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A Day at Oregon Park



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Another School Year Has Begun

September marked the fifth year of schooling in the UK for the Kriebel kids. Five years already. They went back to school a couple weeks ago and while I'm always excited to see what a new year bring to them, it makes me a bit sad to see them growing so quickly and beginning to leave the nest.

HENRY

Believe it or not, Henry has started year 7 (or middle school for my American friends). Seriously! WTF! How is he already so grown up?

He's moved to a new school, which means making new friends, finding his way around what must look a massive place. He has settled in well. He meets a friend everyone morning (at the wine shop because that's how his friends identify where they live) and they walk to school together. Henry attends the same school as Elizabeth, so they see each other several times a day and often walk home together. Having her there has surely helped him settle in.

Each school has new rules. It takes adjustment. It takes learning. It takes courage. And Henry has sho…

Fort William Marathon: The Best Kept Secret in Racing

Earlier this year I had been training hard for the Limassol Marathon, through ice and sleet and snow, only to have what I considered a disappointing race. I struggled to recover mentally, but I knew I had another race on the horizon...the Fort William Marathon. This event was my first marathon back in July 2015, shortly after the family made the move to London. The main difference this time, though, was that we're three kids lighter with Michael and the twins all back in the US for some time with their friends.

I hadn't thought much about running this race again until Chris, the race organizer, reached out to me to offer me a complimentary spot. This was incredibly generous and given how much I liked the race the first time, there was no way I was going to refuse. Granted, Chris made this offer well before the race in Cyprus.

The posts-Limassol blues stuck around for much longer than I'd expected. I was really down on myself, questioning why I put in the effort and the tr…

Balmoral: The Queen's Summer Home

Balmoral, in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, is the Scottish home to the Royal family; I prefer calling it Liz's summer home because, well, she's super adorable and she has a serious crib for her summer home. We paid a visit here on our drive from Fort William to Ballater, our stay for the next three nights. The castle is only open from April to July, so we got lucky to get here on the last day it was open. Was Queen Elizabeth there??

As for Royal homes, I've been to Tower of London, Kensington Palace, and Hampton Court Palace. If I had to rank Balmoral, I'd put it behind Hampton Court Palace. There are quite a few similarities between the two, mostly due to the extensive gardens, which doesn't exist in near the scale at Tower of London nor Kensington Palace.

We had a couple of hours to spend here, so being the tourists we are, we went with the audio tour, always a favorite of mine so that I can listen and look without needing to read to much. I find I enjoy this way…