How the Brexit would affect our family

We try not to think too much about the IN our OUT question on 23rd June since there is not much we can do about it because as Europeans we are not eligible to vote, which I suppose it makes sense, since even though it will affect us, all of us would vote IN, don’t you think? who would kick themselves out anyway!

great briitain leaves european union metaphor

But, hey! we can still give our opinion and share with you our thoughts on this, which as an Immigrant family we kind of have the duty to do. I’ve read the propaganda, I’ve read comments on Facebook and other sites for both parts and everything sounds so familiar…

We, ourselves come from different countries. Sam’s family emigrated from Brazil to Barcelona almost 10 years ago, and my family moved from Peru to Spain when I was a baby, over 30 years now! We’ve heard the same topics again and again: immigrants stealing our jobs, taking advantage of our benefits, causing problems, terrorism..all sorts of things!

For me, this is the first time it feels kinda personal because as a child in Barcelona was oblivious to all that, and never felt “attacked” as an immigrant, unless for a few times where closed minded people would say some inappropriate words. It is now, having emigrated as a grown up woman with my own family that these issues cause me some concern.

cropped-syemnch.jpg

Let me tell you to all those who want to vote OUT, I understand your point of view and you just want your country to be a better, safer, more successful place for you and your families. BUT, please, don’t blame it on US. As many of you, you will have people, British citizens who are working hard, who are successful in business, who are raising their children in good values that will contribute to the society. You also have the other side of the coin though, young people refusing jobs because they’d rather be on benefits, unstructured families, teenagers raising kids..So what makes you think that we are any different? We do have both sides of the coin as well. And let me tell you, if you start asking around you will learn many stories like ours: young families leaving their homes looking for better opportunities to be more self-reliant, to provide for their offspring, coping with home sickness, having to adapt to a new culture, making new friendships, finding themselves alone in many occasions.

I heard not too long ago that this country was built upon diversity, and I think that’s what made it strong. So it is not a matter of IN our OUT, it is a matter of HOW. How can we make this country strong again? When trying to point someone, look for a mirror and ask yourself how you can contribute in your neighbourhood to make it a better place. Don’t look to the side searching for that Rumanian or that Spaniard that  apparently is stopping you from achieving all your goals. So, How would affect the Brexit to my family? It would make us grow, as it did when we decided to come here, cause “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”  I am not being naive, don’t get me wrong, but I think if people is unhappy with their government they need to choose better or propose other options. At the end, we are the “guests” here, but we just wanted you to know, that most of us are the polite type of guest and not the scrounge one.

Note: This post has been written more as a reflection than not a debate but we’re still opened to read any comments. 🙂

If you’d like to join us on our family adventures do so by clicking here for Bloglovin or at the end of this post for WordPress.

Advertisements

Life with 2 under 5’s!

This is the Step 2 and the last one on our series of Maternity Leave Posts. We’ve decided we’ll talk about how we are adapting ourselves to living with two children, which can be an incredible exhausting but rewarding experience! By the way, if you have more than two you are probably thinking “Oh yeah, wait until you get another one!” haha

IMG_1417 (2)

Sam and I have been talking about the main differences compared to when it was just the three of us, and maybe what advice we could give to those wanting to grow the family but in all honesty, we haven’t mastered it ourselves too much yet, so before giving any advice we’d rather stick to the facts, and when I say facts, I mean, OUR facts, not that everything of these applies to you..but, who knows! So here they are:

Number 1. Loving the sibling to death!

IMG_1579 (2)

 

This is when the Parent needs to keep watching ALL the time, cause it might be that Big Sister is “killing” the baby softly to kisses and hugs… and sooo much love can be dangerous.

Number 2. The Present competition

Why is life so unfair that baby E got a gift but J didn’t? What did she do to deserve such injustice! Luckily for us many friends and family thought of J when giving something to E, but when it didn’t happen like that..oh yeah, the DRAMA was on!

Number 3. Bath time or the time when mummy gets all wet and I get half cleaned

J will try to help with baby E before her bath is ready because obviously she is highly experienced on giving baths to dolls, little people and plastic ducks. So, what we usually do is let her rub some soap on him and wrap him in the towel at the end. She’s actually quite good on this.

