Monday, July 25, 2016

Update on the move

Hello everyone!


We are now in Prague!
It feels like we've been moving forever.
We still don't have internet at home (I'm publishing this blog post over my iPhone's data) and the girls can't wait to get connected to chat with their friends, play Minecraft and watch youtube videos about Minecraft.

So the move went pretty smoothly. It was scary by moment, but finally it all worked out. Let me back up a little and give you more details.

So during the last week of school, in June, we had the packing crew over and they made boxes for 3 days straight! I didn't think we had that much stuff. In fact, when the company came to make the survey (checking the things we have and calculating what size of container we would need) they told us that the container paid by my husband's company wouldn't be big enough to bring everything. We couldn't believe it. Everything electric was staying in the USA and we had many huge pieces of furniture (IKEA wardrobe that we had bought in Switzerland 15 years ago and which had already moved like 10 times!) that were not coming with us. So knowing that it was not fitting, we asked for a second smaller container. And we waited weeks for a decision to be made. We were starting to stress out and I started purging! The couch is going to the trash + the table and that table and the guest bedroom set and maybe I can get rid of more clothes and toys.... My parents came to help and me worked 4 days emptying the attic/storage spaces. We filled the garage of a neighbor with toys and stuff to donate, we filled my parents car with stuff they could bring to Canada and we filled my car with stuff we were bringing to the trash. I was hoping that all this would be fine to have everything fitting in the container now. Well, the day before the packing began, the company who did the survey called me to ask if I was ready (how can you get ready for packing while still living in the house?) and I told her that I was a little nervous that everything would fit in the container and she then told me: Ah my colleague didn't call you? Your company agreed on a 2nd container.

...

So the packing began. It was tough to be living in the house and seeing all the need I was still using on a daily basis being taken away. As I was seeing things I still needed I grabbed them and stored them in the guest room where were were staying because remember, we were not going to bring the guest bedroom with us. So that guest room became our sanctuary and was filled with things we would need during the next 2 months. Let me explain:

We had one container going by boat right now. And then we had one more container going by plane just a couple of days before we were flying to Prague. We kept some towels and kitchen things, clothes and some games and things to do for the girls. I don't remember the exact deadlines but the main container would leave on Friday (the day after the last day of school) and on Saturday we were leaving to Canada (my husband was going back to Prague. He was in the USA one week during the packing because he had to sell his car and take care of some paper work and he had to support me morally. I was pretty much a wreck at that time! It was a very, Very stressful week and leaving to Canada was such a blessing.) So anyway, we were leaving Saturday to Canada for a little bit less than 3 weeks. We were then coming back to Charlotte, NC for 3 days (Arielle had a dentist appointment for her braces and we had to take care of our green cards) and after these 3 days my husband was coming back to the USA and we were flying to Florida for a much needed family vacation. Some time together. We were living apart since April already! After these 10 days in Florida, we came back to Charlotte, but lived at the hotel at that point, for another 3 days. We had to go back to the dentist to take out Arielle's braces (yay!), we had to sell our 2nd car, we had to get rid of what was left in the house and to clean the house and we had to take care of our green card once more because it hadn't worked out the first time around. Going to the green card place is like going to the DMV, but worse. ;) We also had a small goodbye party with our closest friends and neighbors. The house was empty but we all hung out around the pool with drinks and pizza and it was just perfect! The kids had fun with their friends in the pool and we could say one last goodbye to those who helped us during our 2 years stay in NC.

We finally gave the keys to the people who will stay in our house while we are away and we left the USA July 14th. We arrived in Prague July 15th (it was our 16th anniversary).

We stayed at the hotel over the weekend. Didn't sleep one bit in the very noisy room. We showed Prague to the girls. Brought them to their new house. And we received our things Monday July 18. It took 5 weeks + some days for our containers to get here. That was a blessing since they had told us 6 to 8 weeks!! We are now in our house since one week (today!) and all is well. As I was telling you at the beginning of this post, we still don't have internet nor bars for the towels ;) but we are adjusting slowly and getting there. I am very thankful that I have 2 kids and that they can entertain each other with the help of Minecraft. My husband is working and going on business trips already and I am opening boxes. In fact, I still have a lot of boxes to open! For now we have one car, the company car, and hubby is using it to go to work. We went to buy me a car but it will take a good two months before I get one. We'll have to do with only one. Thankfully the bus is right around the corner and common transportation is really good in Prague.

