Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Kings day and keeping busy!

Our Tree
   So it has been a long time since I wrote a blog. I have some friends that write every week and upload new cute photos. I guess I need a longer time to pass before I feel like I have anything worth writing about.
   First, I took some video and photos of Ulises and I on the motorbike during our Christmas break. ENJOY! (I won't post the video because frankly, I'm too lazy to figure out how)

 The Christmas break lasted through January 7th which was great. It’s true that Ulises was studying much of the time, but things slowed down and we took advantage of sleeping in etc.

  Also, you may remember me complaining a little bit last month about Ulises forgetting both my birthday and Christmas. Yeah- I didn’t really let up on the teasing. But he really came through on Kings day!
bag of coal
   Kings day was January 6th.  It’s really a great Holiday (and my mother in laws birthday!) Its when the Kings ( you know, the magi of baby Jesus) come into the town and deliver presents. For this Holiday the WHOLE city gets involved. The kings are received in the Port and the mayor of Barcelona welcomes them officially (on TV). They throw a parade ( kind of like Macey’s Thanksgiving day parade but with real magic and less product placement) that gets the kids get SO excited. The parade has the 3 kings on their different floats representing different parts of the world they come from. The Black king had an entourage of African dancers and floats in the shape of Giraffes and Elephants! It was great. They kids got so excited. They even had a float all about receiving coal if you are a bad boy or girl. (Carbon de Reyes) Also, I don't have many pictures because my camera battery went out at the begining of the parade. But it was for the best. I think sometimes as spectators we are more focused on capturing a picture than capturing a memory.
Ok- so the night before kings day you need to set your shoe out and also leave turron ( a yummy treat) for the kings and grass for the camels. If you don’t—you don’t get a present! Ulises and I, although we’re both adults, played along. We set out our shoes and Ulises bought some special grass. We set it out and went to bed. In the morning “THE KINGS HAD COME!” and it was pretty exciting.  And although Ulises did forget my birthday and Christmas… he really came through for King’s day. He bought me a kindle! It was so thoughtful.  I didn’t think we had the money for a gift like that ( I still don’t think we do, haha) but  it made me cry because he was so thoughtful. And then I felt stupid cause I got him a shirt. Granted it was a custom made angry birds shirt—but nothing like a kindle!

So it was a delightful king’s day… And I really have a wonderful thoughtful husband. He knew I was yearning for some English reading—and he came through

wedding pic: Showing his sincere smile!
Can I take a minute and say how wonderful Ulises is? He is the most sincere and wonderful soul I have ever met. He is without guile. He is forever giving and never taking. He always thinks of others before himself. He has a great love for his friends, his family, his crazy wife, and for his God. He is a man of his word--an honest man. Anyone who talks to him can see it in his eyes—such sincerity. Look at this picture... Can't you see his gentle, sweet, genuine nature? Its from our wedding when he was talking to some of our guests. He is very smart and studies hard. He has a desire to provide for family and will work hard in University so he can. He also wants a lot of children-- I love that! He makes me laugh every day. He hugs me when I am insecure. He encourages me in my work and my goals. We dream about the future together, he fills me with happiness and hope. I don’t know how I ever got such a wonderful (and super cute) husband.

So what else did we do the month of January?  Well Ulises took exams and I WORKED LIKE A DOG. I got a new student who wanted intense classes before an exam and I was with him at least 2 hours a day. I would leave the house at 6:30 each morning and not come home until 9:30 some nights. I also did some babysitting on the weekends because many people had new year or holiday parties. So I worked a lot! But its important because we are saving money for a rainy day. ( a rainy day fund is important) and also anticipating a low student enrollment in the summer months ( so less money for us) and also want to save some money to visit Ulises grandparents in Uruguay for Christmas 2013. So I took every opportunity to teach that I could. Ulises also who has been studying most the time, took on a few projects to earn some money. We feel really blessed with many opportunities for employment in a time when there is 26% unemployment in Spain.
…….Which leads me to this big-ish news: Ulises dad moved to France for a work opportunity! It’s so bad here that he took the opportunity abroad even though it’s away from his family and his church responsibilities. ( Ulises dad is a Bishop in Cornella) Granted, it’s only a 3 month contract and he will try and visit… it still shows how desperate the times are here. Let’s hope that the Euro can recover and countries like Spain can improve. Meanwhile—I’m counting blessings!
What else is going on? Ulises and I painted the wall in our bedroom… We still want to add some sort of stencil to it but that will wait until our next paycheck. We also mounted our TV on the wall and Ulises LOVES it. He really loves doing projects around the house—so I am glad we did it. And it does look good!
Now the days are getting longer and a tid bit warmer. We are healthy, happy and blessed.
I hope you are all doing just as well! We will try and add some spice into our lives so I have something more exciting to write about.

Oh- and here are some more pictures from kings day etc.

How productive! Instead of millions of kids sitting on one santa lap, get the three kings to come!

Yummy treat

The Roscon de Reyes
I found the king in my Roscon de Reyes ( a traditional kings day cake!) so I was made king for the day     

And I feel like I need to post our Christmas picture for 2012. We didn't use it for Christmas cards or anything cause Ulises feels like he looks 15 when he is beardless. He had to be beardless for work. But I also felt the need to get a "family" picture for our first Christmas together. So here it is! Don't tell him I posted it. Isn't he a cute baby face? It's true that I prefer the beard, but who couldn't love this little face?