Number 4. Priceless siblings conversations

IMG_1804 (2)

Apparently E tells J when they need to have some sweet or when they’re not sleepy and don’t need to go to bed, or when he’s scared of the dark, and many other things that just by “coincidence” will affect J in some way. By the way, the last conversation I heard was very cute actually: E was crying, I was in the bathroom so I couldn’t go there to comfort him, but there it was, his big sister giving him all the support he needed, telling him           -“E! Don’t worry, don’t need to cry! You’re not alone E! I’m here with you! don’t cry, everything will be ok!”- hahaha…you can tell she is quite dramatic.

Number 5. Multi-tasking x 2

IMG_1701 (2)

When it was just one, you learnt how to do 2-3 tasks at the same time. Now, you’ve got two, but you still have only 2 hands so this is how it works: if dad is home, he will be in charge of one of them and I will look after the other one, and then we’ll switch. If only one of us is home with the two of them…oh well.. “Let the Hunger Games begin!” haha, no, basically one of them will need to put up with the other one, and this is when your skills for learning to prioritize will increase immensely.

Number 6. House chores? What house chores?

I don’t know how other parents do it but while typing this post we have a huge pile of clothes waiting to be fold and put back in their places. Could I be doing that instead of writing this? Yes, Do I want to do it? No, I need a life as well! 😉

IMG_1710 (2)

We just try to keep doing all we can without getting too stressed. I like a lot being organised and I think it’s one of my assets but I have learnt that sometimes you gotta feel good with yourself even if you just did only one tiny task of all the other ones you had pending on your list, because again,… PRIORITIZE… Is E sleeping and J wants you to play with her? Clothes, bathroom, hoovering can wait!

Number 7. Blind Date

IMG_1682 (2)

That is what our marital relationship has become, into a blind date! not because we don’t know who we are meeting with, just because, in all sense of the word, we don’t see each other on a date at all! Time for just the two of us is hidden somewhere and it might give us a surprise in a near future but not for now. What we do instead? Every once in a while, we pause, look into each other eyes for a few seconds, smile, thank God for the person that we are sharing our lives with and keep going, one in charge of E, the other one of J, and life continues.

There are many more differences that we could list here, but we would get to the exact same conclusion, we wouldn’t change a bit. Life with two under 5’s can be demanding, exhausting and stressful but it is also a rewarding, learning, and memorable experience that you treasure every time you see them smile, grow and become the great people you know they are.

 

Hey! What’s your life like with two or more children? We’d love to hear and learn from your stories as well. 🙂

 

Mumzilla

Maternity Leave Step 1: Our water birth experience

It’s been two months since our little baby boy was born but you can tell by our latest post that pregnancy took most of our time cause we haven’t been able to sit down and write something till now. But, here we are now, back on track, with our enthusiasm and “lack of sleep” ready to keep sharing with you our “ordinary” and sometimes “extraordinary” adventures.

We know how scary can be for parents-to-be and specially for parents-to-be in a new country, having a baby. So many things to consider, so many questions and big decisions, so let us share with you why we chose Water Birth as our option and how we experienced it.

Being completely honest with you we decided water birth not because we are like the pro-natural-drug-haters type of family but basically because we wanted to leave alone our 4 year-old daughter the least time possible. When taking the hospital tour we were told that if you chose to give birth in the water and everything went fine you could go back home as early as just 6 hours after giving birth. For us that seemed the right solution to our problem and for me it became my main motivation when going through the most painful hours.

Birth pool

Wythenshawe Hospital was our choice and even though we had Saint Mary’s as an option we will never regret choosing the South Manchester hospital. We had read all sorts of reviews from both of them but as in everything in life there’s a point where you have to take that step of faith, make up your mind and go for it. So we did and everything from tests to care, from the very beginning till the birth date was absolutely fabulous. The team, specially the midwifery team at the Birth Centre were amazing! The senior midwives along with the student ones, all of them very supportive. They cheered us up in every stage, and on the final one, when it becomes the most painful moments of your life, they were there. They don’t do any magic, they’re just there saying the right words and you and your partner do all the work, but that is exactly what we needed.