Scrapbooking wise: I still have to unpack the 30 scrap supplies boxes and find out if my printer will work here before I can get back to scrapbooking. I am still on the Citrus Twist Kits Design Team (so thankful that Trina have let me take a break instead of dropping out!!!) and I'm finally staying on the Get it Scrapped team, part time. I love Debbie (Hodge) and Amy (Kingsford) and am thankful that they let me do this!!! As for Pretty Please, I can't wait to start playing with my collection and I'm SUPER EXCITED to see layouts and projects using my collection Here Comes The Sun popping up on my Instagram and Facebook feeds. Thank you for using my products and thank you for tagging me (@mpcapistran)! It's such an awesome feeling!

I'll have to get back to unpacking now. :) It's really fun to see things taking shape and to make this house our HOME.

Talk to you soon my friends!!

Marie-Pierre

PS: A HUGE thank you to my friend Tracie Claiborne who pushed me to do this blog post and get back to blogging even without having anything scrappy to share. :)










Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Get It Scrapped DT | the details

Hi everyone!!

Today I am sad to announce that this is my LAST project as a Get it Scrapped DT member. With the upcoming move, it was impossible for me to stand the rhythm and I also didn't want to promise that I'd be back in three month since I have NO idea of when I'll be settled in and when the girls will get used to their new environnement. They might need me a lot for the first months and I want to be there for them. So after 4 beautiful years alongside Debbie (Hodge) and Amy (Kingsford), here I am posting my very last project. *holding my tears


So the last assignment was to scrapbook a photo with details. I chose to go with a picture of Maya's 5 year old cake because as we were working on our cakes for this year we realized we had a hard time remembering our cakes we make each year. So I chose 3 photos. One showing me with Maya and her cake, one showing the whole cake and one even closer showing even more details of the cake.


I added elements around the pictures that wouldn't steal the show.








Voilà!!
Thanks so much Get it Scrapped!
I will miss you very very very much!!!

Marie

Friday, May 20, 2016

How did you tell the girls?

Luckily, I guess, a couple of weeks before the big news fell - if you don't know what I'm talking about, you might want to read my previous post - we had played the Powerball. The jackpot was evaluated to several hundreds of millions. We didn't win. But we had time to dream about what we would do if we would win. As a family, including the girls in the process, we had decided that we would have them drop school and we would leave for a trip around the world. A couple of years. The girls were pretty excited about that. We would keep the house so we could come back in two, three years. (And then we would build a slide from the 2nd floor of the house leading into our swimming pool...but that's a whole other story...)

So as I said, we didn't win. But. But. When came the time to break the big news to the girls, we came back to this:

"Remember we had said, if we won the Powerball, we would quit school and leave for a trip around the world? Two, maybe 3 years? How does that sound?" 

"Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!" 

"Mom? Are we really going to do that?"

"I don't know yet. We have to discuss it with daddy. He has to tell his company that he wants to leave..." 

Ho boy. What did I put myself in?

So that evening we told them that yes, we were leaving. That we would find a school for them in Europe, in the middle of all the beautiful countries we were planning to visit. They agreed. It took like 5 minutes and it was done. No tears. Just excitement. Until it was time to go to bed... 

I got a couple of worried questions from Maya first. But she quickly fell asleep.

And then I got questions + tears from Arielle. It lasted, what, maybe 1 hour?! Poor little girl. She wasn't sure anymore that she was willing to leave her house behind. And her friends!!! What would they do without her when she would be ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD? She fell asleep, exhausted!

We told them not to tell their friends just yet. I know, it was a bit much to ask. 
Arielle did tell her friends but somehow they didn't seem to realize anything and didn't bring the news any further. 

We told the teachers. We started applying for our new school. An International School following the American curriculum. Perfect to keep the girls on track because yes, it's the goal to come back to the US. 

No more tears were shed. 
And a couple days later, as we were driving to school, Arielle asked me:

"Mom, dad got transferred didn't he?" 

She knew...

1.5 months later, that would be now, we are not crying anymore. Or at least they are not. ;) We are trying to get everything together and ready, while finishing our things here and continuing to live normally, as much as possible. 

The worst part is being separated from daddy whose already working and living in Prague.

I asked the girls what they wanted for their birthday. Maya said she wanted to be standing next to Daddy, Mommy and Arielle. That's all. 

We'll do that little girl. We'll do that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"Are you sitting down?"

It was mid-January, 2016.

My husband called me.

Him: "Are you sitting down?"

Me: "Why? Are we moving?"

Him: "Yes."

Me: "Where?"

Him: "Are you sitting?"

Me: "Not Europe?!!!"

Him, laughing slightly: "Yes."


...


And so it began.


"Where?"
"Not Switzerland?!!"

"No."

"You're sitting?"

"Yes. I am."

"Prag."

"What?!!"

"Prag."

"You're kidding me."

"No."

"When?"

"Soon."

