27 April 2017

entering red square!!!!

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on easter sunday, after church, we took a fast train from st. petersburg to moscow. the train ride was actually an awesome experience – we sat across from a wonderful russian woman who we loved chatting with and learning from, and there was a meal allowance we didn’t know about that was outrageously big (we each got three meals and tons of snacks) and the journey was comfortable and fun!

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when we arrived in moscow, we took the metro from the train station to our hotel. that was an adventure because we couldn’t read any of the signs! ian found a map with some small print roman alphabet that helped us figure it out, and we made it to the ritz carlton moscow. we used rewards points to stay there for free and it was so awesome. after squealing a bit about the niceness of our room, we went out on the balcony and saw this view:

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those gates into red square were so so alluring and we bundled back up speedy quick to go check it out. as we were putting on hats and gloves, ian said to me, “chare, i’ve gotta tell you, i am really excited right now.” i replied, “oh my gosh, me too, my heart is fluttering!” red square was the number one thing we were excited about seeing in russia and we both (ian especially) have wanted to see it (st. basil’s cathedral particularly) our entire lives!

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as we approached red square, we were both seriously so giddy with excitement. i have to share these video clips that i took:

truly, i think entering red square on that clear cold night is among the very most stunning, jaw-drop moments i’ve had traveling the world. my whole body was buzzing with amazement and ian was freaking out a little. the huge open square and the uniquely magnificent buildings are just so. dang. cool. we wandered around, delirious with thrill, for about thirty minutes.

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back at the hotel, we checked out the views from the rooftop lounge before heading back to our room. it felt so surreal to look out over that square, to actually be there! this was all a fabulous introduction to moscow, a city we fell hard for and ended up wishing we had more time in! such a captivating place.

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more to come from moscow soon!

26 April 2017

ten thoughts on a wednesday {wisteria edition!}

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1. the wisteria of london is in full bloom right now and it is just sublime. moses and i went on a walk hunting for wisteria in south kensington last week and were absolutely delighted with what we found (which is just a tiny fraction of all the purple blooms around the city!)! we’ve also come across some other brilliant blooms…

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2. this is super random, but i’ve noticed while traveling (and hotels supplying only shampoo) that i like the way my hair feels and sits better when i don’t use conditioner. this really surprised me but now i’m pumped that i can quit buying conditioner!

3. last sunday afternoon, ian strapped moses on in the carrier and we walked down to whitehall gardens to play some ping pong! i had given ian a little table tennis set (paddles and balls) last father’s day because he had noticed the tables set up in the gardens (super close to our flat) and thought it would be fun to play. life has been so wild and full of other things that it took us ten months to actually use that gift! it was a perfect equilibrium evening along the thames and among the busting colourful flower beds hitting that ball back and forth. moses absolutely loved it and giggled so hard every time his dad lunged a litlte to hit the ball. we were all three laughing our heads off.

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4. i recently made a goal to decrease the time i spend looking at my phone. i downloaded an app called “moment” that tracks phone use and was appalled at the data that i saw in the first few days i used it! now it keeps me in check and i’m developing better habits, and it feels so so good!

5. moses is cutting a new tooth! we suspected something was coming through on top and then two days ago i heard him grinding his teeth … and now i can see it poking out. isn’t it funny how crazy exciting stuff like this is when you have a (first) baby?! it’s so fun.

6. people are good. this morning i went for a run and felt so jubilant as i jogged along the southbank taking in the views of big ben. and then i suddenly tripped and totally biffed it – haha! immediately there were two runners looking down at me with kind faces asking if i was okay. i’ve just been thinking a lot about how i believe there is so much more goodness than evil in the world, despite shocking things we learn about people doing in the media.

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7. ^^ okay, this house with the pink door…! it was sooo hard to capture how amazing the wisteria was, climbing all over the facade and wall and front garden. it blew me away. i stood there with moses in the buggy for a solid fifteen minutes taking it in and trying to capture it. four or five other people came by in that time and we shared sentiments of amazement with each other. so so gorgeous!

8. moses and i have been going to “mummy and me” yoga classes on tuesday mornings and it’s pretty much the best thing ever. i was worried that those classes would be really easy and not feel like a true workout, but i’m actually able to break a good sweat and get in some great yoga practice while moses plays happily by my mat! and at the end we sing songs and lift and bounce and tickle the babies and it’s just so so fun.

9. moses has started waving at people spontaneously on the tube and it absolutely delights so many kind strangers. and yesterday we met a friend for lunch and the waitress at the restaurant was obsessed with little mo (this happens with some regularity). she told me straight up, “you got a really cool kid there.” amen!

10. every night i make a lunch for ian to take to work the next day, and i always write him a little note and slip it in there. he keeps every single one and has developed quite a collection in his desk drawer. i sure got a good one. ian and i are still learning so much about each other and how to share our life and it’s such a refining adventure. but most nights we lay in bed and tell each other how much we love being married to each other.

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happy wednesday!

25 April 2017

st. petersburg {part two}

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we spent the first half of our last full day in st. petersburg visiting peterhof palace (which is about an hour outside of the city), and the second half exploring a few more colourful corners along the canals.
then, we spent easter sunday having a little egg hunt in our budget hotel room, attending three hours of church meetings in russian, and traveling via train to moscow!
click through to see some photos!
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