Friday, December 18, 2009

New Name, New Life

so I've changed the name....was kinda sad to see "Joanna does Dublin" go, but been there done moving on! Haven't posted in a while cause things have been nuts and don't seem to be slowing down. The official job hunt has started, so be thinking of us! We are headed to Little Rock this weekend for my college friends annual get together! Looking forward to see people I haven't seen in a year! Pics below are some of what we've been up to so far!

Richy and I did a mini tree with our first ornaments from friends in Ireland..thanks Lucy,
Mc Cuskers, and Tullys
I have to say he has done far better than I ever did in Ireland! :)
The lights on the Fayetteville Square
Tacky Christmas sweater party with friends.
At a U of A basketball game! Richy's first ever game of Basketball! There wasn't a packed house but it was fun all the same!
wooo pig!

Friday, December 4, 2009

and just like that....

And just like that.....we were in America! After...5 months of waiting, 1 month of goodbyes in Dublin, 1 month of goodbyes in Armagh, 10 suitcases, 2 passports, 1 packet of visa paperwork, a few tears, 14 hour journey with a 2 minute nap...... we made it! Just back to Fayetteville this evening and I have to say there is no place like home!

The plan of attack is to get settled, fill out the mountain of paperwork still required for Richy on this side of the Atlantic, take care of wedding stuff, and most importantly find jobs! We are completely open to going anywhere for jobs so the adventure continues!

I have loads of posts to catch up on from our last month in Dublin! Things were so busy and hectic there at the end that I thought I'd wait til we were stateside...

Can't really call the blog "Joanna does Dublin" anymore...any suggestions?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Girls weekend in Dublin!

karaoke taxi home at the end of the night! Lucy and I had the driver take the long way home so we could finish "total eclipse of the heart"

Alva and her honey Flavion who we picked up in our karaoke taxi along with 3 of his French friends! They didn't know what to make of the situation!

Naomi, Lucy and I

Alva and I

where was Angela?! wish I would have gotten a pic with her too :(

So last weekend Richy had his "Stag" party with all his lads around Armagh, and I had a mini "Hen" party with my friends in Dublin! Lucy was the ring leader of this weekend and she did a fantastic job! I met her in Dublin Saturday and we treated ourselves to a few hours at the spa! I've been under a lot of stress lately so it was just what I needed! We then met Naomi, Alva, and Angela out for dinner and drinks on the town! It was a fabulous night! Thanks girls for such a fun night out!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


you're getting so close, USA, I can almost taste you........
Richy's interview at the Dublin embassy is this Tuesday....Please pray that everything goes smoothly.

I will certainly miss Dublin and Ireland, but I am ready to start fresh in the USA. I do have to say I miss the American positive attitude, which I didn't know we as a nation had, until I was told by too many Irish people to count that we did..Slowly though I started to notice, that yes we may see the glass as half full instead of half empty...Things really are "awesome" aren't they?!

pics to come of my weekend in Dublin with the girls!

Friday, November 13, 2009

All Graduated!

The clock tower at Griffith College

it is official!

someone felt left out...did you know only women here wear the hats?

Graduation at Griffith College was yesterday! I found it odd that I got my results in early Oct. and they didn't have the ceremony til now, but whatever floats their boat! Also I was thinking the robe would zip up the front...I clearly would have worn black had I known that it didn't! :) It was a nice day and good closure! Richy was so sweet to sit through the boring ceremony! I love him to pieces! So the Masters degree is now behind front is a massive job search! Wish me luck! :)

misty madden

Well folks our walks have gone from busy streets to calm countryside. I snapped a few photos on our morning walk with the Mc Cusker family dog Buffy. Although I miss the buzz of Dublin, the calm is refreshing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

news up north!

I've been a bad little blogger lately! One night coming home from the gym a bull had got out of his pen and was just chilling on the side of the little country lane way....I burst into the house to get my camera so I could go back for a pic. I have to say I got some strange looks from the McCuskers..and I don't blame them! Richy and I are both a little picture happy and I am forever thinking things are different or neat-O (even after nearly a year and a half in Ireland) Anyway...the stupid camera died so no bull pic for the blog!

Had a fantastic long weekend up in Bangor with Colly and Linda! Linda had a lovely surprise for me so I'll put pics up once I get them from Linda...let's just say I had a mini hen party! :) We are so blessed to have such great friends up here in the North! Pics to follow!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

here is the story morning glory!

So just a quick update. Richy and I will hopefully be stateside the first week in Dec. Keep the prayers coming that everything goes smooth with the very final immigration steps. We decided to save some money and stop paying rent in Dublin, so we are now based at Richy's parents in Madden, Northern Ireland. We will be spending lots of time in Cavan with Steven and Andrea as well! Once we get to the states we will probably be staying with my parents until we get jobs and immigration stuff that we have to deal with on that end sorted...yes it continues! bla!

