life lately: january to april

If you've been following our blog or Instagram this spring, you might be starting to wonder if we really do any work or if we're actually just traveling all the time.  Well, I'm here to set the record straight...although Spain has a plethora of public holidays and there's even more for school children, we haven't been on a non-stop trip around Europe and north Africa (as awesome as that sometimes sounds).  We mostly do ordinary, everyday things, like work, hang out with friends, go to the park, try new recipes, read books, volunteer, and go grocery shopping, that are just as great as traveling around.

I don't always blog about those things because I'm usually so behind on posts about our travels, and I'm trying to catch up on that, but I want to sneak this in because I do care about everything else and not just the big adventures.  We don't usually take pictures of our meals or of our times with friends, or even trips to the park anymore.  We're not tourists anymore, we're living here.  

So, the events below capture just a bit of our daily life - Danny getting his school pictures back (months after picture day), some gatherings we've had with friends, a late February trip to the park, and Danny's sweet Valentine's Day surprise for me.  Photos and a few details below...

The weekend before Valentine's Day we got some friends together for brunch.  For our part, we went all out and bought pastries and fruit from our trusty local Lidl, but with everyone's contributions, we ended up with quite a nice spread. :)

Valentine's Day this year fell on a Tuesday, which is one of the days we both usually get home a little later than usual.  We were going to go out and celebrate at a later time, but Danny still really wanted to do a little something, and I came home to this really lovely surprise!  When I stepped in the front door, he made me close my eyes and go upstairs while he finished things up, but then I came down to candles leading the way to the table, where he had baguette pizzas ready, and cookies in the oven (along with icing ready for writing messages on them, just like candy hearts)!  It really transformed our apartment into a magical place with all the candles, and even though he kept claiming it "wasn't much," it was such a memorable and fun evening.

Spring started making it's move in Madrid in late February and there were certainly no complaints from us!!  There are cherry blossom/almond blossom/various types of trees that blossom in parks and on streets all over the city and we enjoyed them from the end of February and throughout March even though it was certainly still chilly at times.  We were so excited about the change of weather, though, that we started getting out more and meeting friends for picnics and even getting ambitious about our clothing choices (not sure it was truly t-shirt weather in that picture below, but we were feeling ready, that's for sure!).

One Sunday evening we had Danny's co-worker, Jesus, over for dinner and...dancing?  I'll let Danny chime in here ;)

D - Haha.  At school (where I teach both English and P.E.) Jesus was teaching salsa while I was teaching American football.  In the picture you can see here, he was just showing me some salsa moves.  Teaching P.E. with Jesus is one on my many joys here in Spain.  He's a great guy and an awesome teacher and we've become good friends.

Golden birthday celebrations for our friend Ronna!  You may have noticed her in many of our pictures - she came to Madrid around the same time as us and sadly (for us) she's leaving this summer (for good), so we'll miss her next year, but we're glad for the time we've had with her.  So much fun at her party meeting all of her friends - Ronna, can you just pass them all off to us when you leave?  ;)

Ever since we went to Morocco, Danny's been wanting to have what he called an "Arabian Nights" themed dinner, and a few weeks ago, it finally happened!  Danny made some couscous and veggies, our friends brought pitas and falafel and baklava and we lit our candles we bought in Morocco...and the next day someone sent out a text to everyone saying, "When can we all get together again?!"  Not necessarily because the food was the best or our apartment is the prettiest but because being together, usually around some sort of food, is wonderful.  

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So obviously that's not a conclusive look at all we've done in our free time in the past four months, but it's a small snapshot based on the best photos I had.  Maybe in the coming months I'll be better about photographing our everyday life, or maybe not, but regardless, a tiny look into what we've been up to recently!