August 12, 2009

Last weekend in Madrid!!

Well, my last weekend came... and gone! WAY TOO FAST! I am all packed up... and we are leaving to England in about 2 hours! AHHHH! I will spend the rest of my time there, and then I fly out of London on the 25th. Back to the 801 to real life. I CANNOT wait to see my family... yay!!! Here are a few last pictures of me in Madrid!
My bus stop! No more bus rides into the city for me... but the 628 was my best friend!! I will miss it!!

I FINALLY got to see a bull fight!! You cannot come to Madrid, and not see one!
I went to the famous Rastro market in Madrid for the last time!! :( It was PACKED with people!
I sai my goodbyes to Gazpacho. YUCK! I hate it!! I am SOOO relieved I don't have to eat it anymore!! YAY!
I showed the new nanny that is taking over for my family a little bit of Madrid. She came to the bull fight with me and we had a lot of fun getting to know eachother. Sad to officially know my time is coming to an end and she will be taking over, but she is going to be really good!! yay!!
Poor bulls and horses hahaha!!
Me in front of the Madrid bull ring. It was a really fun last weekend, and I cannot believe it is time to leave! It definitely was not the same without my Madrid friends... but I had a good time. This experience has been more than I could have EVER asked for. I feel so blessed, and I am so excited to see England before I come home!! When I write my next post, I will be back in Utah!! YAY FAMILY HERE I COME!!! :D

Our final "excursion" in Madrid!

First off... My Dad is feeling better!! Still on oxygen, but they released him from the hospital today to go home!! I am more at peace, and am able to enjoy my last two weeks here, knowing that he is stable!! YAY!
Well, my time is winding down here in Madrid and before I leave, my host Dad wanted to go on one more "excursion."
Our Checklist before leaving the house:
1. Kids hats and Backpacks
2. Dog leash, water, and water bowl
3. Walking sticks
4. Sunscreen
5. Bathing suits and a towel
6. drinks and chips for a picnic
We went up to the "mountains" and had a lovely walk along a river. Charles, my host Dad, doesn't go anywhere without his dog, Athos, and he was the leader. No one was allowed to pass Athos, and we were not allowed to step off the path that Charles made because, "you never step off of the path the leader makes!" hahahaha It turned out to be a lot of fun.

The kids were able to get into the water, and we ended up catching a bunch of tadpoles! I have never seen one in real life, so it was pretty cool!

We were gone for the entire day because we had lunch on our hike, and icecream at a restaurant on our way back home! I am going to miss these little adventures with my Spanish family!
Oh I almost forgot. On our way home, we stopped to see my host Dad's horses. He pays to keep them on a piece of land, with about 150 other horses. When we arrived, little Ana and I walked up to the fence to look at all the horses. I was standing behind her when all of a sudden she started SCREAMING....followed by her turning around and punching me in the legs. She was crying and screaming "YOU HIT ME!!!" I had absolutely NO idea what was going on... for all I knew, I was standing right behind her looking at a horse that was biting another's bum, laughing to myself! Turns out she had grabbed the fence in front of her and it was electrical, so the horses are not able to escape, and she got electrocuted!!! She had no idea and thought that I had hit her from behind. She was so sad and would not come to me for a little bit, until she realized what had really happened. I felt so bad!! I promise I am not a child abuser!

August 6, 2009

my hero.

If you know my Dad, you know that he is never wrong. He always gives THE BEST advice, and always has the right answer for everything. My Dad and I became EXTREMELY close during my parents divorce, and ever since then... he has been my best friend. He has always been there for me. He is a spiritual GIANT, and I cannot remember how many times people have come up to me after he gives a lesson in church to tell me what an amazing job he did. I can talk to my Dad about anything. When I cry, he is usually the person I go to. When I was living down in Provo for school, whenever I was having a hard time... I would drive straight home to be able to talk to him. We have gone through so much together, and it has made our relationship so strong. He has always been there for me no matter what... but right now he needs my prayers. Not too long ago he got phnemonia and was flat in bed for a while. To our shock... it came back to haunt him, but ten times worse this time. I feel trapped in Madrid not being able to be there for him, or to help him. I call home everyday to check up on him and he just sounds miserable, and out of breath. Recently he was put on an oxygen nasal cannula to help him breath, because his breathing wasn't good enough on his own. He has been going to the doctor everyday to get his medicine through a vein to get in his system quicker, and then back to bed. Yesterday after my Step Mom and him left the doctor, they didn't feel right about it. They went to see another doctor who did some scans and noticed his heart was enlarged. He was then taken to the hospital where he is now in the ICU. They found two blood clots in his legs, and he has double phenomia which is effecting both of his lungs. They also think he may have the Swine. He is strong, he will be able to pull through, but it is hard for me to be relaxed over here thinking how miserable he is at home. He will be able to leave the ICU soon... I know it. He has been given priesthood blessings, and I know he is being watched over! He always caters to my every needs when I am sick on the couch with Strep, or something that seems so minor now... and yet I am not home to be there for him!! Why do I have to be so far away right now? Prayer is all I can do in hopes that my hero will be comfortable. Our family loves you so much Dad!! I cannot wait to see you!! Feel better soon!! :(

Back in Madrid again!!

Well... the day finally came. After a month in the South, it was time to say gooybye to the beach! We cleaned, packed up, and crammed back into that mini van to head home to Madrid. Andrea and I felt like we were sitting on a wooden table.... that's how amazing the ride was. Luckily it went by fast!! 6 hours of watching Disney movies in Spanish got a little old, but those are little memories that I will never forget!!
Last picture of our house in the South... with the finished pool! On our way home.... we had to do something to entertain us!!
Being back in Madrid has been good. The days go by slower because we are home all day long and the children are out of school, but we manage to keep having fun! We made paper chains for our countdown to England... one week from yesterday!!