We are so so lucky to have supportive families who are willing to do what they can to make this process easier. It was hard to leave our cute little flat in Dublin, but I feel like a little chapter has come to a close with a new chapter just waiting to be written. In the mean time I'm intrigued with the differences that come with living in Northern Ireland as opposed to Ireland...2 different countries you know....

More blogging to come! Really just about 30 some odd days and we should be on our way to the U. S . of A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"polishing me boots"

October Dip

Someone wanted a morning dip in the 40ft! Lucky it is 65 degrees out! Now into Dublin for a good wander!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears..Oh My!

Last week the rain stopped long enough for Richy and I to head to the Dublin zoo! Here are some of my favorite shots!

Is it wrong I wanted to make him into a rug?!!
I'm convinced this big kitty is eating a sheep from the petting zoo.....plenty to go around here in Ireland...?
My dream is to visit Africa and see the animals in their natural environment!
Richy made me call the hogs in front of this .....Hog
Two new friends?! Too cute!
Searching for the elephants...
They were kinda giving us the cold shoulder..don't ya think!?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Living is in the details.

The other day Richy and I had the afternoon free (most afternoons are free) but we weren't working on portfolio work, etc. so we decided to hit a free art gallery. On the stroll back along the canal, there were market stands selling gourmet foods. Anything from cup cakes, to duck eggs, to fruit, to specialist sausages.

We needed some fruit so Richy and I got talking to the fruit man, deciding what we were going to get. After deciding on Strawberries, grapes, and pineapple, the man said to Richy, "where ya from boy"? Richy said, "I'm from Armagh." The man, "ahh I could hear that in your accent, do you know the Moores?" Richy, "yeah yeah I know them, do you know Francie Moore?" "Francie Moore.....does he sell fruit by the cathedral?" Richy, "aye he does". Man, "well do you know the Mc Parlands?" and this went on for about 5 minutes! Then he looks at me and says and where are you from, you're not from Armagh....? I was scared to tell him for fear he knew every Irish family in Arkansas. Anyway, "Arkansas...a long ways from Armagh", I said. He looked at me and smiled.

Then he looked at Richy and said "ah well you have a quar beautiful lady there son." (picture this in a thick Irish Accent too please)

And that was that! I loved the complement, but the word "quar" had me baffled. When I asked Richy he hardly knew what it meant, but said it means very or really...kinda an exaggerated term.

I blog about this strange little story because it adds to the whole experience. The random interactions with people of a different culture keeps things so interesting for me. Kinda like design is in the details, well so is living abroad and traveling for that matter. All of these details add up to give me one overall view and love of Ireland. I don't ever want to forget the details!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gospel Choir

Last night Richy surprised me with a trip across town to see the Dublin Gospel Choir. I'd been wanting to do this for some time, so was excited to see what this was all about! In a weird way it reminded me of sister act...probably only cause they were preforming during Catholic Mass. They were excellent. After Mass we headed to the pub down the street no doubt! The Cobblestone. It looks ruff from the outside, but once in has a nice eclectic crowd. A large group playing Irish music were in the front of the pub. Then home for dinner! A fun and different night out!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

North, South, East, West

Just realizing that in a year and some change, we've seen so so much of Ireland! Coast to Coast really! It helps that Ireland is the size of West Virginia! I love love love this little Island's coasts!

North Coast

South Coast

East Coast

West Coast

Face Lift

I finally gave in and gave my blog a facelift! New look for new phase of my life! Can't decide what to call the blog after I'm no longer living in Dublin...?? Any ideas?! Will I just keep it the same?! Help!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

young and fancy free...Leah to Dublin

Leah got picked to sample whiskeys at the Jameson factory...the first taste doesn't look good...
looking happier now...?
The weirdest pub in Julie's new town near Galway.
In our favorite not weird bar in Dublin!
The girls on the River Liffy
Leah and Ann in the weird pub!
Julie, Leah, Ann, and I all in the weird little pub! Gave us so much to talk about! :)

I was speaking with Leah (my little sister) a few weeks ago and told her she needed one more trip to Dublin. This was on a Wednesday...she explained that she didn't have anymore time off besides next week. So after discussing this over with our friend Ann (Leah's roommate and co-worker) the two of them booked a flight on Friday to have them in Dublin the Tuesday morning! Fantastic!

We had a great time playing around in Dublin (even tried on a few wedding dresses), made a trip to Galway to stay with Julie in her new seaside cottage, and even a trip to Belfast! I was so so happy they could squeeze one last trip in! Here are a few pics from their stay! Sorry must have been taking all the pics.. Maybe once Leah catches up on work she'll send me more pics..she did the majority of picture taking! :)