Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Yet Another Trip

Just back from yet another trip. Can you believe it? We are traveling fools. The following is what I typed up during our flight last night.

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This was a quick trip to the US for a couple of weddings. OK, I'm sure some of you are saying "what the heck, you didn't tell us you were coming to the US. How come you didn't visit us while you were here?" Because we were only in town for 10 days and we had to attend 2 weddings, go to work a couple of days, find a school/daycare for Carter for when we repatriate, and go to a bunch of doctor's appointments. Phew!

We arrived back in the US the afternoon of Friday, July 3. We were thrilled that my brother Kevin and his two kids (Declan and Maddie) drove in from Chicago so they could spend some time with us while we were in Michigan. My poor parents…they go from a quiet, peaceful existence to having 5 adults, 3 young kids in their condo. (I know they are secretly relieved when we all go home). Carter just thinks that his cousins are the greatest…especially Declan. They all had so much fun swimming at the pool near Nana and Grandpa's house. I'm very impressed at all of their swimming abilities.



On Saturday night, Ben and I attended Cheryl Machovec & Dave Dehn's wedding. Actually, we skipped the ceremony so that we could spend time with my brother, niece, and nephew. Sorry Cheryl and Dave! But we did go to the reception and had a ton of fun…until 10pm when we hit the wall (the jet lag wall – it was 4am to us). It was so great to see old friends again. Wonderful to catch up with everyone and all in one place. It was such a good reminder that we have wonderful friends with whom we can rekindle friendships upon moving back to the US.

Between the jet lag and a couple glasses of wine and the general mood of a wedding, I was feeling especially schmoopy and emotional. I was really moved by the toasts made by Cheryl's dad and Lara, matron of honor. I did a lot of reminiscing back to our own wedding. I think for the first time in the nearly 6 years that we've been married, I was a little sad that we don't have any video from the rehearsal dinner toasts or from the reception.

On the drive home from the wedding, we passed a spot where someone was setting off some amazing fireworks. Ben parked the car and we got out and watched for nearly 30 minutes. Though we were standing on a highway overpass, dressed in formal attire, it was really romantic. It was like our own private fireworks show. I gotta say, there's something great about being back in the good ol' USA for the 4th of July.

Sunday through Wednesday, we kept ourselves busy visiting with friends and family, going to work and doctors appointments. I'm not going to bore you with all the details (not to imply that family and friends are boring! We loved every minute of it).

On Wednesday afternoon, Ben went into the office and Mom, Carter and I headed out to Twelve Oaks (the mall) to run some errands. While I am driving us to the mall, my mother casually mentions that she might have splashed bleach in her eye in the minutes before we left the house. Oh, great! She couldn't tell me this BEFORE we left the house? Regardless, she tells me to continue on as her eye doesn't feel "that bad." To make a long story just a little bit shorter, in the end I take her to her ophthalmologist who flushes her eye with sterile water for a good 15 minutes which makes her more uncomfortable than she was to start with.

I tell you all of this because she's going to use it as her defense and I want you to be prepared for it. Defense of what you may ask? The following day my mother tried to pay for a new purse at a store with her Blue Cross Insurance card. Either she has incredible medical benefits that support "retail therapy" or she's starting to lose it. Now my mother will probably try to tell you her vision was compromised which is why she made the mistake. I think that it's jut the second sign in as many days that she should not be unsupervised!

(Sorry Mom! I just wanted to make sure Aunt Connie got the full, true story)

Over the weekend, Carter went to stay with Grandpa Mel and Ben went to a friend's wedding in Savannah, GA. Since my mother clearly can't be left alone, I dragged her around with me looking at schools for Carter (for when we repatriate) and looking at homes. I feel like we saw every house for sale in the city and township of Northville. There's a ton of boring out there. And there are countless homes not being maintained. It's rather depressing.

We did find the cutest house in downtown Northville, close enough to walk into town. It's a brand new house but styled to look like a 1920's Craftsman home. It has the charm of a one-of-a-kind, older home, but all the amenities of a new home. On a whim, we decided to call the builder for a tour. It was incredible. I would say this was as close to being my dream house as I've ever seen. It's a fabulous house for entertaining. I was already envisioning how our furniture would fit and thinking of the great dinner parties we could have. After the end of the showing, I scheduled an appointment for Monday morning when Ben can see it with me. I called Ben and told him that I've found our next house, that it's our "Dream House." We get excited and talk about actually buying a house before moving home and all the crazy logistics that go with it.


But alas, on Monday morning the builder/seller called to tell us that he got an offer and has a signed purchase agreement. So quickly the dreams are crushed. But phew...what a relief to know that we are not buying a house from overseas. We can only hope this deal doesn't go through and the house is on the market when we return home in December or that a similar house becomes available.

Our trip to the US is over and we have boarded the plane. As we are sitting in our seats we are watching the other passengers try to find their seats. One of the passengers is a Muslim woman wearing a back burqa. All that you can see of this woman are her eyes. Carter sees her and his own eyes go wide. He leans over to Ben and says, "Daddy, I just saw Darth Vader." Ben and I both nearly died then and there trying to suppress our laughter (and relief that no one else heard it). Ben explained that it wasn't Darth Vader but that it was a woman who likes to cover her head and face. Carter just couldn't grasp why someone would choose to do that and kept asking why. Hey, I'm with you buddy…it doesn't make sense to me either.

And so this brings you up to date, to this very moment that I'm typing. Kids and babies are screaming and keeping me (among many other passengers) awake. And I am saying my little thanks to whoever listens to the thoughts in my head that my perfect little angel is sleeping soundly.

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So believe it or not, that's the cliff notes version of our trip to the US. Though we were sad to leave the US, we are happy to be back in our own home, sleeping in our own beds. There's something about knowing our time here in Germany is nearing the end that really makes us pine for home.
Now if only we can find that dream house we can call "Home."

1 comment:

Nana said...

OK Miss Smartypants !!!
One day you too will be old & menopausal.
I can only hope you have understanding children.
Lucky for you I have a sense of humor !
Cute picture of the cousins.
I need your family photo from your cruise ; don't have it in those you downloaded when you were here.
Miss all of you !