You can feel my excitement, can't you? After the 12 years I had done in Switzerland, I had made it clear that I was not going back. Not to Switzerland anyway. But it wasn't really a choice. When the company you are working for has a job for you, you take it. No matter what. So this was Friday. They gave us until the following Monday to give an answer. The discussion that weekend was quick: So? Do we do it? ... I think we don't have the choice, do we? ... No, not really. ... Ok. Let's do it.

After that, we waited 2 long weeks. Everyday I would ask him if he heard anything. "No."
Until one day he said: "I'm going to Prague for interviews."

"When?"

"In 3 days."

There's never a lot of time to think. Once the process starts, you're just pushed left and right as it pleases them. So I stayed home alone with the girls. Almost one week. He had many interviews! When he came back, he had 3 days with us and he left again, to Florida, for more interviews. He also had interviews by phone. 13 in total. And then we waited. One week without news. And then he got one more interview. And we waited again. One more week. And then it fell: He was chosen! We were going to Prague!

That was the end of February.

So all that waiting + interview time lasted 1.5 months. We didn't tell our girls. In fact, we didn't tell anyone. We didn't want to risk the girls to be sad for nothing. When we knew it, we still did't tell the girls. We had no details, no action plan. We did't know when we would have to go. We knew that I would finish the school year here. My husband would have to leave before that for sure. We were another 4 weeks without knowing anything. And then Pat had to go to Prague for a week. That was the end of March.

Because his trip was only for a week and because he hadn't heard anything yet, we thought we were good until the beginning of May. But then it happened: just a day before he left for that week in Prague, the phone rang and it was the details we were waiting for: you're beginning in Prag, April 1st.

It was scary. That meant we would be separated April to July. That meant I would have to manage the girls + the move by myself. Selling the cars, the packing of the house.... I didn't think I could do it. So Pat arranged to come every 3 weeks for some days, starting mid April. Phew!!

Before he left (or after he came back from his first week in Prag), we went to Atlanta to renew the kids passports. And he booked a hotel/apartment he would stay at until mid-july. And then he left. It was mid-April.

The first three weeks went pretty fast. Living alone with the kids is not easy. That's when you realize that the things you leave aside for when hubby comes home that night can't be left aside because hubby is NOT coming home that night. Nor the next one, or the following one. The nights are dark and scary. Thank god for good neighbors and friends we can count on!!

Thankfully, nothing really bad happened. Nothing I couldn't do by myself (with his help at the end of the telephone line). The worst part was taking care of the pool. Yuck! Remember we live in the south. I'm always afraid of going in the bushes for the filter tasks because of the snakes and spiders. Ha! Apparently there are no bears, no snakes and no spiders in Prag. Nobody got sick either. I sometimes get migraines and then nothing goes. But no, nothing bad happened.

While Pat was away, we learned that the contract had changed (expat contracts are always the same, so we more or less knew what to expect) and that we had to put our house on the market for rent. Another big stress. You would think that when the company moves you, they take care of everything? Well you would be surprised! So from overseas and while working long hours on a new job in another country, hubby took care of that. We were lucky and found good people right away!

Pat came back and stayed with us 5 long (I'm kidding!! It went really fast!) days. On the 4th day, my parents arrived. They would stay at our place for 10 days while I would go to Prag with Pat on a house hunting trip.

We had our house hunting day yesterday. We chose a house out of the 8 houses the agent had to show us. We are now waiting for a contract. Today is Tuesday. I'm still here for a couple of days, until the weekend, and then I go back home, to my little girls. Pat is working. Today he was in Poland! I spent the day alone, strolling Prag, taking pictures, checking my pockets and eating in restaurants. Make sure you follow me on Instagram if you want to see my pictures. That's where the fun is! :)

Instagram: @mpcapistran

I'll come back with the rest of the story as it unfolds.
Thanks for tagging along!! I really love the support!

Marie

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Citrus Twist Kits DT | Project Life

Hi everyone!

Today is a special day. I'm going to take little break for the summer while we are moving so this will be my last project for Citrus Twist Kits for a little while. And it's a very simple one.

You might know if you follow me since January, that every month I like to add a little calendar between my pocket pages.  And then, on the back of the calendar, I fill the pocket with a small page (6x6). I like to take a special photo. There's not much space for the journaling most of the time. I have to be clever about it so that it tells a story with very little words. So here is my April calendar and 6x6 page:



I made my calendar myself at the beginning of the year I used Photoshop and it was fairly easy. It just took some time.


I added a flair and a small round sticker and I used my agenda to fill in the days.


