Saturday, May 16, 2015

Going home!

Recently I spent a glorious 11 days in the United States.  Those 11 days where filled with so much love and it felt good to just be with my family and enjoy the simplicities of life with them.

My family was there to meet me at the airport, along with a very special family member, my Japanese sister Ayaka, whom I hadn't seen in over 5 years!

I ate lots of delicious food, including cinnamon rolls, Mexican food, olive garden, and my mom's special homemade lasagna.

My sister made chocolate covered strawberries!
We weren't excited about that food at all ;)

Visits were made to former teachers, including the most influential teacher I have ever had - my Russian teacher. My little sister was also mortified when I showed up in her German class.  I never studied German in high school, but the German teacher just so happens to be the Russian teacher's wife and a very dear friend of the family.

German class visit

Class of 2010 Academic Top Ten

I took four exams for my online course (and passed all four!) and followed them up with Mexican food and a sunny afternoon at my grandparents' house.

Chelsea, Ayaka, and more Mexican food

Sunny afternoons laying in the grass

Been climbing that tree and grandma and grandpa's for years

Love them!
I made two trips to Bloomington and my former university campus. I had lunch with two of my senior year housemates, met a friend for coffee and a long walk, and had breakfast with a friend I often send postcards too while my mom helped my brother move out of his dormitory for the year. We also had to make a stop at Five Guys and buy IU tshirts.  

Selfie at Five Guys

Beautiful IU
I took a road trip to Michigan to visit my first university roommate and my very dear friend Ivana.  The last time we saw each other was in Berlin almost a year ago.  I loved getting a glimpse into her life in Ann Arbor and loved my private tour of the Google offices where she works.

Stopped at the visitors center and felt like a real tourist

Felt right at home ;)

I shopped quite a bit, both for things friends had requested as gifts from America, as well as for some things for my classroom and some new summer clothes for me.

My mom was honored by the Eagles Club as the Community Mother of the Year for all of the volunteer work she does in the schools and for the youth of our town.  We were all treated to a yummy dinner and fun evening. My mom was presented with flowers and even a little tiara, which we all had a good laugh about.

Many days were just spent being with my family and enjoying each others company.  I helped my sister out a bit with the kiddos and even took the smallest mouse with me on a coffee and breakfast date with my dear friend Elise.  Good thing Elise likes babies so much ;) Many people kept commenting on how adorable ''my baby'' was, but I let them know that I was just the auntie babysitting for the day.

A little family photo shoot


One of my aunts turned 50 and threw a really fun and somewhat crazy birthday party at her place. It was great to see that side of the family as well!

She's sooo silly!
In the early morning hours before my flight back to Germany I was awake and losing the contents of my stomach.  It was probably the most miserable I have ever been while flying, but I did my best to pass out for as much of the journey as possible.

My ''I'm just trying not to puke'' smile
Once I got back on German soil I made my way to my apartment where I immediately showered, napped, unpacked my bags, and went to the grocery store.  And just like that I was right back into my German life! The next day at work the kiddos went nuts with excitement to see me again and have been loving all of their new books! It's amazing to have a job that I love to come back to.

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A little note waiting for me back at the apartment
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I work by a castle, no big deal