Gettin' Creative in Bulgaria

So, one of our motives in doing Peace Corps was to have a slower, calmer, lower-stress life.  Well, we think we got what we were looking for.  Bulgaria has been great for us.  One of the best things has been having more time to enjoy each other and our hobbies.  So, without further adieu, we want to show you what we've done!

Joy's been refining her domestic skills and  Randall's been developing his programing proficiency.

The other day, on our Valentine's date, we realized that we should journal and track what we love to do.  You never know when it might come in handy!  So, whether you read this blog or our new ones, we look forward to having an online journal of our inventions, creations, and what we do for fun!

We're off to whip up something new...


Marty Madness!

Last weekend, we were invited to quite the eventful birthday party.  Not just any birthday party... this was our good buddy, Marty's, 12th birthday party!  We had a blast, and we're so glad he invited us.  So, this is our tribute to him... better late than never!


Happy Birthday, Buddy!

Your friends,
Joy, Randall, and Liza


Happy Anniversary, Blog!

We can't believe that it's been a year since we launched our Bulgaria blog.  How time flies!  To celebrate, we have given our blog a new look.  Hope you enjoy it.  On top of that, we wanted to reflect back on the past year and see what all has happened and be thankful for all our blessings!

Lots of packing and prepping.  We still can't believe that everything was ready for us to leave America and live in Bulgaria for two years.  We couldn't have done it without many people helping us pack, thinking through all we needed, and, especially, a very full closet belonging to a certain set of gracious grandparents :)

The month of goodbye's.  We tied up loose ends at our previous jobs.  We said goodbye to Boston, to the D.C. area, to South Carolina, and to good Mexican food...  We were still in disbelief that we were on our way to be Peace Corps Volunteers.

We finally arrived!  All the planning and anticipation and one can't really know what Bulgaria's like until you step off the plane.  We were greeted with introductions to our new Peace Corps buddies, to our Bulgarian host families in Borovan, and to Bulgaria's wonderful hospitality! And, we even got to celebrate Joy's birthday with all 40 volunteers from our group, B27 :)

We finally met our counterparts, visited Plovdiv, and picked out our future apartment.  We're so blessed to live in such a beautiful place!

We said more goodbyes, this time in Borovan, swore in officially as Peace Corps Volunteers, and moved to Plovdiv!  We got to know our new neighborhood here, here, and here.  But, most important of all, we got to meet our current best friends, Vania, Stefan, and Marty!

Lunch Table

Cultural exchange, people!  We made some delicious hamburgers for our friends to celebrate the 4th.  Plus, we got to go "na gosti" in the village.  Fresh air, relaxation, delicious fried dough + honey, and ice cold beer.  Let's just say July was filled with lots of eating :)


One of the best decisions we've ever made, we made this month.  We got Liza!!  We brought our little angel home and haven't looked back since!

Our summer finale.  It was quite a hot one, so we were ready for it to be over!  We went camping one last time and Joy got ready for school to start!

Xristo and Elena
The heat stopped, and the parties began.  We celebrated Stefan's birthday and we also had quite the Halloween throw-down at Ilka and Chris'.

New nephew for Joy + Thanksgiving  party!  It was a great month, but we missed the US even more... especially since we have yet to meet Joy's new nephew, Luke.  We made up for it by throwing a large-and-in-charge Thanksgiving party for a handful of volunteers :)

Christmas finally came!  And, so did Randall's parents!  We had such a blast relaxing and celebrating with them.

We also welcomed into the world ANOTHER little nephew... Paxton!  We're just so blessed!

We celebrated our 3rd Wedding Anniversary.  Again, time flies!  We also celebrated Randall's birthday AND Vania's name day.  All of these things were WONDERFUL because, since it's been around 5-10 degrees outside, there hasn't been much more to do than to have parties and celebrate!
Writing this post has made one thing very clear: there's always a reason to be thankful and to celebrate!  We hope and pray that this next year is just as full.  Thanks for walking with us along the way!

With love from Bulgaria,

Joy and Randall