Massive Update here: Bear with me as I may lose my mind/go off track here and there.
Let me just start off with saying how completely crazy this journey has really been. I have NOT BLOGGED since our first month here in Asia and so much has changed, it’s insane.
We have moved. A LOT. Every month almost. We went from SM Jazz in Makati to South of Market in BGC, to the most (second most?) miserable month ever in Paranaque, back into BGC the day before Christmas to the most amazing and beautiful condo (Fort Victoria) and here is where we are now and will stay until we return home from our many travels this summer (all to be explained.) As you can see that is a lot of moving. We had been SO happy at South of Market, BGC. Honestly, really truly happy. We had found a nanny who visited us twice a week and the kids absolutely adored her so Joey and I also got some couple/alone time. Unfortunately our nanny stopped being able to help us out as she had some family issues and we not longer have her with us which has been really sad and hard for Aubrey (she is so easily attached.) We are still looking for a nanny that fits our needs so that we can have that “date” time and whatnot. We had to leave South of Market because the landlord was just terrible. It was a miserable Airbnb experience although we absolutely adored the location and the actual condo and the staff. NOTHING compares to our experience in Paranque. It was OUTSIDE the city which meant traveling an hour + in traffic do the simplest things like get a cup of coffee. The place was INFESTED with bugs. There was NO vegan food delivery. The laundry people were flaky as fuck and it was just literally terrible. The place was big and cheap but nothing could have kept me there. We left that place on Christmas day to move into the place we are currently in now and we love it here so much. It is small (not as small as Jazz but very small compared to what we are used to in general) 485 sq ft. total. Two bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, living room, kitchen, two pools (kiddy and olympic?) and the staff is just unbelievably amazing. They all know the kids, play with them, have conversations with them, and are beyond helpful when we come in after grocery shopping day, haha! We have more storage then we use currently which is just crazy to me. I couldn’t have imagined that we would be able to reach this level of minimalism and be truly happy about it.
Where we currently are living:
We currently live in the “New York of the Philippines.” It is exactly that. We are walking distance to pretty much everything, including major shopping such as S&R (basically cosco or sam’s club), malls, play places for the kids, green spaces, museums, 8 Starbucks locations? (probably more) and so many other things. This has been the key to my happiness, honestly. It has made my life wonderful because I am able to keep busy without having to put too much stress/effort into it. We are able to literally walk out of the condo and take a walk down the bike path all the way to the grocery store & Starbucks. We are able to play soccer in a green place that is only 2 short blocks away, visit a museum only 4 blocks away, play at our favorite kid space only a short 8 minute uber ride away, and eat lunch out at/near/around any of these favorite spaces. We are able to get vegan food/gelato/drinks delivered right to our door, as well as amazing clean laundry, and drinking/cooking water. I have nothing bad to say about this place which is why we bought a condo here (as well as it being a steal and being paid off in 10 years making me a whopping 35 years old and a home paid off in this amazing city!)
Yes. I still miss my family. Of course, undeniably so.
I am okay though. I will be seeing my Jamie March 28th for an incredible TWO MONTHS while we are in NYC this summer. I will also be seeing one of my brothers, Dillon and his girlfriend for about 10 days in NYC this summer as well before we head to London & Paris for two weeks with my In-Laws and Joey’s aunt. I will be seeing my mom, other two brothers, sister-in-law, niece and nephew in December for two weeks so that we can celebrate Aubrey and my nephews birthday’s together. Unfortunately, we were not able to make it to Florida over our summer trip with going to the UK, buying the condo, and the fact that obviously Airbnbs in Florida, during the summer time… are outrageously priced! The flights and the Airbnbs were just too crazy so we made a compromise to not get to see everyone but get flights for December since Aubrey has really been missing Liam and River and we do want to be able to get home at some point.
London & Paris? Where did this come from?
