windy backs and sunny faces

Expat living as we see it



The good part of farewell… the parties!!

We originally found out about a possible transfer in February of this year… and chose to keep the news a little quiet until we had some definite plans pinned down.  Just like when we waited for an official offer to move TO Port Gentil, it seemed like our offer to relocate OUT of Port Gentil was never going to come.  We waited during the height of a stressful round of layoffs at my husbands company which added to the tension.  Finally by the end of April we received some good news and the word was out…. we were officially moving to Scotland!

As soon as I broke the news to my girlfriends, it seemed like every week was another reason to celebrate- last coffee, last lunch, last cocktail at lido.  My last day at Mission Nissi was full of dancing, snapping pictures, and shooting videos- even a few secret video messages from the kids that I later found.  To tie it all together, Seth’s company graciously put together an incredible celebration at the beach with his team and our friends.  Yall know how terrible Seth’s work schedule was in PoG, but this beach was our little smidge of respite on Sundays.  Before lunch started, Seth’s managers and a couple of his team members shared some very special words about their time working together.  I know Seth is pretty rad, but its nice to hear coming from other people too!  We left that afternoon with so many special goodies and memories from Gabon.  That night, the party continued for one last get together with our friends.  We feasted on the famous “H-Burgers” and tequila shots and eventually made our way to a local nightclub for some dancing.  Our final farewell was with our good friend Habiba at the airport… it is so fitting that hers was the last smiling face we saw as we departed Gabon!  We got to leave our home for the past 2 years with so many happy memories shared with some awesome people!



Katie and Natey!

Certain times in my life I have wanted to crawl up in the fetal position and cry, “I want my mommy”.  My trip back to the states this August was definitely one of those times.  Between incomplete bookings, cancelled tickets, lost luggage, and an awful stomach virus, this was definitely the trip from hell.  After finally arriving in Colorado, I saw my mom’s smiling face which was totally the turning point of this trip… from there I knew everything was going to be A-okay.  Sometimes all you need is to be with your Mom and Dad, ya know?  My mom and I spent the next day replenishing the goodies from my lost luggage…Not going to lie, shopping was on the schedule anyways but lost luggage made it seem much more necessary 🙂

That weekend I made my way to Steamboat to meet my best friend (of 22 years wowza!) to help prep for her wedding.  Katie is probably one of the coolest people in my life and in fact, a common expression in my family has become, “That is SO Katie R”.  She married a guy named Nate who is equally as cool as Katie is.  We ran some errands then made our way out (waaaaaaaaay out) to the venue.

That night we had dinner with some of Nate’s family and got to take in some more unbelievable Colorado views… (we need to move here!)

Katie and Nate turned their celebration into a weekend long experience because… why not??  From beginning to end the weekend was so unique and such a blast.  Okay, cheesey as it may sound, but one my favorite moments were the vows Katie and Nate shared… holy moly they were incredible!  Gourmet pizza accompanied by mini Tabasco escort cards + a dreamy canoe stroll for the newlyweds amongst floating wish lanterns (swoon!) + a delish s’mores bar to end the night= one incredible wedding!

A couple weeks ago, my husband celebrated his 32nd birthday.  He made my birthday such a special day and I wanted to try to do the same for him.  I began scheming with one of my friends and she graciously offered to host a party for him at her home.  We decided to make it a surprise party… and I think we pulled off a pretty good one!  Here are some pictures from the night, courtesy of our friend H!

Seth's "what is going on here" face
The set up: We were going out to eat with some friends, but needed to go pick them up because they were having car trouble. When we arrived, Ani was still getting ready so Ali invited us in for a drink. We told Seth there was a power outage in their area (very believable here!) which was why the lights were out. This picture was taken just before the lights came back.
The lights come on and SURRRPRIIIISE!!!




The birthday boy with his official beer glass... before it broke!
The birthday boy with his official beer glass… before it broke!
SO sorry Ali :(
SO sorry Ali 😦


The whole crew.  Thank you everyone for joining the celebration and making it so special!
The whole crew. Thank you everyone for joining the celebration and making it so special!

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