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We have survived our first month as parents, and more importantly Evie survived us!

Honestly, Evie has been an amazing baby. She is doing great at eating, and sleeping (most nights). She occasionally fusses, but overall she is a very content baby.

Tim’s parents were here for her first week, and then Timothy had a second week of paternity leave. When Timothy went back to work, I was surprised at how smoothly things went on my own. However, I am always so thankful when Tim walks through the door at night! Even though she is a good baby, being a mom is mentally and physically tough.

Evie is really strong. She can lift her head, and likes to kick her feet. She can now grasp thing (not well, but she can get a hold of my hair!). She also makes the cutest cooing sound when she sleeps on our chest. Also, at her 3 week weigh-in she had gained a pound! She is now a whopping 9 lbs 3 oz.

Next week Grandpa Mark is coming to visit, and we can’t wait!

Here are a few pictures from a little DYI photo shoot:

Dear Family and Friends!

We hope you had a wonderful Chanukkah &/or Christmas, and that you will have a very Happy New Year!

We had a nice and quiet Christmas here in England. The weather in England has been unseasonably mild, but we are not complaining! Timothy has gotten to work from home this Christmas/New Year’s week, so we are just relaxing and getting odds/ends done for when little Evie comes!

2015 was another exciting year for us. We moved from Israel to England. Timothy has been having an awesome time at his new job. He is working with such awesome people, and on so many cool projects! When Timothy is not working (and sometimes when he is), we traveled!! Not surprising right?!?! This year we went to Israel (for a wedding) & Jordan in May, France (ICML Conference) in June, California (Google HQ) in August, Southern England (Tim’s B-Day) in September, and Northern England (Our Babymoon) in October! Not to mention the entire time we were traveling, little Evie was with us!  (We found out shortly after our trip to Israel/Jordan.)

2016 is going to be such an exciting year. We have our hospital bags packed and ready for when Ms. Evelyn decides to join us. But other than that, we are not sure what to expect! (The story of our lives!)

So far on our 2016 agenda, Timothy will have a few weeks of Paternity leave. We are looking forward to quality time as a new family. Timothy hopes to attend a couple of conferences that happen to be in some pretty cool places. Our parents are planning to visit us in England, and we are planning a trip to the States as well. But life/work always throws a few curve balls our way, so who knows where and what 2016 has in store for us.

We really hope you had a wonderful 2015 and an even better 2016!

 

This month we have been doing a lot of traveling and most importantly, we have been able to spend lots of time with family before we move to London! Overall, we have been having a lot of fun!

(Click on a photo to enlarge and view album)

Merry ChristmasDear Family and Friends,

Over the past year, Timothy and I have experienced several ups and downs. Living in Israel has been wonderful at times, but also difficult especially when my mother was sick, and when she passed away. Or now with Timothy’s mom going through treatment again. However, we are thankful for being able to spend so much time with family, despite the distance.  Tim got to spend time with his family at Easter and at the end of May, while I got to spend 7 weeks with my mom and dad, then another 8 weeks with my dad. Plus my dad visited us in Israel! (See pictures in post below).

We truly appreciate all of the love and support you have given to us, and both of our families during the hard times, but also during the good. We are especially excited about moving to London and Tim’s job! We are ready for a new beginning, and some new adventures.

We hope and pray that your 2015 will be as exciting as ours, filled with lots of love, health, and family.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Years!

Love- Laura and Timothy

Manns Dec. 2014

Are we moving to the U.K.? Great Britain? or England?

Ducky: “I’m confused. Are we moving to the U.K.? Great Britain? or England?”

It is official. We will be moving from Israel in early January, just under the 2 year mark (Wow! 2 years already) and will be in London by the end of January (Tim’s start date is Feb. 2). But before making the move to England, we first need to go to the U.S.

