Irish gal living the American dream in Austin, Texas y'all!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Value what's important

This week, my family received some devastating news of the passing of my cousin. A mere 28 years old.While it's too soon to even talk about it, I am posting mostly because I wish to feel closer to my family and maybe someone will read this and maybe it will mean something.

It was just weeks ago when I posted on my brother's wedding and rejoiced at how great it was to have us all together, and for a happy occasion. Just as it is our privilege to help our loved ones celebrate the good times, it is the support of your family and friends that pulls us through the tough times. It doesn't have to be a motivational speech, words of wisdom. It can be a pat on the shoulder, a hug.. putting the kettle on for tea and just sitting with them.

We all face tough times at some stage in our lives.. so I urge you.. celebrate the good times. When you are feeling like life is great for you, get out a pen and paper. Write down everything that is good in your life. Life is a collection of fleeting moments so we need to remember the good times to pull us through the bad times. Just as good things come to an end, so do bad... so we need to hang on in there, until things come good again.

Unfortunately I don't have hugs or much support to offer right now, just words.. but my thoughts, prayers and love are with the O'Connor and O'Neill families and everyone who knew and loved Shane.

It's tough being far away from home when bad things happen.. luckily I will have two visitors in a bit.

In the meantime, Mila is doing a good job of keeping me company.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Well howdy doody y'all!

It's been forever and a day since I've been on here but I'm back to tell y'all what I've been up to since the half marathon (a trip to the homeland happened)

Well let's see..

Went to Ireland

Millie on top of Toorsaleen mountain

Met my darling nephew 

and Godson Aaron (pronounced Ah-ron, not Ae-ron like the yanks say).

I have to say, it was very strange seeing my younger sister as a doting mamma. She's a natural :)

Introduced himself to the family.

I guess it's a big deal bringing a yank home to meet the family but he got on so well with them all and instantly became 'one of the lads'

Family wedding

Colm and Aisling were married and had the most beautiful classy wedding.

everyone looked damn fine (PS Aisling's dress was amazing)

Mighty craic was had at the wedding and the O'Connor men didn't even take their shirts off this time!! It was so great to have most of my relatives under the one roof, and for a happy occasion.

when you grow up in the middle of nowhere it's no surprise that your cousins become your best friends.. miss this crew

Best friend's wedding

Miss Claire Roche became Mrs Walsh!! Claire and I lived together for 3 years in college in Dublin and I'm so happy that although we've probably only seen each other 10 times since we graduated in 2006, she is still one of my peoples! Rochie sure loved a good par-tay and this wedding was a Claire-style wedding for sure.

just found this gem! good auld college days :)

A band were going table-to-table during the dinner playing requests.. If there wasn't food on the table they may have been danced on!

Sidenote: In keeping with my habit of oversharing, I have a funny story for y'all about my rush to make it to the church on time.. I know it's only the bride that should have drama about making it to the church on time but I had my share too!

We were late leaving the hotel...Claire's wedding was on 2 days after Colm's and I was feeling a little under the weather let's say ;) Then there was a 4-5 hr drive to get there and I didn't know where the church was.. somewhere on a country road in Kildare. I found out an hour before the wedding I was doing second reading.. uh-oh. My saviour Liz rang with directions, which was all good and well until we took a wrong turn (OK I) and were a bit lost.

At this point ''my water was nearly down my leg'' (I needed to pee REAL BAD) so I apologised to Mr Boyfriend (well I apologise now OK?!).. a roadside pee in my dress was essential. I pulled in off the road in the grass (I'm classy like that).. and would you believe it.. the car got stuck! The ever patient boyfriend got out and pushed (does anyone have a medal we can give him!) and we were on our merry way! 25 mins late but we made it for second reading.. phew!!

Gave Doug a taste of Ireland.

A pint of the black stuff at the Guinness Storehouse
Kilkenny.. so purty!

And of course no trip to the motherland would be complete without a) walk up to the top of the mountain (my family's mountain) and b) the ateing a feed of Sneem black pudding!

I was talking about it for weeks before I went home. If any of you haven't had it make a point of getting some in your belly. It's made by a local butcher in a village called Sneem in Kerry and there's nothing like it. FYI for the American's: it's not like a chocolate pudding, it's made of pig's blood but don't let that put you off. Doug loved it.

But, you know what Doug said was the best part of the whole trip? The people.

I know Irish people have a reputation for being friendly but Americans are friendly too, so I never really got what the big deal was. In America you hear 'have a nice day' all the time so I guess what sets Ireland apart is that people are generous with their time and genuinely curious and interested in you. Ask for help and people will bend over backwards to help you. I hope the Americans won't take offense to this.. the pace of life is just faster here (I think) and people tend to have all of their time scheduled to a T.

Honesty is a given with the Irish, be it a good thing or a bad thing! If someone doesn't like you, they just won't bother.  I love they way of speaking too.. Irish people have slang and ''sayings for everything''.. or is that just an O'Connor thing?! Suffice to say, I love my peoples and my country. And I was sad leaving. I wish I had had more time with everyone but we made the most of the time we had. Yea, I do love Austin and It's a really great experience to live somewhere so different but cheesy as it sounds.. home is where the heart is. Specifically is it on the top of Toorsaleen mountain with the dogs by my side and the wind in my hair on a sunny day (yes, we get sun once every year at least!).

Right, no more nostalgia for now.. time to live in the present sooooo let me introduce my new housemate, Mila!!

pretty lady!

I adopted Mila from Austin Pets Alive last weekend. She was rescued at 4 months, pregnant.. and the poor kitty is only 11 months herself now! She's lovely..I think we will get along well :)

Since I am not fundraising anymore and I don't want to hassle anyone who doesn't want to read my blog, I will no longer have this on an email list.. sooo you can follow the blog on my new facebook page ('like' me) .. follow me on Pinterest..  or subscribe by email at the bottom, whatever ya fancy.

The big question is why you would keep reading? What I will be writing about to make you want to read? Hmmm, well, a plan has hatched for what I'm mostly gonna write about for the next while. It will be something along the lines of ''12 months of experimenting''.. stay tuned for the deets! It's a few days in to this month already so I'll be back to y'all in a bit once I've got motoring on my experiment for this month!

Parting question:
Can you vouch for how good Sneem black pudding is?

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