Birth Suite

Regards the water birth experience it self, yes… it does help relieve the pain, but it will get unbearable at the end no matter how warm the water is or how much your partner tries to help. You won’t be able to go into the water until you have dilated at least 8cm but the suite is so nice that you don’t mind that. It’s a private suite for you and your partner. You can walk around, listen to some music, watch TV and have some snacks, not that you might feel for all that but for example in our case we spent some time listening to some music videos from YouTube, having some toasts and orange juice that they offered to us and basically enjoying one another’s company; when there was no pain we felt like if we were in a nice room of a hotel but obviously then… contractions started to really take me down and didn’t care at all about music, light, or toasts!

Giving Birth

I will skip the painful part, it’s just a lot of yelling and pushing, and every mum will live it on their own way, but after that you see HIM, they take him out of the water and put him in your arms, and yes, it’s true, all the pain is gone, that pain that felt like someone was trying to break your back has completely disappeared and it’s just you, and HIM, and him, looking at each other and thanking God that everything went perfect. No more explaining on this because I think the picture says it all.

Summing up, would we recommend Water Birth? Yes, Would we choose that over a birth with epidural? now that the pain is gone, I would say yes. The recovery has been so much quicker than with the first child, lost weight faster as well and for me, it just felt better in every sense and the right choice for our family at this time at this place.

#EandJ

Here are a few links that you might find interesting and useful to help you decide:

Water Birth Live Video

What’s a water birth like and other questions

Wythenshawe Hospital – Maternity Unit

Pregnancy and Baby Guide – NHS

Life is full of imperfect pictures

Uno mas en CostaTuestaLandUno mas en CostaTuestaLandUno mas en CostaTuestaLandUno mas en CostaTuestaLand

You know when you find one of those super cute pictures on Pinterest or other social networks announcing a new member in the family? … Well, that’s kind of what we had in mind and this has been the outcome. A selection of pictures among many that have nothing to do with that perfect portrait where lighting and outfits have been carefully chosen, where everything seems to fit “naturally perfect”. Our reality has been filled with many tries of “Julia, please! smile! Julia, please, don’t cover your face! Nooo, you just covered the date!! to announce that yes, indeed, we are pregnant for the second time! In February we will welcome this so much expected new baby girl or boy.

Uno mas en CostaTuestaLandTo be honest, not everything in life is made of these perfect pictures we see on others’ profiles, adverts, etc.. the grass seems always greener on the other side, right? For us, we got married in 2010 and we always had the thought of 4 as the ideal number for children, two years apart if possible. Julia came not much longer we had decided to start searching for a baby. Those feelings of excitement and fear will always be kept in our minds. When she turned two we decided it was the time to look for the second one. Same excitement, less fear this time…but as months went by they became feelings of frustration and dissapointment when nothing happened. After a year or so we went to see the Doctor with the idea of “ok, if there’s something wrong, let’s fix it!” Fortunately for us, nothing was wrong, but is that type of “fortune” that makes you wonder “then, what’s wrong?!”

We are a believer family , as we have shared in previous posts, and that’s why when something doesn’t turn up the way we expect we try to avoid the thought of “Why us? or blaming God”; instead, we try to delve ouserselves into our beliefs and search for the answers we need. In our pursuit, we’ve found that sometimes you don’t know why certain things happen to you but you can learn many lessons along the way. We decided to improve our physical health by exercising more and having more of a balanced diet. We decided to improve our spiritual health by searching for the patience and encouragement we lacked in the past.  By reading similar stories from other mums, especially mysef, and studying the scriptures with real intent individually and as family…

Finally, months continued passing by, and with them many changes… Some of them turned out to be quite difficult challenges and during one of those toughest weeks, when I was feeling emotionally down, not because of this issue in particular but for other things that surrounded us, I decided to take a pregnancy test. With a bit of self-controlled excitement thinking this could be the time!, I took it and yes! a POSITIVE result! It was the fresh water we needed! The light showing little by little in the midst of so many hardships. For us, it was the Lord telling us “I remember you, now it’s the time” The truth is He had never forgotten us. When we were in the middle of such uncertainty we always used to think “when it happens, we will share our experience with others” just so they can see that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, that you can find happiness even in the darkest times and that life is indeed full of imperfect pictures, but those are the ones that make it special and unique, different to all the rest.

** We dedicate this post to all those wonderful couples that have been a great example to us because their search has been much longer and harder than ours and for some of them, still is.