For the little page I used a photo that I had printed for my PL and that I had left out. because it was my daughter attending a birthday party and I thought it doesn't have to be in the album - I'm trying to make it simple and catch up before I leave! So anyway, my husband came into my studio and said: "Wow! That,s such a cool picture!" I mean, the lighting in that place was crappy, I don,t know the little girl who's on the picture with my daughter... the picture is blurry, but apparently it spoke to "daddy" so I decided to use that photo! :)

Because of the very small size of the page, I kept the embellishing to the minimum. And didn't add much journaling except the infos about the event, but this being said, I love this picture a lot because my daughter came a long way on the social point of view since the beginning of her kindergarten year. When we came to our first birthday party at this place at the beginning of the year, she hung up to my leg and didN,t play. And now she's sliding the giant slide and really having fun (as the picture tells). So I added a little #go maya go to represent that. I could add a 3x4 card and write the details and tuck it inside the page protector. I might do that. :)


So voilà! That's it for today!! 
I hope you got inspired by my little project even though it was small and simple. I'll have one last page to show you (for Get it Scrapped) before i leave for the summer so stay tuned for that! :)

Talk to you soon, friends!!

Marie

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Citrus Twist DT | Project Life May 2016

Hello everyone!

I'm here today to show you another Project life page I made with my Citrus Twist Kits Project Life May 2016 kit! :)


The May kits colors are right up my alley!!! Look at this: yellow, pink, aqua and a lime green. It fits right with my life. :)



The 6x6 paper pad is from Page Evans' Fancy Free collection.  Yummy colors. Really!!! I used that circle to write my journaling in. Added an enamel sticker, a flair and 2 little enamel x.


I like to add cards that I receive in my Project Life album. This here that you see is the enveloppe. I like how my daughter's teacher calls me Mrs T. when my name would really be Mrs C. lol But I find it funny that Mrs T makes me feel like a teacher. :) The little card is right behind the enveloppe. I let it peak a little up there. I added a small die cut to add a little detail about the card and attached all of this together with a paperclip (found at Target! Not included in the kit)


I made an Easter column with the 4 pockets far left of the page. These alphas are really powder or ice blue  but on yellow they turned kind of grayish. But it's ok. We're not looking for perfection, are we?

I used a technique that I really hate (!!!) which is writing directly on my photo with a slick marker. I hate it because I always feel like the ink has a yellow/orange flare to it. I also don't like it because I can,t seem to ever find the right way and place to write. I do like my handwriting and here I really didn't want to hide any of my picture with a label so I tried it again. Ali (Edwards) does it always perfectly. Me? Not sure... but anyway, it's there and it's good enough for this one time. :)


Lovely lovely PL cards in the kit this month. And I treated myself this month and bought the sprinkles kit in which I found these ADORABLE tiny stickers. I mean, look at this "love this". So cute!! The Dear Lizzy very cute and optimistic phrases, also in the sprinkles kit, are one of my favorite product EVER! Yay for Dear Lizzy!


The sprinkles kit again had some doilies. I like them to add a little touch of solid color through all these patterns of the Fancy Free collection. And paired with the embellishments from the PL and Embellishments kit, they are just perfect. :)


On my right page I used two very white cards to let the eye rest in the middle of all these patterns and colors!


My mom turned 67 when she was here. :) A pink cake! I didn't think that it would match the kit, I swear!! lol



I got a little over the top with creativity on this card. I wrote in circle and stitched 2 lines around my journaling. Added a small puffy heart in the middle. The card was so cute and simple, maybe I should have just let it be with the tiny heart in the middle. But you know how I love journaling and want to write everything. 



That little puffy LOL is so cute!!! Yay for simple and modern embellishments like this one! This little card is also simple and perfect!! So beautiful colors.


This die cut is silver foiled. Just beautiful. I didn,t capture it when I shot my pictures of my spread. And the ps I love you puffy sticker...again, I love it!!!!


I decided to use lots of colors behind this photo. Everything else was too plain and didn't work. So to tone it down, I used a navy blue no pattern fairly big sticker.  And the 4EVER... swoon. So sweet and simple. I still have plenty of these tiny puffy stickers left and they are ALL so so cute!!!

Have a great day my friends and thanks for stopping by!

Marie

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Get It Scrapped DT | My dad

Hello everyone!

Here's a page I made for Get it Scrapped. The goal of the assignment this month was to scrap with an intention. Start with something (a photo, a story, an emotion, whatever) and build on that bringing only elements that makes sense and that convey the intention you started with.

Can you imagine that I hadn't made a page on my dad yet? Not one! So here is my first page I made for/about him.


So I started with the idea of making a page about my dad and everything on this page tells a bit of his story.


Starting with the title which is an inside joke in our family.


And all the embellishments too have their meaning.


The page is minimalist, just like my dad, and holds a lot of words, just like my dad.  :)


To see more on building pages with intention, head over to the Get it Scrapped blog where you'll find a great article and many more examples.

Marie