My husbands aunt Josette was going to Paris alone for two weeks this summer. It just so happened that we were going to be there when she was leaving and she had this insane idea to invite us! She is paying for the Airbnb fees and we were just to pay for our flights and food, etc. How could we say no!? My in-laws of course got dragged in as our personal baby sitters and we have made plans to go to Paris Disney with the kids and that is how this all happened. We were not sure we would be able to afford the flights but since we are going from NY to London and then Paris to Manila (back to PH) it worked out to be exactly what we would have paid to get round trip flights from NY to PH. We will be celebrating our SIXTH wedding anniversary in London which I mean… come on… WITH BABYSITTERS! ❤
The condo and when do we move in?
The condo is not ready yet so we have not moved out of the first Fort Victoria condo. We will continue to pay rent here until June 25th, which is when our lease is up. We are coming home from all of our travels on June 6th and the following day we will *hopefully* be able to have our condo turned over to us, keys, and all. That means we will get our oven/stove, refrigerator, etc all installed that week and move in the following week if all goes smoothly and as planned.
The kids and how they’ve been adjusting, etc:
The kids are great. They enjoy it here and have finally adjusted to our everyday lives. They Skype with my in-laws and my mom often so that is good. We also let them send DMs to their Auntie Cassi and Snapchats to their Auntie Jamie which they enjoy doing so they are still connecting. Aubrey called my brother Dillon the other day at about 2AM his time to ask him why their is a shifter in our Uber car and how it works… Haha! They make friends every time we go out and walk around or to play at places like Kidzoona. We have bought a blender and a rice cooker and now know where to get so many of their favorite foods/ingredients for me to make their favorite meals. We even found a Pizzeria that makes garlic knots so Aubrey has been over the moon about that. The people who work in the places around us now know us very well as well as the kids and are always so amazingly nice and caring with us and them. We do not have as many problems with “picture taking” etc here as there are more Americans & Australians so we are more normal here then when we were in Makati or Paranque, haha! They do miss everyone also and mostly talk about the dog and their aunties and uncles and cousins. They’re both very excited to go home for a while but are also excited to come back and move into our new place. They enjoy where we live right now since we have so much available to us and also enjoy the vegan take out food/desserts we find so often, haha! They also love the staff here in our building. They are super friendly but not over bearing and don’t try to get too touchy, etc. I would say the hardest thing for them is also, lack of family and the dog.
They enjoy mass amounts of Jamba Juice for sure, though ❤
What is up with the Dog?
So, we are not really sure. We really wanted to bring him over but we aren’t sure if we are going to be able to do that/if its good for him/if its worth it due to us traveling so much still/etc. We are really sad about the fact that we may be trying to find him a new home in the near future… We just haven’t gotten all the information yet and therefore haven’t made a definite decision. My mom isn’t going to be able to keep him after March so we don’t have much time left to decide and it’s just sad/stressful.
Our upcoming plans are currently just the NYC, London, Paris trips. Then we will be going back home again to NYC and FL from October 28th to January 2nd. Two of those weeks being spent in Florida (I think December 9 – 24?) something like that. We are also going to REALLY get our stuff together so we can travel more around the Philippines. We want to visit Palawan and some other places. As well as getting out shit together to go to Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Japan, etc. We have so many things we want to do, we just have to organize it and get it rolling and get money there, etc. So, that is what is currently on our minds/plates. 🙂
How were our Holidays/Birthdays?
My birthday was pretty awful because I had food poisoning but the kids both had fantastic birthday parties and we celebrated both birthdays and Christmas with the OkayRelax team which was very nice! Joey’s grandmother (the sweetest woman in the world) sent us money for the kids and Christmas so we were able to get out of Paranque for Aubrey’s birthday and into a beautiful condo for her birthday weekend where we also threw our Christmas party! Here are photos from their birthdays and the Christmas party! ❤
Aubrey’s Birthday/Christmas: SO SAD I DIDN’T GET A TABLE PICTURE OF HER CAKE AND STUFF 😥
Thank you for taking the time to read!! We appreciate all you dudes caring and stuff ❤