Love,

Costa Tuesta Family

February, the longest month of the year

How is it possible that the shortest month of the year turn out to be the longest one? Even today, being February 28th, we are counting hours for this month to finish. We usually try with all our stories to be on a positive mood, the fact is that that’s how we always try to see things, with the glass as half full. But, sometimes, and just sometimes, days seem eternal, what you expect doesn’t come and what you don’t it ends up happening. And I am still contemplating the idea of publishing this post or not, because I know that when better times come and I feel more cheerful I might regret of writing this to let off some steam. However, it’s just fine, we will keep things in the family..
We love, I mean, I love watching shows like Ellen Degeneres or The Tonight Show, they’re most of the time entertaining and full of overcoming stories. Only yesterday, watching an interview to Kanye West, Ellen asked him “what have you done to stop reflecting/feeling so angry?”, I’m not even a big fan of him, I might just like a couple of his songs, but I liked his answer. He said “I have realised that if I keep acting the same way nothing is going to change, if I want to obtain different results I will have to do something different”(paraphrasing him a bit of course, cause I watch this show at night half asleep and in English…:P) But it is like that, we can’t expect to achieve our goals if we don’t work hard enough to do it. Feeling down is part of the journey, but even if you’re just trying to see the bright side, the simple fact of trying helps you to grow spiritually and sometimes temporally.

So here they are…the positive things of this month of February (we could share our little ups and downs and challenges, but what for?! everyone has enough of that already…;) :

*Julia tells me “I love you very much” every night. (before she used to just say “very much”) now she says the whole sentence and gives me a kiss.
Eli and Julia

*Sam and I have started new projects and we have been able to buy the equipment we needed!
movie-slate

*We have replaced the gym for long walks and a bit of cycling.
bosque

*Julia is developing herself in all areas, she’s full of curiosity and personality. Every day you learn something new with her witticisms.
Sam y Julia

*The love of our families is being reflected by the members in our ward from Church. We won’t have here our loved ones, but Julia has many “nanas” and “grandpas” that give her cuddles, play with her and make her laugh, and that, it’s just priceless.
relief society logo original

Let’s stop here, we promise next post will be full of colour and good “vibes” along with Spring and the nice weather that will arrive soon…for now, we’ll stick with February for a few more hours.

Going back to real life

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives . No way! Too dramatic, today is the day we returned from a short break in Barcelona visiting family . We won’t go into details of how “long” and tiring was coming back and how short it feels going there, but we will just say that we woke up at 7am and we have not come home until 7pm :/

It’s been a long time since we have posted something on our “family treasure” and since our favorite fans have been begging us to start writing again, here we are!(Our fans or what is the same, yaya Rosa and vovo Genil) you know…mother love!

Rather than being on vacation we went basically to reunite with our loved ones, and it felt so good! You know you have not been away of your country long enough when you return and still feels like home. Barcelona is a beautiful city, and it may have been the sun that has been out every day or the food, friends, or because you know every street in your city and you feel you have a thousand places to go, but it was a very much needed visit.

I told Sam that I felt like I was “in love” again of the city, to which he replied “Oh thanks for that! that touches me!” But after their little jealous rage he made a remark I had not thought of til then… He said “you haven’t fallen in love with the city again, in fact, if your family was not there you wouldn’t miss it so much and always want to return” And it really is like that, Barcelona has everything and more, and would love to visit over and over again, but it wouldn’t break my heart to pieces if it were not for the people we leave behind. They are the ones that make every time we go become like a mountain we have to climb again. We see how much Julia enjoys being with both families, the love and affection she has for each of them, from the newest member with only four months of age to the oldest one (We will omit names here, just in case, haha) There is nothing that can compare to these family ties . And for that, and more, we give thanks to God, not for a few days enjoying the sun but for the family treasure that we have on more than one continent and that helps us move forward.

Here you have some pictures!
IMG_0748 IMG_0755 IMG_0794 IMG_0796 amigosUni IMG_0825 IMG_0830 IMG_0863 IMG_0892 IMG_0899
And because we know that our “fans” will be the first to read this: we love you loads Yaya and Vovo! We hope you like this post. 😉

Love,
Sam , Eli and Julia

Where has this year gone?!

