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Colum and Sadie Mooney on Sunday afternoon

The Irish Homecoming: An Irish love story - returned expat loving Ireland more than ever

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Colum and Sadie Mooney on Sunday afternoon

The transition from New York to Ireland has posed no problem for all for APRIL DREW and her family. In fact, she’s loving her home country more than ever.

I’M in love. It’s like that very first love. You know that feeling  we’ve all had it.

You wake up beaming with happiness and you go to bed dreaming of all the wonderful memories you made that day. Your heart skips a beat when you realize how happy you are.

Well I’m in love again, and this time it’s with Ireland. I can’t describe it to you any other way.
Yes, it’s dreary when it’s raining. Yes, the economy stinks for a lot of people, and yes, we were abysmal in the Euros, but I can’t help this feeling.

I have it every night when I look out my mother-in-law’s front bedroom window and I get giddy with excitement. I get butterflies in my stomach when I think of all the wonderful things we have to look forward to in our lives in Ireland.

On Sunday the weather was fantastic in Limerick. After a spot of cleaning up around the house and a short shopping trip to a local toy store we visited good friends who recently had a beautiful baby boy. It was nice to sit down and compare babies.

John (my husband) and I are the parents of Colum (18-months) and Sadie (four-months). Our friends Roisin and Paul have Sophia (20-months) and Zac (11-days-old).

Over some scones and tea we shared stories about our kids, we broke up a few I-want-that-toy fights and most of all made plans for future meetings and play dates. It was nice. Really nice.

Taking full advantage of the fine weather, we put the kids in the back of the car and headed to Co. Clare to Cratloe Woods, a beautiful forest area around the village of Cratloe. Down came all the windows in the car to let in the fresh breeze.

As we drove past farms and fields we could smell freshly cut grass and cow dung and I loved every second of it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ireland is the definition of paradise when the sun is shining, but I’m biased I know.

At the woods we met up with John’s family for a memorable walk in the park. The sun beamed down while the kids ran free.

After the legs were walked off us John drove us up to the top of the mountain where we looked down onto the Shannon estuary. It was a magnificent site. We stood at the top, inhaled the fresh air, took stock of what was before us and thanked God for another beautiful day.

John proceeded to show us where his dad and uncle used to take him when he was a child.

“I used to skate board down this hill,” he proudly said while we drove up a narrow bohereen.

“In a few years I’ll bring Colum back up here and show him how to skate,” he added.
And to finish off the afternoon we went to Limerick’s finest Chinese restaurant, the Shamrock, on the Ennis Road for a late supper. Colum discovered his love for prawn crackers and fried rice. It was a fantastic day, and there will hopefully be many more of those to come.

And the excitement builds. This week our container is due to arrive from New York. They tell us it’s already in Ireland at customs.

It’s only a matter of days before we have all our belongings to furnish a beautiful house we are going to rent on the outskirts of Limerick City. We are very excited to say the least.
The kids also start day care this week. Colum is already excited. He still asks for Patti, a wonderful woman who looked after him like her own in his day care in New York.

He understands what’s involved with day care (lots of kids to play with) and asks to go since we visited it last week. The facilities here in Limerick are second to none. The standard and quality of care appears to be outstanding from the outside. I look forward to seeing how they get on.
Sadie will only go part time for the time being – I’m a little anxious about her going because she is so young – but she will be fine. They always are in the end.

There is a baby room, a wobbler room, a toddler room, a pre-school room and so on. Rooms for everything and everyone. They have cameras in each room and they send the kids home each day with a schedule of their feeds and sleeps.

John, after an aptitudes test, two interviews and a medical, was offered a job last week. He will begin Monday, July 2. He is excited and so am I.

It’s not easy in this current economic climate to locate work in Ireland. A lot of people who came home before him are finding it difficult to get jobs so we don’t take it for granted. We thank our lucky stars every day for it and hope it all works out.

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