Playing dressups! Wish the clothes actually fit me so I wouldn't have to wear the tutu on my head!

Yesterday we went on an "excursion" into the "mountains" to have a picnic and see horses!! It actually was a lot of fun!

My host Dad is going on a week long riding trip in September and wanted to see the horses that he will be riding. The kids all got a turn to ride on a very old horse... and they ended up giving the horse to my host parents so the kids can learn to ride as they grow up!!


I am in love with my host family. I got extremely lucky, and I feel so grateful. This picture was at our picnic. It is going to be REALLY hard to leave!!
I couldn't have asked for a better experience here. It is all coming to and end WAY too quick. We leave for England next week to visit my host Dad's family... and then I fly out of London on the 25th. My host Mom asked little Charles the other day if he was ready to have me go back to America. He started crying and ran downstairs. It will be a hard goodbye, I have grown to love my little Spanish family!

July 26, 2009

My Little Lucy Jane!!

Today is a VERY special day!! My little niece turns two!! She is the youngest of my nieces and nephews.. and I cannot believe she is soo big!! Where does the time go? I have not seen her since January... and man does she look different! She can talk, and my Sister says that she has A LOT of attutide. I cannot wait to see her!! The only way I have been able to talk to her is through Skype... so now she thinks her "Aunt Brit Brit" is a talking computer. Great. Here are some pictures I have of my little LJ as she has grown up!

The day she was born at the hospital!

Her Blessing Day!

All the Smitty Kids together before church one day. I am the luckiest Aunt in the ENTIRE world!!

Three New Adventures!!

Adventure Number One: I don't know if life could get any better. A couple of weeks ago we all went horseback riding... on the beach. It was amazing!! We went down on the shore and the horses were able to walk in the water. Two problems: #1 My horse WOULD NOT stop POOPING! #2 It was also TERRIFED of the water... and when a wave would crash, it would take off to the side. I thought we were both going to fall over. I haven't been on a horse in a long time.. but I would have to admit that I was impressed with myself. It was SO much fun!
We looked amazing in these helmets too! hahaha
Adventure Number Two: My host Dad rented a boat and we were able to go out in the ocean and look for dolphins! We were inbetween the coast of Africa and Spain. It was pretty incredible! Unfortunately we went on a super windy day so we weren't able to see any, but it was fun to be out on a boat!! Our boat driver anchored at an abondoned beach and we were able to get out and swim. The water was clear blue and there were fish all around!! We pulled out the binoculars and looked at the houses on the coast of Africa. I wanted to go over there so bad!! So close... but yet SOOO far away!! We had an amazing day!

Charles and I found a pirate ship and it was for sale!! We are going to save up and buy it!

There has not been a time where we haven't had visitors staying with us. This is one of my host Mom's close friends. She came with her family, and they were able to come on the boat with us. She spoke very little English, but she was so nice!! I have met so many amazing people since I have been over here in Europe. I love it!!!

Adventure Number Three: Jo and her boyfriend came down from Madrid to spend a few days in Cadiz. They were able to come see me one day when they were here!! I could NOT have been happier!! It was SOO good to see her! I thought the last time we were ever going to see eachother was in Madrid when I said bye to all the girls... I was WRONG. Man I love this girl! Thank you Jo for being such a good friend!! We had a fun day together!

July 23, 2009

The South of Spain!

Well, we have finally made it to the South! Actually we have been here for almost a month... I just stink at keeping up with my blog! My host Mom has a house in the South that she shares with all of her siblings. They used to come here every Summer when they were little, and the tradition just keeps on going. It is beautiful here and the weather is amazing!! Our house is up on a ledge, so we look down at everthing. We can see the mountains of Africa from the house... it is incredible!! They decided to put in a pool this year in the backyard... just my luck!! :D They started the day we got here, and they are already done! It has been soo nice!! I am so grateful for the experiences I have had here. It is going to be hard to go home, and back to real life!! My host Mom told me that she is adopting me and I am staying here forever... I wouldn't mind that too much. I am still loving it here!

Eating at a Pizzaria with Andrea (the housekeeper) and my three tiny ones!

Always have to have matching suits! I love them!

Beautiful Andrea and I. She only speaks Spanish... but understands a little English. When we hit a language barrier...we pull out my computer and use google translator haha!! Thank heavens for technology!! She is my only friend down here since we are in the middle of nowhere, and we have become really close. I have learned so much from her and we have had a lot of fun together!!

Little Ana
Georgie and her boyfriend came to visit the first week. It was fun to have someone to play with on the beach! I want her English accent SOO bad!
Love my life. Enough said. We have been to the beach every day! It never seems to get old. I have never built so many sand castles in my life... and I have never been buried so many times in my life. I am now a pro at boogie boarding, and I have learned to love tomatoes! They are so sweet and delicious here! The water is clear blue, and the weather hasn't been colder than 85 degrees. Perfect. One day it got up over 100... with the humidity here it was impossible to go outside and not melt. There are tons of mosquitos at night... but nothing that my bug spray can't handle! I love it!

Mirna.. a past nanny for my same family... came to visit for a week. We went out one night for dinner and took some fun pictures. It was fun to hang out with some girls my age for a night! I miss my friends in Madrid soo bad!! It is weird not being with them every single day! So far being in the South has been a dream. I got soo lucky with my host family and I feel so blessed to have experienced all that I have in the past 7 monts! I have 5 weeks left before I go back to the 801 so I am trying to give them my all... so hopefully I will be someone they never forget! Hope everyone has a good 24th of July! Wish I could see some fireworks!