A year has gone by already!! Actually it’s been 11 months since our first post “Moving to Manchester” where we were full of hopes, uncertainty and so many adventures ahead of us. So let’s share with our family, friends, and all the welcome guests that may come across this blog our most cherished insights of our first year living abroad:

Entrepreneur Spirit. Nothing better than overcoming doubts and fears in order to jump into a big ocean of professional opportunities. Since we launched TuBa Advertising we’ve lived so many experiences! We’ve learned, we’ve tripped and we’ve grown in so many ways. No other position could have helped us more as a family to increase our creativity, confidence and social skills.

IMG_0143

Moving out of our comfort zone. Do you want friends? don’t wait for them to come knock on your door because that won’t happen, unless they are missionaries from the LDS church! (the one we belong to) It took us a while to understand that if we want to feel involved we need to stand up and start talking to people ourselves…and you know what..it works! actually you feel better for just trying it and you feel even better if you truly get to connect with someone and the conversation starts to flow..We still miss the laughs and good times with our friends back home..but that will happen again, at some point.

Ooohh…where we really that close to this place?! Seriously, we CAN’T believe how quick and easy is to get to some places now that we have our little old shattered but fairly precious Ford Focus. A good deal with Sam’s ex-boss in the right time. After the death of one of the rear-view mirror, and one or two shocks and surprises we must say we are fully used to the English way of driving. But I always wonder, why do they have these road junctions where it feels illegal to turn right but it’s NOT..everyone does it!

Choosing the right. After the last holidays Sam took off from work we were notified that his residence application had been denied and he could no longer work in the UK. What a disappointing and frustrating situation that was for our family, when we thought things started to move in the right direction. But we decided to turn to the One we know who could give us the RIGHT guidance, so after much praying, fasting and consideration, Sam informed his employer about the situation and they truly appreciated, -obviously!, who wants to get a fine from the Government!- We chose the right way, and because of that other opportunities have risen and now I’ll be working part-time in a very exciting position, which will allow us to apply again for Sam’s residence and we will still have to time to boost our own business!

IMG_0158

Where is our family?!Oh well…that is a tricky question to answer now. We have “vovo” (Julia’s grandfather) staying with us while he is searching for a job in the UK, half of the other Costas are in Barcelona and the rest in Brazil. From my side, all of them are in Barcelona, the good thing is that at least they are together and can enjoy each other’s company more frequently. It’s a pity how the promises we made before leaving Spain about how often we were going to visit each other seem almost impossible to keep now. Circumstances, changes in both family situations have been our stumbling blocks, back when we meet again it’s going to be SOOO GOOD!!

Anyway, Sam has already told me that this post is way too long, so we better finish it here before you fall asleep with our what we think to be the most exciting situations but are truly kinda ordinary..:S..haha

But, hey do you want to know the song that has been in our minds this last week since we watched for the second time Les Miserables? The Finale part…oh yes…and not because we feel miserable like they were but because we feel triumphant as they did!.

 

Nursery: a new stage in our family!

It’s been a week since Julia started nursery and we have to admit that her adaptation has been, to our surprise, quite quick! She went through these settling sessions where she basically stayed there for a longer period every day.

First day: Sam and I went with her and stayed for an hour. She played around and had some fun, obviously happy and still because we were right there!

Julia is going to nursery 2014-02-26 11.13.46

Next day: oh what a surprise! Sam has to work so I am the one who actually has to drop her off and leave her on her own for the first time with a bunch of nice strangers! T_T. I explained to her, the best I could, that I was going to come back and that it would only be for a little while, She didn’t seem to agree with that and suddenly felt like going to the toilet…and yes, it was true, she really needed to go, it wasn’t a trick to get me stay longer..oh poor her, after that, she was washing her hands with the help of one of the key workers, and I took advantage to start my way off. As soon as I closed the door I heard her screaming, crying and yelling MAMAAA, MAMAAA!!OMG!…that just broke my heart, I felt horrible with myself and with the idea of “how in the world I could leave my child with these people that I’ve barely just known!!” So I went home, called Samuel, cried for a while and make myself understand that it was the best for her and for all of us, that it was time for her to socialize, do fun things and make some friends. I prayed, and then I prayed a bit more…that helped me calm down. I was the grown up, I am the one who could understand the reasons! After two hours I went to pick her up and she was playing nicely. WHAT A RELIEF! The Key worker was wonderful putting herself in my shoes and we decided to extend a bit longer the settling sessions.

