Monday, January 7, 2013

Home. Family. Friends.

Well the plan was to write a post before going home, writing about the anticipation and all of the things I was looking forward to.  But something about the last week of school before Christmas plus packing and preparing for a 3 week trip across the world got me sidetracked.  So here I sit, back in Zagreb, writing the after-the-fact post.  Oh well.

Here are some of the highlights:
  1. Layovers in Paris-not nearly enough time to see everything that Paris has to offer, or even to really enjoy the Parisian life whatsoever.  But we were able to hold hands and stroll along the Seine, enjoy a cheese plate and get some good pictures.  Sam even played the Midnight in Paris soundtrack on his phone as we walked along the river.

2.  Ellensburg-Most relaxing part of the trip.  Actually got to sleep in (after several days of waking up at 4:30 in the morning due to jet lag) and get ridiculously pampered by my mom.  *Thanks Mom!* I put up and decorated the tree with my mom, had a tea party with my mom and sister, watched lots of Christmas movies, and ate a lot of really good food.
 My nieces

 My parents' house

3.  Yakima-Hooray for reuniting with dear friends!  We were so excited to see some of our friends for a quick overnight trip to the Yak.  It was weird to be back.  Just like we had never left.  I love having friends where it feels like you can just pick up where you left off.  Another opportunity to eat lots of tasty food.  
 Me, Beritt and Em
Isaac, me, Sharon, and Judy

 John, Lindsey, us and Christian

 Paul, Norma, and us

 Jodi, Carly, Me

Stumptown Coffee

4.  Seattle-The best Seahawks game of the season!  Thanks to Sam’s brother, Nick for giving us tickets.  We have the best luck when it comes to Seahawks games.   It was so much fun to see the Mirkovich boys again.  

 The Mirk Brothers

5.  Bainbridge Island-A very Merry Mirkovich Christmas!  So fun to actually understand some of the Croatian being spoken!  We had another year of the lively gift exchange and got to show everyone our video of some of the places we’ve visited so far in Croatia.  Living in Croatia has made me feel even more like a Mirkovich.  
Mirkovich Family Gift Exchange

6.  Olympia-More time with the Mirkoviches.  It was so nice to see Sam’s parents and spend time with them.  We also got to visit our favorite- McMenamins and eat the famous Cajun tots.  Yes, more yummy food!
Left-last tot before we left 
 Right-first tot in 5 months

7.  SeaTac-Surprise visit with the Staubs!  As luck would have it, we flew out the same day as my cousin, Jess, which meant we got to meet up with (almost) the whole Staub fam!  Nothing cheers me more than spending time with my family and I’m so happy it worked out to see them.
The Cuzzies

8.  Ottawa-First visit to the Martins’ new homestead.  COLD!  So very cold.  But oh so wonderful to see my brother, sister-in-law, nephew and niece.  It’s been a long 6 months without them!  I’m just like my mom in that I like to see where my people have settled.  Now I can picture where they are and somehow it makes me feel better.  Can’t wait to meet Baby #3 this summer!
 Sammy teaching Finn to make snow angels
 Rowan on the blanket I made her!

 The Martins
 Jen and Rowan
 Finny and Rowan
Sammy and Rowan

View of Ottawa from across the river in Quebec

9.  8 flights- Never again, I tell you.  Never again. 

 Flying over Zagreb
Flying over Greenland
Flying over Switzerland

10.  Lucy- She was so spoiled over the last 3 weeks, I didn’t think she’d want to come back with us.  But I think she’s okay with it.  I brought her a new squeaker toy and I think all has been forgiven. 
The Lulu

 Although I didn’t get to see everyone that I wanted to, I’m so thankful for this time I had with people I love. 

Now it’s your turn people. 

One bedroom, one shared bath, amazing views of the city of Zagreb, and a warm puppy to sleep on your bed if you so desire.  Just tell us when and it’s yours.