me joy, but the point is that even if you don't realize it, you touch people. And touching someone whether it be actual physical contact, or the very important psychological touch, is essential for happiness.

I've found happiness here with my sweet family of 5. I've found happiness with friends, acquaintances, doctors and U.S. Marines who care. I've even found happiness riding the dirty Moscow Metro. I'm sad that I will be leaving all of this so soon, but I'm so very excited about the prospect of meeting and becoming friends, and surrogate families, with a whole new group of people at our next post.

I think this suits me right now. I think I've found a niche.

We've got three months, Russia. Lets make the best of it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Davis family in Russia!

On August 4th Embry and I loaded on a plane and headed back to Texas for one last time before going overseas.  I was able spend some time with my dear, dear friend Allison Knobel Sitton.  It was wonderful to see her and watch her boys love-on and play with Embry. We had a very quick visit with my nephews, brother, sis-in-law Nancy and my mom.... special time. 

My sweet Allison Knobel Sitton
The cutest nephews in the world
Special time with  Drew & Gran

Em and I returned home to Springfield on the 7th just in time for a great visit from my parents and to get ready for the movers.

The movers arrived on August 23rd and packed up our air freight, then our surface freight.  At one point during the day we had an earth quake.  YUP, an earth quake. 

The movers returned on the 24th, packed up or items for storage and then that weekend we sat in our hotel while Irene came along.  Thankfully the hurricane didn't cause too much damage in our area and our flight was right on time Monday morning.

Come on Irene
100% to capacity! Heading to the airport
 We arrived to Moscow, Russia and after a little work we got to our new house.  It's wonderful!  We have a great four bed room apartment home complete with a playground 20 feet from our front door and Maya's & Sagan's school is literally about 60 yards away.  Life is good!

view from our front windows
first day of school
ballet classes taught by Russian ballerinas!
swim lessons at Maya's preschool
We are settling in quite well and have been able to get out and about Moscow a little.  We've gone to the popular areas near our house and I'm slowly learning how things work here.  Embry just turned 7 months old and she is just about to start crawling.

Embry's 7 month portrait

 On September 8th, I got the news that my dear friend, Allison, was not doing well.  Allison is one of my oldest friends from the church I grew up in.  We had lunch together every day in high school and she's always been a special friend.  We've kept in touch through the years, and have always fallen back into our friendship like a well loved glove.  We would often call each other to compare notes about our children.  My Maya and Sagan are almost the exact age of her boys, Grant Mathew and Connor.  We would share stories and always laugh at our own silliness.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer 7 years ago, and after a full year of battling it she was (what they thought) cancer free.  Unfortunately about a year and a half ago she found out it was just remission and the cancer came back.  She fought a long hard battle, enduring multiple surgeries, countless rounds of chemo and radiation, but my sweet Pink Princess lost her battle with cancer the early evening of the 8th.  She was only 37 years old.
God bless you, Allison.  I miss you already. 
Allison and I the last time I saw her
I was able to listen to a GLORIOUS concert held in Allison's honor back in Texas via my mom's cell phone titled The Gospel According to Allison.  The concert was originally planned to be a way to lift up Allison, show her our love and support, but it turned out to be a beautiful memorial concert.  As my friend Raymond Boney, the concert's planner and dear friend of Allison, said "I think Allison and God planned it that way, to spare Allison the embarrassment".  My mother attended the concert and I was able to hear the love in the room from our phone call.

We had a rough few days after Allison's passing and the commemoration of the 9-11 tragedy.  Thankfully our children keep us on our toes and distracted from life's woes.  Enjoy some photos of what we've been up to the past few weeks. 
My beautiful Maya
Sagan fell on one of his toys... Got a great shiner and another trip to the doc.  Note the scar from the ER visit this summer is  still gleaming!  Excuse the PB&J face!
Preschool Family Weekend at the Embassy Dacha
Mr. Lightning Mc Queen
Embry wearing a dress given to Maya by Allison Sitton - makes me smile to see her in it.
I joined the IWC - International Women's Club.  This is the US Ambassador to Russia's Wife.  Ms. Jocelyn Green
Embry is almost crawling!
New Moscow Circus - it's been a permanent structure in Moscow since 1971!
The kid's new favorite toy - an air freight box
Sweet Em in the box house.
Maya Skyping with Gran in the box house
We've still not recived our surface freight or our car.  Hopefully that will come sometime in October.  I look forward to having all of my arts and crafts stuff back so I can start working on some fall projects.  I think the kids don't miss their toys much, but life will be soooo good when they arrive.

That's all for now in the crazy Davis family's life. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Early Summer 2011

Ever on the move we've been going and going all Spring!  The kids and I made a great 2 week trip to Texas and now that Summer is upon us and we are taking advantage of every weekend to get out and about.  We've been to the Air and Space annex here in D.C., we went to Luray Caverns, birthday parties and carnivals.  Then, this weekend we went to Dutch Wonderland in Pennsylvania.  It was so much fun.  Hope you will enjoy our fun photos.

Sagan was all about the tractors at Gran & Pop's

Maya's first pair of cowboy boots

Jessie and Woody

Easter Eggs with Gran

The Donkey Whisperer

Easter Day

Pop and Sagan on the tractor

Maya's best friend at their end of the year pageant.

Air and Space

Luray Caverns

The maze at Luray

Pretty Luray

Mr. Blue Eyes

practicing ballet

fishing for "whoppers" on the front porch

Maya in ballet class

Sweet baby Embry

Springfield days

Birthday Party for great friends!

special time with daddy

playground time while we wait for Maya at camp

Maya's first day at Outdoor Adventures Camp

fun with bubbles

John and Sagan on the roller coaster at Dutch Wonderland

Sagan after his first roller coaster ride

paddle boat ride


Thomas the Train Show

Dutch Wonderland Sprayground