2014-02-27 11.32.01 2014-02-27 15.45.52

We’ve been praying every day for Julia to adapt quickly, Sam gave her a blessing on her first day, and with the blessings of our Heavenly Father putting the right people in our way and touching Julia’s heart, after a few sessions she’s completely settled in! She loves it. Well, when we ask her if she wants to go to “school” she clearly says NO, hahaha, but what kid wants to go to school anyway! 😉 She is actually having a very good time there, doing painting, playing around and basically becoming a BIG GIRL.

I wouldn’t say to anyone “Your kids need to go to nursery if you want them to socialize or blah blah..” but on the other hand, I wouldn’t say either that they need to stay at home with you 24/7.  Parents know their children, they know what is going to be best for them, what is going to help them grow and achieve their full potential. For us, it was nursery time already! and we are all growing along with Julia on this new stage. 🙂

The story behind the Christmas card

We wanted to share this story that recently happened to us because, first it taught us a lesson, and second, it might help someone as well. We live in a studio on the third floor of a big Victorian house, that basically means we are in a big room, share the bathroom with the guy who lives on the same floor and we have flat mates that live on the second and first floor. We never had any problems with any of them, always trying to be nice and friendly with everyone and in return they were the same way with us. Until one day, I was alone at home, just Julia and I, because, as usual, Samuel was at work. So, suddenly someone knocks at the door, not the door of our room but the door that separates the two floors, I open it, and it’s our neighbour from the second floor who starts yelling at me, and saying things that I just understood half of it! Mainly because the other half was swearing…:S, so I’m trying to understand what it’s going on, Julia standing right next to me, and then the other guy who lives in the same floor as us comes out and start telling the guy to calm down, and that that’s not the way to talk to a woman with a child in front and blabla… Anyway…we close the door, I’m still wondering what exactly the problem was and apparently he was complaining about the noise we make (noise that comes from a 2 year old girl who just likes to …simply be herself!) so I stay at the corridor talking to the guy and then go back to my place. Ten minutes later, someone knocks at the door, this time the door of our room, I open it, and I see our neighbour, holding the neighbour who was complaining, around his neck with his mouth bleeding, tearing up, and apologising to me because of the way he talked…OK… By then I was completely in SHOCK, I told both of them that it was fine, that we were going to try to be less noisy…anyway they both left and a few minutes later I get to talk to the guy who punched the other one that even though I appreciated the help we didn’t believe in violence to solve things…he felt bad as well, of course. After that, the other one came again to apologise, I told him we were sorry, and apparently he had been complaining to the landlord for a couple of months about that and we were never told anything. I have to admit I was shocked, a bit scared and worried about the whole situation so I called Samuel and asked him to come home as soon as he could.

After a while the landlord came and explained to me that the neighbour from the second floor had some problems in the past with drugs, that now he was over that but that his mind was more like a child’s mind even tho he is 28… By the way, I came to know that almost everyone in the house had been drug addicts in the past! What a wonderful place to raise our family I thought! So Samuel and I talked about the whole thing, and we felt there were two ways we could take: one was trying to leave the place as soon as possible and run away from all these people.. that would be the most sensitive one, …but then we thought,..ok, they made mistakes in the past, we never had problems with them till now, it is not that we can float in the air to stop making noise but we can try to be less noisy, and not judge them because of their past addictions and the risks of them but try to still be friendly and see them, see him, our second floor neighbour, as he really is, a child of God. So we made up our minds that it was not time to move out yet and we would try to be more friendly and specially less noisy. We noticed that this neighbour is most of the time alone in his house, just watching tv,..so we shared a few meals with him, he was very surprised and truly appreciated it. His behaviour towards us started changing, he was more opened to us, explained to us how he needs to be on medication to overcome his addiction and other things. He really seemed to be like a little boy. The second time we shared our meal with him he asked our names again, because he didn’t remember them,hehe…

20131219-232848.jpg

It’s been over a month since that incident…no more fighting, complaints, or “bleeding”! And the other day coming back from the store with Samuel and Julia he jumped into us and gave us this Christmas card, we told him we were very grateful and that it was the second card we received here in the UK. Inside the card you could read ” to eleana, samuel and little girl, with best wishes from M*****”
It touched our hearts! We knew we had chosen the right way, the path to love everyone no matter what, to not judge others and to solve problems with understanding leaving fear and pride behind. And that’s … The story behind the Christmas card.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
(1 John 4:18
)