Like most events, it is all a whirl wind/roller coaster ride. Here is a list of everything that needs to be done:

  • Tie up loose ends in Israel, prepare to move, and pack!
  • Fly to NYC, finish the last steps of the visa process
  • Visit Tim’s family
  • Fly to TX to ship our stuff from storage (Plus coordinate our stuff in NY & CA to be shipped as well)
  • Fly to London
  • Start the next Phase… finding an apartment, unpacking, and culture shock!

We are definitely looking forward to this next adventure. We are thankful/blessed for the crazy life we live, but the process of moving is daunting. I’ll be happier looking back on the move, than experiencing it!

In other news: Timothy will be attending NIPS conference in Montreal in December and my dad will be visiting me in Israel! Tim and my dad’s trip will overlap, so I will only be alone for a couple of days, which I’m so thankful for.

Bonnie Mann update: Timothy’s mom started a new treatment last week. However, she is also battling a bacterial infection. Please pray that the antibiotics will work and for the new treatment.

Also, a very good friend of mine mom was diagnosed with stage IV cancer last week, and it just broke my heart. Like my mom, surgery is not recommended. I pray that there will be another option for her.

Holiday plans: In Israel, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even New Years are just another day. But, Timothy and I have Christmas music, movies (thank you Netflix), a few decorations, along with Stuffing mix to help us celebrate. This year, our Christmas wish is a cure for Cancer. In the season of giving, Timothy and I ask that instead of a gift for us that you make a donation. Life and family is so much more precious than toys and gadgets. However, Christmas just won’t be the same without the traditional gift of underwear and socks from my mom.

AmericanCancerSociety

American Cancer Society: https://donate.cancer.org/index 

Cancer Research UK: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/donate

Exciting News! I am very proud to announce that Timothy was hired as a research scientist at Google DeepMind in LONDON, ENGLAND! Yap, you heard right- Jolly ol’ England. How did this happen? Well, like many things in our life- hard work, NETWORKING, being in the right place at the right time, and a little bit of charm paid off! Timothy met a member of DeepMind at ICML (International Conference for Machine Learning) in Beijing (yap, China) back in June, after Timothy presented a paper! In August, Timothy visited DeepMind. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but this is an amazing opportunity for Timothy.

As of right now, we don’t have a hard date for the move, but Timothy will be starting in January, and we will be in Israel until the end of December (Timothy still has a lot of work to finish at the Technion). We are currently in the Visa process, so there is a slight chance the Queen will not let us into the country, but we are pretty sure her Majesty will not hold a 200+ year grudge against us for being Americans. 🙂

From Tim's trip to London.

From Tim’s trip to London.

 

One year ago today, Timothy and I moved to Israel. It’s hard to believe we have lived here for a year now.

So what does 2014 have in store for us?

We have decided to stay in Israel for another year. Timothy is working very hard at the Technion. This has been such a great experience for him. Last year Timothy got to travel a lot for work, and it looks like this year will be the same. Already, he has one paper accepted to the International Conference for Machine Learning held this year in Beijing (http://icml.cc/2014/). We will also have to go back to the U.S. sometime this spring regarding Tim’s visas and we will be able to visit my parents on the west coast.

On a sad note, as many of you already know, both Timothy’s mom and my mom have cancer. Timothy’s mom (Bonnie) has been battling cancer for the last couple of years and unfortunately her cancer has returned. She will be starting chemo tomorrow. My mom (Dee) was diagnosed with cancer in November and shortly after started chemo and is still doing chemo. We pray the chemo will help heal our moms, and pray for our dad’s as they take care of our moms. I’m not really sure what else to say, besides cancer sucks.

As I say every year. I hope to be better about posting. Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers. We truly appreciate them.

-Laura & Timothy

P.S. See our Montreal pictures below!

P.S.S. Thank you to everyone who sent us a Christmas card. It was awesome!

Summer in Israel so far has been great; however most of our time is spent working. Timothy is busy with his post-doc and I’ve been lucky to do some work from home for my advisor from Texas A&M. I also have been busy taking some instructional design courses online as well.

