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¡Adiós, 2018!

It’s been a minute since I’ve written anything for this blog.

And by ‘a minute’ apparently I mean two years. Oopsies.

I’m sorry.

Let’s move on. I’ll catch you up on a few things we’ve done in the last 12 months.

My motto for 2018 was to repeat the phrase, “It’s gonna be fine. It’s fine. IT’LL ALL BE FINE.” — usually three statements, but occasionally I got stuck in a loop. Let’s just say it’s been a doozy of a year. But it’s coming to an end and 2019 is looking mighty fine.

We travelled a ton!

This year’s trips had more to do with good company than new places:

In January we took a week to ski in Bansko, Bulgaria with our buddies Lauren & Paul, who have since rediscovered their intense love of snowboarding and will join us for the same trip again in 2019 (more on that later!).

View from the top of Bankso Bulgaria Ski Lift

We met up with our fun KC peeps Rob, Nicole, and little William, for a few nights in Paris, in the cold cold cold.

In front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

April took us to County Kerry, Ireland, for some fresh air and bike rides (duh) with our European travel buddies Jamie & Martta.

riding bikes in County Kerry, Ireland

J&M moved away from London in May and now live in Malmö, Sweden, so we’ve had a lot of fun exploring their new city with them (where Jamie is a tour guide)! We got to spend ‘Midsommer’ — the longest day of the year, and an official Swedish holiday — wearing flower crowns and dancing until dark (which finally fell around 11pm). We also spent a long autumn weekend stargazing and hot-tubbing in the islands off the west coast of Sweden, and took a day trip to Copenhagen for Christmassy fun times at Tivoli Gardens. Picturesque!

Flower crowns and picnics in Malmö Sweden


The summer brought a small wave of visitors to London and beyond!

We hosted Ellen’s brother, sister-in-law, and niece in July. We got to learn how to be surrogate parents when Dennis & Jennifer gallivanted off to the continent, and we are very pleased to report that, despite her best efforts, we sent Sofie home in one piece!! We did have a teeny trip to the emergency room in Paris, but that’s a story much better told in-person. We also explored the secret traboules (hidden passageways) in Lyon, France before bringing everyone back to London (I repeat, *in one piece*) for a trip to HARRY POTTER WORLD OMGEEEE

Title: “The Calm Before the Storm”. Moments later Sofie cut her foot in the fountains behind us and we learned how to navigate the French healthcare system – sacre bleu!

We then played tour-guides-extraordinaire when Ellen’s Aunt Linda and Uncle Erik arrived on the day D&J&S left (#quickturnaround). We love showing people our favourite Londony places, and even explored some new sights such as the famous Beatles Abbey Road crossing! (#NailedIt!!)

After a brief respite, Ellen’s parents arrived for their third visit while we’ve been here. We travelled to Reggio Emilia, Florence, Rome, and Barcelona, learning a lot about famous sculptures and cathedrals (and by the end of it were more excited by the food than the old things). However, the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona still remains one of Ellen’s top-ever locations in the whole wide world and she was excited to share it with her favourite people.

#CeilingSelfie at the Parthenon in Rome. Check out @ellensayshola on instagram for the full Ceiling Selfie Series!

Our final crew of visitors were friends from “uni” (that’s college to you American folk) Rick and Lindsey and their kiddo Caiden. We wandered in museums and ran around Hyde Park (a LOT). Most excitingly Britton and I finally took the most expensive London public transit option, the Thames River Cruisers, from Greenwich all the way back to our ‘hood in Battersea.

(This photo is on a bus not a boat.)


That list obviously doesn’t include the huuuuge number of nights in London pubs and friends’ living rooms. We have such a good group of people surrounding us in this town <3

So, with a list like that you probably think we’ve been neglecting work.

Well, funny you should mention that.

Because, ladies and gentlemen: Britton has quit Cerner.

You read that right. Britton has voluntarily decided to make a major life shift. The only other documented occurrences of this phenomenon happening in the wild is when he proposed, and when we moved to London… so this is a pretty big deal.

It’s also big because it means we’re on the move once more! Our lives in London were tied to Britton’s work visa, so without it — we gotta go! Since Britton doesn’t have another job lined up yet (after 10 years, the guy deserves a break!!) we’re taking the opportunity to travel long-term to some of our favourite places: Bulgaria, Berlin, Spain, and Finland. Our nomadic lifestyle will last at least until the end of March.

Ellen is still volunteering with ArtCan, and also still (happily) employed with ForeSee — though 2018 came with a bit of turbulence. She survived her first round of corporate layoffs in August (no fun for anyone) and the company was acquired by a much larger company in the final weeks of December. We aren’t totally sure what the future looks like — however, she loves her coworkers and has fallen in love with hosting webinars (she’s happy to webi-nerd out if you’re of a marketing persuasion).

(Update: See what happened post-acquisition)

The best part of still having a job is this job can get us a visa into …

Canada! (Holy moly, eh?)

If all of our crossed fingers and detailed paperwork has paid off, we’ll call Halifax, Nova Scotia home in mid-2019! It’s important to note we have never been to Halifax, so can’t answer many more questions about it. We were persuaded to go for it by our friends Ben and Maria, who are also moving there, so are in no way biased. It looks like Halifax is a similar population to KC, but in a smaller footprint — meaning our urban lifestyles should work just fine. (And I hear the brewery-per-capita number is quite agreeable.)

We miss all of our people, everywhere. Happy New Year — it’d be great to see you in 2019!!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Lindsey Leesmann

    We didn’t make the list? *sob* Kidding. We loved spending time with you guys in London, even if we discovered- unintentionally- that C may have a future in XC.

    1. Ellen Schwartze

      OMGGgg! I swear I had you listed but then … apparently deleted you?? Is that worse than never mentioning you at all? >_< We loved seeing you guys, too, and properly meeting C 🙂

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