A Joyous New Year

2018 has started off as a joyous New Year, with our first three days spent in our home town of Chicago.  Our most recent visit was one of the best we’ve ever had.  Matilda has added a whole new level of specialness to our visits home and this Christmas and New Year was no exception.

As part of this Chicago visit, we first hosted Matilda’s baptism.  The rest of the visit was spent catching up with family and friends and celebrating both the Christmas and New Year holiday.  We were in Chicago for three weeks, and I am so thankful to my parents for hosting us.

Aside from the baptism, some of the highlights of the trip included:

Matilda interacting with other children

As Matilda is almost one year now, she is at a very fun age.  She is chatty (though not speaking real words), mobile, and very interactive.  Her personality is really taking shape – both the good and bad parts. 🙂

She interacted with many other kids this trip – my nephew, my cousin’s children, and my best friend’s children.  Her interaction with her cousin, Adrian was the funniest, though.  Adrian has an extremely sweet demeanor.  We were teaching him to share toys, and while Matilda liked the toys, she liked Adrian more.  She kept grabbing his shirt collar to pull him closer to her.  That act frightened him a bit, so he would slowly scoot away.  It was hysterical to watch, and perhaps a preview into their relationship down the line.

Catching Up with Friends

Since we were home for 3 weeks, I got to spend extra time with my best friends.  We weren’t rushed like we have been during past visits. It also allowed for visiting friends I see less frequently, such as my friend Jordan who lives in Washington, DC.

Spending Time with Family

This extra time gave us real quality moments with our families.  Staying with my parents exposed them to the funny nuances and quirks of Matilda’s personality, and gave them a glimpse into our daily interactions with her.

We helped my sister move into a beautiful new home and were able to personally share in her joy and excitement.  And I visited with aunts and uncles more frequently than in the past.

It was so nice, in fact, it felt like we had moved back to Chicago!

The Food!

I can’t forget our beloved Chicago-style food.  Hotdogs and beef sandwiches from Portillos, pizza from Pizano’s and Barnaby’s, Mexican from the local hole in the wall…it was awesome.  The problem, however, is the extreme weight gain that occurs eating food like this.  Oh well, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for. 🙂

Sadly for us, all 3 of us caught a nasty cold the last week we were in town.  We had to cancel our NYE plans but it ended up meaning a great night in with my parents.  We ordered Wildfire steaks for take out and I still made us all dress up to ring in the New Year.

Cheers to another great visit home – my sincerest thanks to my parents for hosting us and letting us take over their house!

And cheers to a great New Year!

After Christmas Stroll Through Zurich

The weather in Zurich over the holidays was lovely.  It was mild, sunny, and perfect for spending time outdoors.  This allowed Tony and I to properly introduce Zurich to his sister and her family.

The day after Christmas, the sun shone bright and we headed down to Old Town.  This is one of the cutest parts of Zurich.  It is full of ups and downs when strolling amongst the cobblestones and you can easily walk back and forth across the river.  Both Fraumunster and Grossmunster are in full view, and you can take in all of the adorably Swiss buildings.

One of the bridges, Rathausbruke, presents a perfect shot of Grossmunster in the background.  Tony’s sister took some bump photos of us.  They showcase both the beginning of our little family and the wonderful city we live.  Plus, Tony’s face is priceless.

Additionally, while the weather in Zurich has been mild compared to my home town, Chicago, it is still chilly.  It’s hard to dress this very pregnant body of mine, but I have been found some creative work arounds.  I often wear shorter mini-dresses as tops over jeans.  This allows me to cover my bump and my butt, and repurposes clothes I already own.

What the Mommy Wore:  Coat from Tara Jarmon//Maternity jeans from H&M//Scarf from ModCloth//Wake Booties from Seychelles//Favorite PM from Louis Vuitton

Veronica (Tony’s sister) and her 3 children got some great photos as well.  It was so nice to showcase Zurich.

After the photos, we continued our stroll through Old Town.  Most places were closed for the holidays, but there were a few restaurants open, and we grabbed some Italian appetizers and gluhwine.  We continued up to Central and made our way home via a train from the main station.

Christmas time in Zurich is such a treat, and ours this year was made even better by the presence of our wonderful family.  Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Switzerland!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I type this as I anxiously wait for Tony’s Christmas taco dinner to be ready.  We are celebrating the holiday this year by hosting  my sister-in-law and her family and I couldn’t be happier.  Tony’s sister moved back to Poland last year, and they have driven to come see us.  I am so excited to spend time with family and finally introduce them to our home in Zurich.

In preparation for their visit, we decorated our home.  We have a Christmas tree for the first time since living in Switzerland.   That alone really helps with any homesickness from not being able to fly back to Chicago.

Many of these ornaments I brought back from the USA, but we also picked up a few during our travels.

I also brought back a variety of items from Marshall’s when in the USA last December – they have some of the cutest items for so cheap!  I had to take advantage.

Once Veronica and her family arrived, we of course had to head over to the Bellevue Christmas Market.  It was the last day of the market, and I wanted the kids to see the ice skating rink, and try some of that delicious raclette and gluhwein.  We also indulged in churros and leisurely walked through the crowds enjoying our sugary treat.

Today, Christmas Eve, we slept in.  My husband, sister-in-law and I stayed up late catching up by the Christmas Tree.  Tony prepared hearty pancakes for the kiddos and after getting ready, we took the train to the HB.  My nephew, Evyn, LOVES trains and trams and busses, so he was thrilled to finally get to ride on a real Swiss train.  We walked from the platform to the big market in the HB, immediately hit by those familiar, delicious smells like at the Bellevue market the evening before.

And now we are back in our apartment, ready to feast on Tony’s Christmas tacos.  Wishing you and yours the most wonderful and blessed Christmas and looking forward to introducing you to our baby in the New Year!