2012 is so last year…

Happy New Year, readers!  I’m sure you are all craving a new read, as I have been MIA for a few weeks.  I wanted to bring you a few details of our trip home for the holidays and also a quick summary of our not-so-exciting New Year’s celebrations.

I do need to first go on a quick rant again about people leaning their seats back on airplanes.  We were quite frustrated on the long trip home by the mother who not only leaned her seat all the way back (immediately following take-off), but also leaned back the seats of her two toddlers who barely sat during the flight…meaning that BC would not be able to move his legs for the entire trip.  So rude.

Luckily, we arrived home to a warm welcome from our adorable niece and BC’s parents to help us forget our frustrations.  We also got to see our new baby niece and hold her briefly before we became complete zombies from exhaustion.

Our welcoming committee.

Our welcoming committee.

Saturday got an early start (about 3:45 am), but we had a jam-packed day.  For me, a baby shower, mani/pedi appointment and a long nap.  For BC, lunch and an ISU basketball game with the guys.  Then a party with some fun EY peeps (mostly former EY-er’s actually) that night.  We didn’t stay long, given that some of us were falling asleep at the party, but it was great to see everyone!

The next few days could be summarized as great meals, catching up with friends & family, and SHOPPING!  My parents and nephew came out to DM and did some Christmas shopping with me, I did some shopping myself and BC did some shopping with his mother…things are so much cheaper at home and easier to find. 🙂  BC went to the office for a couple days to get some work done and catch up with everyone.  I visited my favorite little shop, Ephemera, and the lovely ladies who own it, got a much needed haircut and spent an afternoon bowling with my dear Julz.

Then the snow set in…  We got around 12 inches of snow Wednesday night into Thursday.  We woke up on Thursday (around 5:00…slight improvement) to a power outage.  I had lots of present wrapping to accomplish, so I wasn’t going to let the lack of light hold me back.  I got started by flashlight, but it wasn’t long until we had power back.

Serious Snow!

Serious Snow!

Friday was an exciting day, due to the arrival of my lil’ bro and our journey back to my hometown for Christmas with my family.  I got to see my 2 besties that night for a little drive around Harrison County slash Christmas lights tour!  The next day was our staple Target shopping for American goods (scaled back this time) and Christmas at my grandparents’ home.  Sunday was present-opening at my parents’ house.  Much fun was had by all!

Curtis - not prepared for the cold!

Curtis – not prepared for the cold!

Christmas Eve and we were back on the road.  We got back to DM in time for our church’s Christmas Eve services (one of the eleven they offered over 3 days).  Then on to BC’s parents’ for their traditional heavy appetizers (yum).  We were up early Christmas morning to go watch our niece open gifts and see what Santa had brought her.  Then back to BC’s parents’ for gift opening.  Apparently I fooled Santa into thinking I was good this year (as my father-in-law would say), because I was pretty spoiled! 🙂   We had a delicious Christmas dinner to follow.

Christmas Eve at Hope.

Christmas Eve at Hope.

Then back on the road again to spend more time with my family.  This is when things took a turn for the worst…THE FLU!  I unfortunately began to run a very high fever, and have lots of coughing, achy-feelings, and much more.  This carried on for the remainder of our trip.  I had to cancel many fun-filled activities with friends (some that I hadn’t gotten to see at all), and got to spend a few hours at a walk-in clinic.  Knowing that our return flight was coming up soon was also not exciting…  We contacted Delta, who informed us that we could delay our return for about $7,000, and then we decided to just focus on feeling better.

All-in-all, it was a great trip!  It was nice to spend time catching up with family and friends.  Although, it was an odd feeling to return from our comforts of home to our new life in The Netherlands.

We arrived home on New Year’s Eve at about 6:30 am.  At this point, I proceeded to sleep for most of the day (despite the sound of firecrackers that continued all day).  I was EXTREMELY disappointed that I was sick because I had really been looking forward to celebrating with our fellow expat friends and attending our first Dutch house party!   Instead, we had a fun-filled evening of BC watching football and me laying around blowing my nose.  At midnight, we debated whether or not to even kiss, as I didn’t want to pass along my illness.  But we did have some excitement as the fireworks were going off EVERYWHERE!  I have never heard anything like it.  We were watching fireworks go off in every direction from our windows, so that was kind of fun!

Fireworks across the street.

Fireworks across the street.

Fireworks down the street.

Fireworks down the street.

VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS LETTER:

Perhaps this would have been on our Christmas card if we sent them this year!

Perhaps this would have been on our Christmas card if we sent them this year!

2012…what a year!  I think we can honestly say that this one will go down in the record books for us.  We started the year like most…busy season at EY.  I got to make a trip to Las Vegas in March to celebrate the wedding of a dear friend!  Then back to work and last-minute preparations for our own wedding!  BC made a trip to Denver with the boys for his bachelor party.  Then the day finally arrived!  Our wedding was an amazing day that we will treasure always…(hard to believe it’s been almost 8 months already)!  Then off to California for our honeymoon.  We returned to celebrate with my brother and my sister-in-law on their graduations.  Then on to more life-changes…I quit my job as a CPA to prepare for our big move.  Then it was my turn for a trip to Denver with my gal-pals.  Then the time came to pack up all of our belongings and make the move across the pond!  Since arriving, we have been soaking up the new culture and traveling as much as possible.  Including The Netherlands and the US, we have been to 7 countries this year!  Looking forward to making that number much larger next year!  And lastly, we were blessed with a new member of the family this December with the arrival of our niece!!  Definitely an amazing year.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2013!

Until next time,
-MK-

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