Last week we got to celebrate the  4th of July at the beach. While it is just another day in Israel; for me it is one of my favorite holidays! I made a “BBQ” picnic and after work we headed to the beach. The weather was great and the food was delicious. We got to watch the sun set as we ate dinner and then we strolled the promenade. Then when we got home, we got to talk to Timothy’s parents.

Pictures from our 4th of July Celebration

Our next adventure is a trip to Germany! Timothy will be going to a conference for a week in August, and then I will meet him and we will travel for another week. We are super excited to explore Germany together! It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since I’ve been to Germany.

We are also planning a trip to Italy for September. This is a trip we have wanted to take for over 5 years! We plan to visit Florence, Pisa, and Rome.

We hope you all are having a wonderful summer too!

On Monday, March 25th Pesach (Passover) began. We were fortunate enough to be invited to a Pesach Seder, by a family who didn’t even know us! Timothy and I were interested in attending a Seder and so I asked a new friend (Laurie) if she knew of any host program for foreigners interested in Pesach. She told me that she would invite me but she was going to a friend’s house. Later we got a call from Laurie, saying her friend invited us too! We were so excited.

For those of you (like us), who do not know a lot about Pesach or a Pesach Seder, Seder means order and the Haggadah is the handbook Jewish people use to follow the order of the Passover dinner/ceremony. There are shorter versions and longer versions. We had the long version and more traditional. It started at 6pm and lasted until 12:30pm! We read the entire Haggadah (about 2/3 in Hebrew and 1/3 in English). Luckily we had a book with both English and Hebrew so we were able to follow along. It was really nice meeting new people, eating good food and learning about Jewish culture/history. It was a great experience.

Here is a link to a Haggadah in English.

Here is a link to a good video on the Pesach Seder basics.

On Thursday, March 28th,  we took the bus to Akko (maybe 20-40 min bus ride)! We visited the Knights Hall, Templar Tunnel, Turkish Baths, to name a few. It is an old city, with rich history: “Akko is the Acre of the Crusaders, and as the capitol and port of the Latinate Kingdom of Palestine, it received ships from Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa and Venice. St Francis of Assisi and Marco Polo were among the guests in the knights’ dining halls…” Read more at Lonely Planet’s website.  We really enjoyed exploring the ins and outs of the small city and plan on going back.

For Easter, we had a quite day at home. In the morning, I made Goldenrod, a Mann family favorite. Thankfully people warned us in advance to buy and freeze bread, and to stock up on crackers and other wheat products, which are not sold during Passover (unless you go to an Arab neighborhood). Then we went to the market to get groceries for dinner. For dinner, I made Quinoa tacos with real flour tortillas that were on sale before Pesach started (6 tortillas usually cost about $5, which is shocking for a Texan! Thankfully we got them for 1/2 price). I must say, the Tacos were AWESOME. The thing I miss most about Texas, besides my friends, is the food. 🙂 The rest of the day was spent relaxing.

I hope this blog post wasn’t too long! Enjoy the pictures. We love hearing from all of you. If you have questions, please feel free to ask!

Take care, Laura & Timothy

Make sure to check out our Ducky Blog! The gang has been busy here in Israel!

https://duckyadventures.wordpress.com/

On the Sabbath (March 16) Timothy and I went to MadaTech Israel National Museum of Science in Haifa with our friend Francois.  While the museum is geared towards children and teens, we had a lot of fun playing in the different exhibits!

This week Timothy and I started our Hebrew Course (Ulpan). It is a basic course teaching conversational Hebrew. We are starting by learning the “Alef Bet” and writing in both print and cursive Hebrew! It’s a little overwhelming, but with a lot of practice I’ll be fine.

Passover (Pesah) will start next week. For us, this means there will be no flour products available for a WHOLE WEEK! That means no bread, pasta, crackers, and some other non-passover approved foods like international cheeses (I don’t know why). Thankfully I have pasta in the cupboards and I put some bread in the freezer! While the school will be on break, Tim and some of his fellow lab mates will be working.

We also have a mailing address, please email me if you would like it.

Take care,

Laura & Timothy

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