holly + jolly.

Do you ever have those days, weeks or months where it seems like everything is in your favor?

Lately, the only thing that's gone wrong was my drinking three bottles of water before a trip to the grocery store...which means when I rounded the corner to the ladies room, I was greeted by a row of frightening squat toilets....to which I replied, "NUH-uh. Never gonna happen."

Lesson learned: Always go before you leave the house.

Not to get too colorful, but just a little dose of expat life. Some things will always be trickier. ;)

But, what I meant to say before that forray into uncut reality, is that life has been coming up roses lately:

(one)   This week my girlfriend, Rachel, and I took a taxi to the mall and spent the entire day shopping. Such a treat to get out, just us girls! Not that our guys aren't a good time, but shopping with former-military husbands in tow is usually more of a mission (Operation: Get out of Pottery Barn as fast as possible), and less of a nice, girly, consumerist stroll. We both splurged for crazy over-priced glitter deer at Debenhams, sampled perfumes and planned our holiday decor.

(two)    Our house has been on the market for a week...and in that time we received four viable offers! We can't believe it. This morning we signed papers and accepted an offer that was a tad above list price. Now, it's just a truckload of paperwork...and keeping our fingers crossed that everything goes as planned. If it does, we'll be mortgage-free by December 27th...just in time to celebrate...

(three)   ...in ROME. That's right, I finally made a decision. Thanks so much for all the input! We really did consider a trip to somewhere new and Christmasy like Prague, but here's a little honesty: I just want to reconnect with my husband in a place that's familiar and still romantic. It's been a stressful, emotional year...which isn't to say it was bad...but it was a non-traditional newlywed experience in an unfamiliar country. We're prone to spatting when we travel to new places (are we alone, or is that an every couple thing?), and neither of us want to spend our time figuring out new metro cards or hopping language barriers in restaurants or cabs. So, we're sticking to a place one of us already knows...and ensuring that we're focused on each other + reconnecting after the crazy year we've had.

Well, in addition to focusing on drinking wine + scoopfuls of gelato, that is. ;) Honestly, I can't wait to return, to show Gabe all my favorite little spots in Rome.

Maybe it's the glitter deer, maybe it's my early Christmas tunes. But life is feeling pretty good.

Hope it's the same for you, friends! :)


  1. I'm so happy things are working for you two! Four offers on the house? Wow! I've been keeping my fingers crossed for you, and that's amazing news. So excited to hear more about your Rome plans - you two will have the best time. xoxo! eliza

  2. I'm SO thrilled for you that everything is going so well. :) I can't wait to see the Rome photos, as I'm sure they'll be beautiful as always!

  3. Yay Bethany that is such great news ... but why not London ?!

    Love Chrissi xo


  4. It's great to hear that everything is going well for you two. I'm glad you finally decided on your holiday destination and can't wait to hear all about you and your hubby's adventures :)


  5. Rome is an excellent choice! And I just had to laugh about your story about squat toilets. I just came from a trip to Beijing, China and bathroom breaks are also tricky there. Happy holiday decorating!

  6. I think Rome is a good choice :) And I'm glad everything is going so well! Bethany's got her groove back, it seems :)

  7. Hooray for the holly and the jolly! I'm happy that you're happy, Bethany. And I just bet you're going to have the most amazing Italian Christmas :)

    PS: I'm not sure what I did with your Kuwait address! Could you please email/FB it to me so I can send you a Christmas card? Grazie! {did I get that right? probably not...}


  8. Hahaha - have you ever read my post about how I misused a squat toilet?


  9. Yay! I'm so glad you chose Rome!!

    x Jasmine

  10. Congrats on the house and the trip. I may be asking for Rome tips very soon.

  11. Yay for making a decision!! And cheers! (My two-cents, I think you definitely made the right call)

    Hoping life continues to send you sunshine, lollipops and rainbows!!

  12. I am so glad that everything is going so well for you! Rome will be a lovely romantic place for you guys to celebrate all the good you have.

  13. Ohh Rome that would be so romantic at Christmas time. I envy you :) It sounds like you are happy. And I do want that glitter deer. xx

  14. To ease your mind, EVERY couple is like that with the spatting in strange places. Just traveling across Mexico the latter part of our honeymoon was enough for me to be screaming, "DON'T TOUCH THAT!" and arguing over how on earth to hail a taxi. :) HAPPY CHRISTMAS IN ROME!

  15. Bethany,

    I have to first start by saying I just love reading your blog. I can't even remember how I stumbled across it...oh yes, I remember now...I was searching for a fun way to ask my sisters to be bridesmaids in my wedding when I found your post. I recreated your little boxes, which were quite a hit. Thank you.

    I have since been finding myself logging onto your blog each week with anticipation of your latest post. For you being someone I have never met or known, I sure do find your words intriguing. The way you form sentences is like poetry. So eloquent but also very real. I always appreciate your honesty and truly enjoy your humor.

    Happy holidays! I hope your time in Rome is a wonderful one!


  16. OOh I think Rome is a great choice. I didn't spend nearly as much time in Paris, but I agree with you. Rome just feels a bit more relaxed. Sam and I spent our first Christmas together alone and it was actually really nice and fun. Enjoy!

    And congrats on selling your house so quickly, that's awesome and I'm sure a relief.

  17. I so enjoyed your posts about your Rome Trip. I love that you are going there for Christmas. Christmas should be like pale pink ballet flats with gold tips. Beautiful and comfortable at the same time. :)


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