Goodbye Nebraska, Hello Barcelona!

It’s difficult to even attempt to gather my thoughts after an over month-long hiatus from blogging.  Don’t think for a minute that I didn’t miss blogging, pretty much everything I did I made a mental note ‘include this in the blog’, but I was too busy with everything going on in Nebraska to find the time to sit down and write.  Seriously…I even made a mental note to mention how weird it was that the cleaning instructions on my panties (what a better way to pass the time than to read while peeing right?!?) said “cool iron if needed”.  What I want to know is, who the heck irons their panties?  Back to the part about being in Nebraska right…? With that being said, I’ll try to start from the beginning.

The only people who knew of my arrival were my parents, so you can bet your sweet little heart I had the time of my life randomly surprising my family and friends!  You have no idea how hard it was talking with people via Facebook and not being a giddy school girl and screaming at them in all caps “I’M HOME!!!”.  Even my sister had asked to see a video of the minis walking and it took all my strength not to send her one making sure the recognizable background of my parents’ home was in full view, but alas I waited for the in person surprise.

First on the agenda was surprising my twin sister, her family, and my older brother.  Mom had made arrangements to have dinner at my sister’s house and invited the whole family.  As we pulled into her driveway, the babies and I waited patiently in the back of my dad’s truck as mom went inside to tell them that dad needed help getting things in from the truck. Out comes my sister, looking more than confused, and then she opened the back door finding her nephews she hasn’t seen in nine months.  Cue the monsoon of tears!  I’m fairly certain every female within ear shot of the incident was crying.  At first she couldn’t believe that I was there in front of her, and it took me telling her that it was okay to take Liam before she finally became an excited mushy baby holding mess.   My brother took Abram and gave me what I had been longing for…one of his hugs.  The guy seriously gives the best hugs around.  Gavin took it upon himself to call me Uncle Dani the duration of my visit, but that’s okay…someday I’ll get him back for that… And seamonkey is even more adorable and squishy in person than any Facetiming session, or picture I had led me to believe.

The following evening I had made arrangements with my best friend’s boyfriend to meet them for dinner, although she didn’t know I was going to be attending their quiet evening out.  As I arrived at HuHot (and for those of you who aren’t familiar with that restaurant, it’s the type of place where you gather your favorite ingredients from a buffet style setup and then take it to the grill to watch it be prepared in person) I scanned around but couldn’t find them until I caught her starring straight at me from the grill. With a big smile on my face, and a ‘wtf?’ look on hers, I headed straight for her and gave her a hug.  With the same expression still looming on her face I said “…hi…?”. Which was promptly followed with a “…uh hi…”.  All sorts of confused by this point I had to finally tell her “Jenn, it’s really me!”, and then the teary-eyed hugging commenced.  She thought that I was my twin sister with a new hairdo and more makeup than usual, refusing to believe that I was actually standing in front of her.

Next surprise on the agenda was Sean’s family, which was a little more difficult…how do I get them all together without giving away the surprise?  Thankfully, there was an already planned celebration for my niece Chabrie’s high school graduation.  All I had to do was show up with the babies…perfect!  Ahead of time Sean and I had made plans to Facetime with Chabrie so we could congratulate her ourselves and “watch her open her gift”.  As I walk into his sister’s home, his two sisters have their back turned to me, talking to Sean on the iPad back in Germany.  As nonchalantly as possible I walked up behind them and asked if I could get some help getting the babies out of the car.  What happened next was pure chaos of screaming and a few random obscenities as a blur of my sister-in-laws went running by me, straight to the babies waiting so patiently in the car.  His niece said it was the best graduation gift she could have asked for.  Mission accomplished!

The only person I wasn’t able to surprise in person was my sister Ginger because she had to cancel her trip to Lincoln for Gavin’s third birthday party.  As soon as I heard the news of her canceling my mom made a call, during business hours, and shortly after Ginger answered I was put on the phone.  My ear drum is still ringing slightly for that scream.  She even, in a few less words, told her patient boss to shove it, that her sister was home from Germany.

The surprises were obviously the highlight of my trip but there were many wonderful (and not so wonderful) things that happened while I was home.  For one, I dyed my hair pink, well not all of it, more of an ombre with the bottom portion being pink and fading into my natural blond on top.  It was just what I needed to get out of my stay-at-home mommy frumpy rut…too bad it didn’t last longer.  Within a couple of weeks it wasn’t even noticeable to the naked eye.  Blargh…

Yes, it's an awesome iPhone photo, it's the best I could do.

Yes, it’s an awesome iPhone photo, it’s the best I could do.

I also had the opportunity to take photos for a lovely single mom, and I’ll admit, I’ve had fun taking photos of my kids, but this gave me the high and sense of self-satisfaction that I have been lacking for several months.  Not that I don’t enjoy being home with my boys, but I have lost a little of my sense of self along the way.  I’ve decided to hit the ground running (well, I’ll pace myself…but you get what I mean) with my photography business.  Sean pushed me to pursue it and that first session outside of family hooked me for good.  You can look up my Facebook photography page under TBD Photography – Deutschland.  It’s an extension of the family business back in Nebraska, which I am proud to be a part of finally (not that I didn’t want to when I was back home, but I was the size an anaconda who’d eaten an antelope for dinner, which isn’t too practical when trying to run around with a camera).  You’ll see some amazing architecture photos which were taken by my husband.

