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A Whole Pile of Family

Vignettes of our life abroad



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Christmas in Munich

Posted on January 4, 2014 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (7594)

Palm trees at Christmas was just going to be too strange for us, so in lieu of spending Christmas in Barcelona, we decided to venture out to Munich, Germany where we thought it would feel like a more traditional Christmas for us New Englanders. We weren’t disappointed. One of the main reasons we chose Germany was because we had heard so much about the Christmas markets. I had also been to Munich several times before and really enjoyed my time in the city - I figured Martha and the ki...

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Broken Finger and Surgery

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (4809)

At the end of the visit from Grandma and Grumpa, Emmett thought it would be fun to climb the bookshelf in our living room. Just as Jeff said “be careful up there” he slipped, fell and apparently banged his pinkie finger into the window or radiator. He was in quite a lot pain and his finger immediately swelled up – so Jeff and Grumpa took him into the children’s hospital here in Barcelona. As a first hospital visit, it was quite an expedient process. Our expectation...

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The day it started to turn around

Posted on December 18, 2013 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (5308)

Jeff says that no one wants to hear complaining. (Like that has really ever stopped me :)) but his traveling on Abby's and his birthdays and thanksgiving. Emmett's pinky fracture turning into a break near the growth plate and needing surgery (that will be another post), Issues with Emmett's school which lead to social drama and requiring us to look into a new school and then our babysitter canceling on us last minute, so I wouldn't be able to do my spanish lessons. We were in a rut.

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Grandma and Grumpa Are Visiting!

Posted on November 2, 2013 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (980)

What a treat! The kids have been thrilled to have their first visitors (and I have been thrilled too!)


G&G arrived Tuesday early enough to go pick Emmett up from school. We took our usual mosey home down the Rambla de Poblenou and then headed to the beach. The kids jumped in the waves and built sand castles, and then G&G ran out of gas (the flight over here is a red eye). We headed home for some R&R. Both kids were enjoying grandma and Grumpa that I was able to ...

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We Have a Trash Shoot and other cool things...

Posted on October 8, 2013 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (4290)

Now I'm not one of those people who moves somewhere else and thinks, WOW they do everything better than us. Ok, I am, but while there is plenty here in Spain I don't like (smoking, dog poop everywhere, no window screens etc.), there is lots I do like:


1. We have a trash shoot. I never thought I'd have a "shoot" of any sort in a home I live in. I mean, after watching Webster as a kid I really wanted a dumb waiter, but now at least we have a trash shoot - right outside our...

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Home Sweet Home and Other Thoughts

Posted on October 6, 2013 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (3263)


Home Sweet Home

We have finally moved into our permanent housing. It was a little hairy if our stuff was going to get through customs in time to move before our temporary housing ran out... but it did, phew! Our house is nice, maybe like 1500 sf or something, a gorgeous sea view (6th floor), a playground downstairs, close groceries, health care (although I haven't tackled that yet), 20 min walk to Emmett’s school, lots of storage and under budget. However, befo...

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La Merce

Posted on September 24, 2013 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (5133)

One of the holidays for Catalunya is La Merce' ( Feel free to wiki it. Anyway, we went to go see the festivities of dancers, parades, human towers. Dancing - People dress up in tradition clothes and dance, it’s pretty neat and a lot of the people are younger so it’s nice to see the total age gamut for these festivals, we tried to see more stick dancing that we liked when we visited Sitges, but we went to the wrong place and instead got to see the Sardana d...

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Start of School

Posted on September 21, 2013 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (5169)

So I feel the need to document Emmett starting preschool at Kinder. Kinder is an international preschool with cohorts of Catalan, German and English in the morning and Spanish for the afternoon... its philosophy is based on a lot of the educators I like such as Marie Montessori and Rudolf Steiner

Spain does things a little different: once kids turn 3 they often put them into preschool for 5 full days. It’s crazy but free for those working, although even non-working moms often seem...

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Two Weeks In

Posted on September 14, 2013 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (537)

August 25 – September 1, 2013

Two weeks down and still adjusting. This week we went to about 15 different playgrounds, I am not even exaggerating. Of course none of them are within 2 blocks of our apartment. Abby is still a little socially awkward and either says a very loud “uh uh” (like a no) to any new kids on the playground, or she pushes other kids OR leans in like a dementor (Harry Potty reference) to kiss them. Hahaha Actually Emmett kissed a girl he met at...

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Catching Up With a Series of Posts

Posted on September 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (3358)


Park Guell should be named Parc Grueling, to get to...

a trek to the train... then up a huge hill from the train to the parc. that said... the morning was quite nice. We found a total of 5 playing grounds, one on the way and 4 there. that kept the kids interested during the walk! there was lots of live music and I was surprised to hear Cat Stevens as we started our journey. Toward the top, we heard the Mañaneras, a lively ska-reggae-hip-hoppy type of music and t...

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