~ Back in the U.S.A.!
I can't tell you how excited I was to fly back home to the United States. I have been living abroad in Europe since August which hasn't been too long but there are certain things that I miss about home that in the past I may have taken for granted. For example, I have been getting those crazy pregnancy food cravings that everyone talks about. However, I cannot beg my husband to drive to the store at 3am because the foods I have been craving are not simply down the street; rather, they are 5,000 miles from my watering mouth. Macaroni and cheese, peanut butter M & M's, and a Dairy Queen blizzard would all be mine in a matter of T- 14 hours. This may sound a little superficial because indeed I did miss my friends and family dearly, but when a pregnant woman has a craving this is a big deal (or at least it has been for me). And the weirdest thing is that I have been craving things that I wouldn't normal crave when I was living at home but since I simply can't have them, I want them. Needless to say, I spent the greater part of this week indulging in the great variety of wonderful foods of America that I had been so desperately craving.
The biggest highlight of the week was the fact that my parents had decided to fly up to Colorado from Arizona for four days while I was home. And what a surprise I had in store for them! We had told my husband's side of the family the news over the phone last week after we saw the doctor; however, I had wanted to tell my parents in person and since the timing couldn't work out any more perfect, I waited. I had debated how to tell them but decided on wrapping up a lovely book entitled Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul, highlighted by the fact that it was indeed offered in large print. I brought them home from the airport and we had been catching up on all of the news from the past few months when my heart started to beat out of my chest, a thunderous rhythm, and I could wait no longer. I sprinted up the stairs to grab the gift that would reveal all. My parents are coming out to Switzerland to visit over the holidays so my mom was convinced that it was a travel book of Switzerland. It took her about fifteen minutes to register but she finally got it and looked up at me in disbelief, my dad not far behind her. They would be first-time grandparents. We screamed and hugged and sat there in wonderment for several moments as they soaked in the news. We celebrated by a dinner out at a nice Mexican restaurant where they indulged in margaritas and I celebrated with a lemon water- whew!
It sure was nice having my parents around this week. My husband and I had bought a townhouse in Colorado which was painted in an all out "Easter spewed all over the house" theme by the previous owners. The walls were truly hideous (and I have many people who would back me up on this) but we got a great deal on the place and saw its potential. My husband and I had slaved away all last summer to re-paint and re-furnish the house which now looks unbelievable! My mom had seen the transition and appreciated the work we did, while my dad was seeing our place for the first time. I recruited my parents to do some long overdue yard work, which they happily participated in. It was a beautiful, sunny, and warm fall week and we were all enjoying the time spent together, as these days they are far and few between.
This week was also election week so I had got up early on Tuesday morning to vote. It sure felt good to be back in the United States and voting for the next U.S. president in person. Needless to say I was thrilled at the outcome and even teared up during Obama's beautiful acceptance speech. To think how far our country has moved forward! I am really looking forward to the new presidency and changes in our how our government is run.
I met some of my old college friends out at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner later in the week. I had forgotten how important (and special) it is to spend some quality time around close girlfriends. I haven't laughed that hard or long for months! And I indulged in some hot buffalo sauce chicken to top things off. I love buffalo chicken and it simply doesn't exist in our trans-Atlantic counterparts, or at least in Switzerland for that matter. Despite having to nonchalantly unbutton my top jeans button due to my expanding stomach (not sure if a product of the buffalo chicken, baby, or both), I had an excellent evening and week!