Pros and Cons of living abroad

Well, we finally got to our 6 months mark! Yep, we made it! We arrived to Manchester in June and we are still around here with no intentions, for the moment, to go back to Barcelona. We thought now it could be a good time to reflect upon the pros and cons of this British adventure, maybe it will be useful for those ones thinking “I might give it a try and move to another country!” So here we go:

1st of Pros: economical improvement.
One of the main reasons to leave Barcelona was to look for better job opportunities, and well, we haven’t achieved all our financial goals yet but we can say there’s been a noticeable improvement since we moved to the UK. Samuel found a job on the third week we got here, and we can see God’s hand in that miracle, because we know of many other people that are still looking and have been here almost the same amount of time than us. He is learning new skills, building good relationships with his workmates and looking after our family’s needs and self-reliance. About myself, I changed my mind about the initial idea of me getting a full time job, I decided to start my own business as TuBa Advertising and I got to realise that I feel much more fulfilled being able to look after my little troublemaker than missing her stories, new words, amazing little adventures because of working for a company more than 40 hour per week. Of course I still want to get more experience and feel that I am a successful professional in my field but I can still do that being self employed, it might take me longer…but it is worth trying it.

20131208-002123.jpg

20131208-002155.jpg
20131208-003035.jpg

1st of Cons: loneliness.
Oh yeah, it is good Samuel found a job! Of course, but that also means that we don’t have normal weekends anymore, just one day off, that we always wait for him until he gets back from work around midnight and if we get lucky and there’s a nice day out there we might go out and do something fun. So basically I don’t have much time left to talk to another adult, and plus, because of my “social skills” I don’t get to do friends as quickly as I would like to, and sometimes, even when I try really hard, I might not catch some of their sense of humour or bits of a conversation…so yes, we miss our families, we miss our friends, I miss not having to make an effort to feel that I fit in in whatever sort of activity we attend… But I guess this is something that we will be able to overcome as time goes by.
20131208-002515.jpg

20131208-002423.jpg

2nd of Pros: learning a new language
How good is that?! Isn’t it! So apart from Spanish and Portuguese now we get to become more fluent in English. But let us tell you that it is not an easy task, specially if we just speak more often one another than actually with the locals. That means you really have to try hard to take advantage of opportunities to talk to other people at church, at activities, wherever you are and not just to the bus driver asking for a “day rider”! We feel we have improved, Samuel specially is doing really good since we got here and Julia, she is soooo adorable saying some words in English, such as “bye bye, yeshh (yes), go! and many others.. 🙂
20131208-002648.jpg

2nd of Cons: the darkness
Don’t worry, it is not a spiritual darkness! But a physical one! Seriously! Here in Manchester gets dark at 4 in the afternoon! How strange is that? And can you believe that at midnight gets lighter than in the evening! Amazing! We even took pictures to prove it, to ourselves of course, I don’t think anyone else is too bothered about it, hehe…but anyway, I get a bit scared every time I have to go out at 6pm or later than that…cuz it truly gets really dark out there,..we’ve been told it’s because of the season… Oh well, we will just have to wait until summer!
20131208-002742.jpg

3rd of Pros: spiritual growth and uplifting experiences
The scriptures tell us that we need an opposition in all things, words of truth indeed. Since we got here we’ve seen how important we are to our Heavenly Father, how closer we can get to each other as we trust in His words and try to apply them in our lives. We have been trying to get more involved in missionary work as a family and we have had the opportunity to share the gospel with some spanish speaking friends, one of them is listening to the missionaries and is working hard to prepare himself for baptism. Our testimonies have been strengthened because of that and even tho we might not understand everything that is said at church when you become part of the Lord’s work you feel blessed.

20131208-002859.jpg

3rd of Cons: Public Transport
Ok, I really didn’t want to end this post with something negative…seriously, Manchester has many assets, that for sure, but public transport is not one of them! It is expensive, the journeys are too long and the fares are not unified, so if you buy a travel card with one Company you might not be able to use it with another. On Sundays it is not-existent! And they don’t keep it too clean…I feel bad saying this… But just consider these as suggestions from a regular user 😉

This is it by now! Who knows what our thoughts will be after our 1 year mark! Maybe we love the darkness, we own a car already and we have become the souls of every party-activity and have loads of friends! OR maybe we are back in Barcelona!!…only God knows.