Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Whirlwind Trip Home to the USA

Every year we come home to the US and every year I say that I won't over schedule.  Every year I totally fail in this capacity and as a result, by the time we leave I can barely keep my eyes open from exhaustion.  It's always worth it though.  It always feels so good to be back home.  And this year feels even better. For some reason, despite my inability to under-schedule myself, I'm not feeling so manic or overwhelmed with all that needs to be done and people to see.  I think I just finally know, it will all get done.  And if it doesn't... well, it doesn't.  Perhaps life in Barcelona rubbed off on me after all.

We made it home directly from our cruise vacation which made for an incredibly long day when you added in getting off the boat by 7 (which meant up around 5:30AM), then a 2 hour bus ride to the airport, 3 hours wait in the airport before our flight and then the 2 flights themselves.  But the cruise was yet another distraction to the disarray of our lives right now.  It was so nice being away for 2 weeks that it made us forget about the sadness of leaving Barcelona.  And now, being home in the US, it just reinforces those feelings of distraction and right now, distraction is good.  We're going to have so much going on in August and September that we might as well enjoy some good times while we can.

Since we were home for 5 weeks which is a lot of stuff to cover, I'll keep this short but sweet - a snapshot of our time.
  • I made 3 trips to NY - two of them were to Brooklyn for the boys, one to Albany for me to visit my two best college friends.  Unfortunately I wasn't so great about taking pictures of the three trips.

Liam and his friend, Henry... picked up right where they left off!
  • We spent some time in our neighborhood with our friends, though never enough time and we still missed a bunch of people.  There are times when it feels like we never left and other times when I feel like we are on the outside looking in.
Liam has become quite the swimmer (and jumper) this year!

Aidan and his BFF Nate

Double cannonball

All the boys - Aidan, Nate, Aaron and Liam

Liam, Aidan, Nate, Aaron

Aidan and Lindsey - this is what happens every single year - they won't even stand next to each other til the very end of the trip - this was day 1.  I think they are secretly in love ;)

The gang...
  • I got to visit with some of my Barcelona peeps that live stateside again (though sadly did not get to visit everyone).
  • I went through our storage unit with the help of my mom and dad and packed up things that were going to storage and those that were coming to Amsterdam (now I question where all of that is going to go!).
Josh's fishy pants... sadly they did not make it on the trip to the Netherlands

The shipping container - brought right to the house (last time it was a moving truck and they made the change over to the container).

Only a little bit of what I had to go through...

My 16' POD that had to be sorted through... good times.
  • We met up with various members of family for dinners, bbqs and to just hang out.
BBQ at Kyle and Kelly's which included a visit from the ice cream truck!!!

Some of the crew at Kyle an Kelly's

Liam and his new buddy Mike at Uncle Richard and Aunt Janice's house

All American treat - s'mores

Liam about to go on the slide for the first time - take a good look at his face (he loved it in the end).

Will he end up in the pool??  

Liam and his buddy Duke

Aunt Janice, me, Liam, Aidan, Meghan, Sarah and Uncle Richard
  • I had brunch with a bunch of my sorority sisters thanks to Tonia's coordination - many of them I hadn't seen in years!
After brunch trip back to Babson for a picture in front of our tower.

Tonia, Kate and myself
  • The kids went to summer camp in Maine for 3 weeks - more on that in another entry.
The boys as they arrived at Camp Wekeela - the same camp Josh went to as a kid.
  • The kids each spent time with Josh's parents on the Cape (while the other was in NY) plus our time driving to and from Maine (you can tell when you don't get enough time in with those you want when you have to count driving time together as quality time).
Aidan and Granny

Aidan and Papa - I didn't get any pictures of them with Liam :(
  • We spent time with my parents - more than we usually get (though as with my in-laws, it's never enough) and just enjoyed our mellow time with them.  
Nana, Aidan, Papa and Liam
  • We spent a lot of time at Target, much to Aidan's delight (he asked to go at 4:15AM the first morning and I had to explain to him that even in the US, regular stores are not open that early.)
  • Spent an ungodly amount of time at the Apple store trying to get my computer fixed.  I think if I hadn't spent so much time there I could have seen every single person on my list.  
  • I got to spend a bunch of time with my BFF - including going to the Red Sox / Yankees game (admittedly we left in the 5th inning out of boredom but since the tix were free we felt ok about doing that.  
As with each year, I find myself fine tuning my list - trying to spend more time with those I "want" to and less with those that I "have" to spend time with.  But even with that fine tuning, I still find that I don't get nearly enough time as I'd like with those people and then there are people I'm not able to see at all which means at least 2 years between visits.  Thank goodness for Skype (I'm terrible with it though), Facebook and VOIP for me to be able to stay in touch.

However, after 5 weeks of being on the go constantly, exhaustion has caught up and the desire for us to be back together as a cohesive family unit and so it's time for us to head back to Europe.  We're ready but can't wait to come back again next year!!


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