Back in the USA

Patriotic EleniWow, it’s been almost three months since I’ve blogged. I’ve honestly been busy with things. Stuff like moving back to the states from the UK, looking for a house, getting AussieGirl‘s immigration papers together, taking care of Eleni, and arranging a baptism and wedding in St Louis. I also have the in-laws, Bob and Helen Armstrong, visiting from Down Under at the moment.

Most importantly, Eleni is happy and healthy. She doesn’t give us a minute of rest, but it’s all worth it when I smile at her and get a big smile back. I can’t measure the happiness she’s brought to our lives.

We had a very small, but nice wedding and baptized Eleni in a dual ceremony at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in St Louis. Just family and a few close friends. We wish we could have had a big, fat, Greek wedding but our time was limited and we weren’t even sure the bride would be able to get into the country (those always suspect Aussies may never get over their convict past). Anyway, everyone in attendance should be proud to have made it through not one, but two, Greek Orthodox ceremonies in one afternoon. There were some technical difficulties (sound department), but Father Doug made it casual and enjoyable for all and it was great the way he involved the kids. We were very pleased to have timed the events so that some of our extended family from Greece (Mom’s side) could attend – the Dimitris Bilalis and Dr Panagiotis Kolliopoulos families were in the US at the time and made the road trip over from Philadelphia. I was honored to have Dimitri as my Best Man and Carolyn and I were both privileged to have the smashing Sophia Paipeti as Eleni’s Nouna (Godmother). I couldn’t think of two better people to have join us as Koumbari.

We now live at the feet of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia, in the city of Charlottesville. I write this from the hometown of US Presidents #3 (Jefferson), #4(Madison), and #5(Monroe) and on the evening of the 4th of July. Pretty cool. Even with the ultra-liberal University crowd here (University of Virginia), it’s a great place to live. It’s a bit of a relief not to have to go back to the traffic snarls of Washington DC. We’re in a nice, furnished apartment and still searching for a new home. It’s very green here and you don’t have to stray too far to be in some dense woodland. Deer are plentiful and a colleague of mine said he had a large, black bear lumbering around in his backyard the other day.

Enough for now. I’ll be a better blogger now that things have stabilized a bit and I’ll need to redesign this page since it still shows the London skyline.

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