I was so pleased and excited to be a part of my best friend’s life changing event.  The weekend that I had arrived her boyfriend took her on a trip to Colorado where he proposed on top of a mountain (high-five Brandon!).  I’m beyond thrilled for the two of them and looking forward to having my family be a part of their special day.  The following Wednesday, Brandon and Jenn let me take their engagement photos.  It was so much fun, and thanks again you two for letting me take them!  Your photographer is going to have so much fun with you two.

In the mix of events were friends and family stopping by to see the boys and I, trips for the boys with their aunts to the local children’s zoo and museum, some much-needed therapeutic skiing, family dinners, nights watching American TV with my parents, wedding dress shopping with Jenn, a weekend visit from my godparents and my younger cousin (thankfully they were there otherwise it would’ve been the weekend from teething hell), a visit to see my old coworkers (thanks again Amber!), a night downtown with my friend Michelle (oh man did that make me feel old! My sad lady bits just can’t keep up with the perkiness of the youngin’s anymore), visits to see doctor Big Hands who gave me news I wasn’t looking for,  a weekend visit from my sister Ginger and nephew Zachary (who I had a blast swimming and boating with, as did the babies, I think they were fond of him), and then finally a trip back to good ol’ Wahoo to see my old neighbors. (Yes, that needed to be all one sentence…)

The trip to Wahoo was rather interesting and sort of surreal.  Here I am standing in the driveway of my neighbor’s house, having pizza and enjoying everyone’s company, but not able to go back to my home right next door.  There is now a chain link fence up separating my old backyard from the adjacent neighbors, the bird bath I was given as a home warming present from my parents is randomly sitting in the middle of the yard, completely un-shaded with no water, and a random toilet in the back yard to boot.  I just hope they love that little home as much as my family did. It was so good seeing all of them again but I wish Sean had been back with me to experience it all.  Oh…and Abram decided it would be fun to meet the cement face first which resulted in a scuffed chin and a chipped front tooth.  Hooray!  My last day home was spent taking Abram to the dentist where my mom witnessed the first ever Liam and Abram twin connection.  Abram did not like A. having his mouth pried open, and B. having a drill in his mouth (don’t worry, they just shaved it off so it wasn’t a sharp chip, it didn’t hurt him), so needless to say he let everyone in the office know his tonsils were in perfect working condition.  According to my mom, Liam stopped playing the instant he heard Abram crying, and went to the door leading to the patient rooms, got the door open but she swooped in before he could make a run for it. While in her arms he sat still, just listening for his brother.  Talk about melting my little twin mommy heart!

The flight back home to Germany was much less enjoyable than the trip to Nebraska.  Let’s just say that everything that went right on the first trip went completely, horrendously wrong on the last trip. Boarding the plane in Omaha I fully expected to be holding one baby on my lap for that leg of the trip, no big deal since it was just a couple of hours.  What I did not expect was a stewardess with way too much makeup and false eyelashes that’d rival one of those creepy blinking dolls from back when I was a kid, who told me I wasn’t allowed to bring my German carseat on the plane.  As I am attempting to keep my cool and strap my 19 pound son into a seatbelt meant for an adult she proceeds to tell me that he’s so small we may need to have another passenger hold him for the flight.  Right then I wanted to jump on her face like a spider monkey from hell and rip those false eyelashes straight off of her sky blue eyelids!  I think she saw the ferociousness in my eyes and left me the heck alone after that.  Let me tell you though, it is not easy trying to hold a sleeping baby and attempting to prop the other one up to sleep in a chair not meant for his tiny stature.  With their blankets I made a sort of pillow on the armrest between us and held his little head in place with my arm.

Run free little man! You're on your way back home!

Run free little man! You’re on your way back home! (Photo thanks to Karen Hughes, aka Mom/Grandma)

By the time my plane landed my flight to Germany was already boarding so if you can imagine a mom practically running down one of those floor escalators pulling two babies behind her with a military back pack on, you’d probably think I was out of breath by the time I had arrived, and I was… I was also informed that I didn’t get three seats as I had hoped for, and I also hadn’t got the bulkhead as requested months in advance.  Once to my seat I noticed a man was sitting in between Abram’s purchased seat and myself.  I had politely asked him if he would care to move to the aisle seat so I could sit next to my son, to which he then asks me to switch seats with his two fellow companions who were sitting in front of him so that they all could sit together.  My jaw hit the floor.  Immediately the angry spitting camel from Baltimore reappeared and it tempted me to go completely white girl ghetto on him (please note I am nowhere near ‘white girl ghetto’, nor have I ever, but my alter ego may possibly have been).  Instead of going bezerk on him I politely traded seats with his fellow flyers.  Sometimes I think I am too nice for my own good.  Thankfully for me though, I had a flying angel in my presence.  The lady who sat next to me was so sweet and helpful that it totally made up for the 11 hours of holding a baby and overall 14 hours of traveling.

Tomorrow we leave for Barcelona on our first ever family vacation (well we have been on a lot of trips but most have been thanks to Sean’s work).  I’m so excited I feel like I’ve eaten a dozen pixi sticks!

P.S. Delta, I know you won’t read this but I need to get this out.  My first trip was wonderful but you should be ashamed for how my last trip went.  Not a single one of my requests made months in advance were held up on your end, not even the request for assistance from the gates.  Technically I was traveling with an ‘unaccompanied minor’, and had he truly been unaccompanied I’d hate to see where he was now…my guess is afraid, and alone, stuck in Detroit still.


5 responses to “Goodbye Nebraska, Hello Barcelona!

  1. Sounds wonderful! I’m glad you had a safe and good trip, could surprise family, could take some photos and “be you” for a bit, and, now, that you’re on your way to Barcelona! Jealous! Safe travels!

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