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!

Welcome 2015!

And so here we are….2015.  I cannot believe it.  In just 3 short months Tony and I will have been living in Switzerland for 2 full years.  It has been quite a ride thus far and we look forward to continuing through 2015.

We are still currently in Chicago with our families.  It has been a lovely, long visit home that was needed after almost 365 days away from them all.  2014 ended with a bang for us, and some of the highlights from our trip home thus far:

  • Purchased my bridesmaid dress for my sister’s wedding – it is pimp!
  • Also helped my best friend prepare her save the dates and began discussing both bachelorette parties and wedding showers.
  • Clark needed a pretty expensive knee surgery as his limping ended up being an ACL tear.  I am glad we got it done now so he can easily transition to Zurich in June.
  • Speaking of Clark coming, we also purchased his travel crate and found out we are unable to have him in our current apartment.  While this makes me sad, I am excited at the prospect of finding another great home in Zurich that we can really make our own.
  • Visited with tons of friends!  It has been so wonderful to see all of my favorite people in one place and catch up on everything I missed in 2014.  This includes 3 new babies!
  • Did some major clean up – Tony and I went through all of the clothing and items we left in Chicago and dontated a lot….mostly my shoes in all honesty.    This leaves us with just the furniture and dish essentials that we don’t have room for in Zurich but will need whenever we decide to move back.
  • Ate like a total piggie.  We have thoroughly enjoyed being back to eat that deep dish pizza we love but just can’t get in Europe.

We have only a couple days left before returning but it has truely been a wonderful trip home.  I am jealous of all of the snowy Zurich and skiing pictures my Zurich friends have been posting.  Although you won’t find me on the slopes.

Happy New Year!