Hello Everyone! We’re back from our epic trip of celebrations back in the U.S. I’ve spent the last week recovering from jetlag and a nasty cold, but I’m happy to report that I’m feeling much better and in good shape for our visitors later this week – our besties Shawn and Kate. We are so excited to finally get to show them our town and hang out like old times.
But first – a trip recap! The travel back and forth was relatively easy and uneventful, so thank you for all your good thoughts. I wore my very sexy compression stockings, drank about 3L of water, and got up every hour to walk around the plane and arrived in the U.S. feeling good. We had a pretty freaky, almost crash landing in JFK and then ended up being delayed to Cleveland due to the plane hitting a seagull, but all went as well as I could have hoped and I ended up back at my parents home only an hour behind schedule.
I accomplished most of my U.S. To Do list, with the exception of drinking Starbucks everyday. I didn’t even have it once! That’s what happens when the nearest Starbucks is a 10 minute drive away (yes, places like that still exist) and your caffeine intake has been limited to one small cup a day. I did manage to get 2 separate mani/pedis, read lots of trashy mags, eat a Blizzard, enjoy a Jimmy John’s sandwich, and stock up on all my U.S. essentials.
When I arrived, I dove right into wedding mode helping my mom and sister with last minute preparations. There was a lot to do and we all took turns working on various wedding tasks, cleaning the houses, and babysitting. I had an absolute blast hanging out with this little guy, who has changed so much since the last time I saw him!
He’s getting some hair, cutting a tooth, and is so much more aware of his surroundings. When he looks at you, he really looks at you and it just melts my heart! He loves to crawl everywhere, clap, and give open mouth kisses. He really is such a happy baby – he hardly ever cries, he lets everyone hold him, and he’s always laughing and smiling. I just hope our little girl takes after her cousin!
Even before the wedding weekend, we had a lot to celebrate. Brighton was baptized in his church in a ceremony they call a “Dedication.” It was a really lovely ceremony and Brighton just loved being the center of attention! Tori and Patrick gave a great speech about Brighton and their hopes for his spiritual life, and Pastor Gary (who also married Tori and Patrick the first time and officiated their vow renewal ceremony) shared a beautiful sermon about Brighton with the congregation.
Then, my fabulous, hip, and fashionable Grandma turned 90! My mom did such a great job of making my Grandma feel special on her big birthday. We asked all our family and friends to send her a card, which my mom intercepted and wrapped up very nicely in a big box with a bow. The box was waiting for her when she woke up along with a dozen red roses and big hugs from us! Grandma was really surprised and happy and to see how many people had remembered her birthday, but the big highlight was getting a birthday card from the President. She carried that card around everywhere and showed everyone. I had to laugh when she showed it to my cousin and wouldn’t let him hold it until he confirmed that yes, his hands were clean. Needless to say, she’s already bought a frame for it and plans to hang it in her bedroom.
We capped off the evening with a special family birthday dinner at one of her favorite restaurants and cake and presents. She was drinking martinis, hamming it up for the camera making all kinds of funny faces, and having a great time! It was definitely a milestone birthday to remember and I feel truly grateful that I was able to be home with her to participate.
So much fun, and I was only 3 days into my trip! Stay tuned later this week for Celebration Vacation Part 2 – The Wedding!