Monday, July 8, 2013

Back in America

A trip back to the States was not in our original plans, but we were thankful for a chance to spend some quality time with family and friends.  Bobby and I needed to attend a two day conference with our work so we decided to make the best of it by scheduling as much fun into a week that we could (all while continuing to work full time!).

Although flying with two little ones is not at the top of my most enjoyable moments list, it is always good for some good cuddle moments with your small children.  Liam, weighing in at 35 pounds, is still under 2 years old so is a free infant in lap candidate.  He did a good job sleeping on and off for at least half of the flights both coming and going back.  Amelie also did a wonderful job on the flight going back to Edinburgh cuddling on Bobby's lap and having a good snooze.  The flights were long and at times I thought would never end...not because of my children, but because of my own boredom!  We enjoyed our airport times of watching the planes land and take off.  Speaking of taking off, Liam's vocabulary is also shooting through the roof.  He repeats everything and is talking more and more.  Some of his new words over the last few weeks include: plane, fly, high, tall, get me out of here...just kidding on that last one.  With taking public transportation regularly, we are all becoming more patient and able to roll with the punches.  We were afforded many compliments on the good behavior of our children.  Never from the person who sat directly in front of Liam or the flight attendants who had to clean up a couple of spills, but who's keeping track. Our upcoming flights will be a lot shorter, thank goodness for all of our sanity's sake!  Upon our arrival to Atlanta Amelie says, "I know we can walk to Chick-fil-a for dinner!"  We had fun informing her that we wouldn't need to walk, but would be taking a car every where we went.  We had fun riding in Mimi and Poppy's car all week.  It's funny how they enjoyed having car rides again.  As we walk around town now, Liam is often pointing out Katie's car or Mimi's car.

A benefit for being away for a couple of months is that family and friends welcome the chance to spend time with you again.  Seriously, we had so much fun with everyone that we had a hard time leaving!  Bobby and I's conference, luckily, was held in Athens.  Our parents took turns watching the kiddos while we had two days and one night of freedom.  Since we do not have a cell plan, yes it is like being in the 90's all over again, it made it a little challenging to communicate.  However, we were able to contact friends allowing us to catch up and have a wonderful evening out.  We are thankful to everyone who made an effort to come and see us!  You have know idea how much we miss you all.  Any time you want to jump on a plane and come exploring with us know that you have a free invitation. ;)

Once back in Lawrenceville, we were able to spend some time with my sister who had driven down with her family from Pennsylvania.  Amelie continues to talk about how much she loves her cousin, Joanna, and wants to live with her for forever.  It was precious time spent with the entire family playing at a neighborhood playground, exploring through the GA aquarium, splashing in the Suwannee fountains, and destroying my parent's basement.  We also spent some quality time with Bobby's family. We are thankful that everyone came to us. Bobby's mom, Nanny, was so excited to see us that she spent the night at my parent's house just to hang out with us.  We know driving, especially through ATL traffic, is not fun, but it was good to be able to spend as much time as possible together.

Bobby and I also got to spend some quality time apart with close personal friends.  He was able to go golfing for an afternoon while I was able to visit with my college roomies.  How it refreshed our souls!  We value having people in our lives that ask us critical questions, that push us to reflect, and that help point us to having proper priorities.  The good news is that even though we are all spread out, technology is wonderful in helping stay in touch.

As you would expect, we are learning through our travels.  One of the biggest things is to travel light.  So much so that we brought a suitcase worth of stuff back to leave.  Can we manage for six months on one suitcase and a pack's worth of stuff?  The verdict is still out on that one.  We also did not bring our camera so we do not have very many pictures.  My sisters took some wonderful pictures below:

The playground was a perfect way to help get out some extra energy after dinner each night.
Amelie loved being around Alaina.  She was very sweet and relished every opportunity she was allowed to hold her.
Aunt Katie is a fun aunt.  She made big blanket tents, played lots of games, and more. 
We had a wonderful time catching up with my grandparents (Nana & Papa and GG).  I'm thankful they live close enough to come over for meals when we are in town.  Amelie and Liam were able to talk their ears off and show off new skills.  Liam showed GG and Uncle David his highland dancing skills.
Loving the wide open space of the basement with endless amounts of toys.  Amelie is still begging to go back to Mimi and Poppy's.  Guess our tiny apartment doesn't have anything on that!  On a side note, Amelie likes to wear her head bands like Rambo.
The fountain was cold, but it didn't take the kids long to jump in the fun.
Yes, we didn't have our bathing suits...our children are either under-clothed or over-clothed when it comes to playing in fountains....We didn't think running around in panties would be acceptable here... ;)
My lovely family (minus Bobby).  
Who doesn't have fun in the penguin tunnels?  Kim and I climbed through them at least twice!
Sweet cousin love.
Liam is a cute mess...look at that never know when he goes into full tackle mode but this look is a good warning.
Mimi and Aunt Katie helping the girls get a better look at the tidal pool.
The Beluga whales are my personal favorite.  We also all enjoyed the Dolphin show.
After all this fun, was it hard coming back to Edinburgh?  Yes!  I feel like we have had to detox.  We were spoiled by the many hands helping us with the kids, the conveniences that familiarity affords, and lots of relational time filling up our empty relationship tanks. 

Thankfully Summer semester is drawing to a close so we will have a couple of weeks with no teaching responsibilities.  We will be able to set off and explore more than we have been able to do.  We bought a bus pass that allows us unlimited bus usage for the month which has already helped pick up our spirits.  If we are not exploring and learning, then we all get a little stir crazy!

What is the number one question that Amelie (and Liam in his own way) asks?  "When are we going back?"  This is another teaching moment, not just for the kids but for me too.  We are working on living in the moment.  We are focusing on what we have in front of us, and not what is six months out.  We are waking up each morning being thankful for TODAY. 

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