February 24, 2017

Life, The Universe & Everything

In a world of oversharing, Danny and I have decided to err on the side of caution when it comes to privacy. Sure, we share details about our travel experiences, which oftentimes get personal, but we tend to be mum on our lives outside of that and practice especial care in regards to our little gypsies. Both here on the blog and on our social media, we have a strict no photo policy of our children. You may see a bit of cheek, the back of the head, or cute little toes, but you will not be seeing their faces. While this decision garnered a few teasing comments from family and a few eye rolls from those who didn't fully agree with us, we've been very careful not to share our daughter's name or photo online, no matter how innocuous or well-meaning our intent!

But it's been a while since I've given a general update on our family, how having an energetic one year old (and another on the way!) impacts our travel plans and travel style, or sharing how we split our budget between exposing our little gypsies to the world and ensuring that they get to enjoy the highlights of their own culture and country when we're at home. In other words, it's time to get a little personal!

Baby Gypsy #2
This past week we had a small party for Baby Gypsy #2 (hmmm, I might need to redevelop pseudonyms now that we're having more than one kid!), and our cupcakes revealed that we are expecting another daughter! Even more importantly, the ultrasound showed that she is developing quite normally, healthily, and energetically as she has plenty of energy to make herself felt through tiny kicks and punches. Seeing her little face on the ultrasound was yet another reminder as to how miraculous a gift life is and that even the unborn can make you fall in love with their personality!

Baby Gypsy #1
Sometimes I think that we have the Energizer Bunny for a daughter - she never stops moving! So far I've gained very little weight this pregnancy (a blessed relief after gaining so much last time), and I could undoubtedly attribute most of that to the thousands of calories burned chasing a toddler around the universe. Ever since she learned to walk at 10 months old, she has hardly paused since. She particularly loves being outdoors, whether visiting her daddy at the downtown mall in Charlottesville, trotting around Pilot Mountain in North Carolina, or chasing her puppy on her grandparents' hobby farm. Taking her to Germany seems like such a distant memory, and I dearly wish we could put firm plans in place for our return. She would be so much more fun now at this age, although the plane ride would probably be even more of a handful.

Absolutely fascinated by goats. She likes to "woof" at them.
Budgeting for Travel
Buying a house, having a "hungry hippo" toddler, and throwing the impending arrival of another little girl into the mix can make the budget do back-flips if you're not careful! We still make saving for travel a priority in the midst of life's everyday expenses. We managed to take a long, low-key weekend getaway to Mount Airy, North Carolina, for Danny's birthday (I tend to gift him trips away instead of things), and I still squirrel money away for our next, as-yet-unplanned-and-unbooked return trip to Europe. We've spent the last two World Cup finals in Germany, so we're looking to make it a tradition with a visit in July 2018. Sneak peeks at the general cost of flights in July and realizing how expensive 3-4 plane tickets will be nearly gave me a heart attack, but it'll be so worth it.

On top of that, I've dedicated $10 a week for a Girls Getaway... in 2023. You may laugh at that far-off date, but I'm completely serious! While we are all busy having babies and raising little ones right now, a few of us are hoping to take a (by then) much needed ladies-only trip somewhere. Maybe the Caribbean. Maybe Croatia. Maybe Spain! In saving $10 a week, by 2023, I'll have $3,120. Not a bad chunk of change!

Recently, we booked my mother in law's round-trip tickets from Washington D.C. to Frankfurt for a total of $605 - a very, very good price for mid-May (thank you, IcelandAir!). That familiar rush of finding a good deal and dreaming about beloved places abroad has left me feeling a little sad that we likely won't be venturing beyond our state's borders much this year, let alone the country.

Thankfully, that sadness only lasts until I see a picture of my daughter's face and then I start making plans to take her someplace new a little closer to home. Having kids is hard. Traveling with kids is hard. But I wouldn't change my life for the world. Unless you happen to have a spare million laying around to share!

What's new in your corner of the universe?

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