Happy Easter!

This little bunny wishes you and yours a very happy Easter!

  

 

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Three Years English

My first day in the UK

Three years ago today, I stepped off a plane in the UK with a wedding dress, a fiancee visa, and a plan to make a life here. I knew we’d be getting married in March and I’d try to find a job but beyond that I couldn’t have anticipated all of the wonderful things that would come our way.

The past three years have brought one little kitty cat, two new jobs for me, a new house for both of us, and many new friends and experiences. We’ve had adventures around London, the UK, and the world. I’ve gotten my UK driver’s license, filed taxes in two countries for several years now, and obtained the right to live here indefinitely. Every day, living here seems more and more natural, and that feels so good.

This three year anniversary also affords me the right to apply for UK citizenship. What a huge milestone. Becoming a mother and a UK citizen within a few months of each other is going to make 2015 a year to remember.

In some ways, life right now feels very similar to how it felt back in 2012. I’m on the brink of something wonderful and only time will tell exactly how wonderful it will be!

Oh, the Irony

Living in England, I have access to incredibly beautiful, historic, and charming places like this…

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…and this…

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…and this…

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…and all I want to do right now is spend my evening here!

 

The whole Target experience is just one of those little things about America that hasn’t quite translated itself across the Atlantic. Oh, how I miss roaming around Target on a weekday night. Seeing where the aisles take me and spending way more time and money than I need to. 

For those of you in America, have some fun for me next time you’re in Target!

Don’t Take My Words Away

In the last week, Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy campaign has sparked considerable discussion on the internet about the best way to empower young women. I don’t normally weigh in on these type of campaigns and I certainly don’t think my opinion will add anything to the discussion that probably hasn’t already been said, but I can’t shake the feeling of wanting to speak out.

As someone who was probably called bossy a million times as a child, I think the Ban Bossy campaign has missed the mark. The campaign is based on the assumption that the fear of being labelled ‘bossy’ prevents girls from taking on leadership roles. The proposal is to stop using the word ‘bossy’ entirely. However, I think that’s the wrong approach (and not just because it’s inherently ironic).

As a society, we need the word ‘bossy’ to make the distinction between good and bad leadership traits. Fundamentally, ‘bossy’ behavior — ordering others around, not listening, and assuming control unnecessarily — is negative. Whether you’re five years old on the playground or fifty-five in the boardroom, nobody likes a dictator. We need to teach our children how to be good leaders and that starts with identifying and correcting the bad behavior. 

I’ve always been confident, decisive, and commanding. Even in my preschool days, my teacher noticed me organizing the other children and bossing them around. What I am eternally grateful for is the way she and my mom handled it. They recognized my budding leadership skills and gave me outlets to express it in a positive way. I was taught the difference between leading and being bossy from a very early age. I learned that being ‘bossy’ was not a good way to lead others or make friends.

From that point on, the word ‘bossy’ became a way for me to keep myself in check. I didn’t want to be the type of peer and future leader who didn’t consider others. Each time I was called ‘bossy’ I reconsidered my actions and considered the other person’s point of view. Sometimes I realized I was in the wrong and other times the label didn’t hold much weight but the important thing was that I knew how to make the distinction. 

So, to everyone out there who wants to ban “bossy” from our vocabulary, please don’t. Instead, let’s teach our children how to be better leaders by ban bossy behavior in both girls and boys. 

Resolutions

Twelve days into 2014 and I’ve decided to formalize my new year’s resolutions. Until now, they’ve been floating around in my head waiting to be solidified and articulated. Not exactly the typical ‘I want to exercise more’ format, but here goes…

In 2014, I’d like to:

  • Celebrate my femininity – Sometimes I forget how much FUN being a woman can be — pretty clothes, makeup, girlfriends, silly music, fruity drinks, fascinators, and so much more. This year, I want to embrace and enjoy all the benefits that come with being a woman.
  • Care for the people and things in my life – Peter and I have such loving families, wonderful friends, a beautiful new home, and a kitty that we both adore. This year, I want to nurture those relationships and take care of the possessions we are so blessed to have.
  • Reconnect with my creative side – Growing up, I loved being creative. I could often be found painting, doing crafts, making music, or cooking. This year, I want to tap into that creative side again and see where it leads me.
  • Surrender to possibility – These last few years have been all about setting up my life here in the UK and it’s taken a lot of planning and research to make it happen. This year, I want to do less planning and more accepting of the opportunities that come our way. We’ve created a beautiful foundation here and it’s time to see what this life has in store for us!

Oh, and for a very concrete resolution, I’d also like to get my UK driving license in 2014. It’s definitely overdue.