Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Late Christmas Post!

So, I have a confession to make. I still have my Christmas tree up...eeek!! This is so unlike me. Usually it comes down right after the new year, but honestly, it makes this place feel a little more like home. It's pretty bare in the living room without it and the only people who see it are a couple of friends. One of my friends was telling me that the first year she moved here she left hers up till April! That's just life here people....i'm just rolling with it!! There is just something about it that makes me not want to take it down.

I have also been incredibly distracted since we have been back. I decided to have some allergy testing done over Christmas and found out I am pretty much allergic to every food known to man kind!! I'm kidding...it's not that bad. Apparently though, I am allergic to gluten, soy, and eggs. The gluten allergy is not a surprise. I pretty much new that was a problem but the eggs and soy I wasn't prepared for at all. I can't believe how much of food has soy in it (i.e. most lunch meats, vegetable oil, cooking spray, some spices, things you would never even think about). Anyway, the reason i am even mentioning any of this is because it has changed my entire world and it's the reason I haven't been blogging lately at all . I have been researching, reading product labels, translating those product labels, trying to figure out the rules on what has to be on a label in Switzerland and what doesn't and contacting companies about what products contain these ingredients. And products here are not listed in English which makes it incredibly difficult while I'm at the store. If I'm being totally honest it leaves me mentally exhausted most days. This would be hard enough in the states but there are so many companies coming out with food products in the U.S. for people with allergies that it would definitely make it easier if i was back in the states right now. However, I'm not and am going to do my best to figure this out while I am here.

So anyway....on to everything that I haven't written about since Christmas!! Wow...I can't believe it's already February. We had such a great Christmas!! It was an incredibly chaotic crazy two weeks, but we left feeling so blessed and loved. We did learn that two weeks was definitely not enough time to be home. David had to work some while we were in town so that left me to do all of our Christmas shopping. I like to be totally organized, so this girl likes to have her Christmas shopping done way before Christmas. Unfortunately with the weight limits on the luggage these days it's just not possible to bring that much back home. We each took 2 suitcases home. One was full of 7 days worth of clothes the other was full of things that we brought here or needed to take back because we weren't using. When we move home, we only get so much room on an air shipment so we have to make room for anything we have bought over here. Not having anything done before hand put me in total frantic mode when we went home. I had so much to do!!

I did all the Christmas shopping for each each side of the family and then we had to stock up on all the items that we needed to bring back (i.e. toothpaste, food, shampoo and conditioner, clothes) basically all of our favorite products that we either can't find here or we save money by bringing it back from the states. A big shout out goes to my sister Lily who is probably the one person who can tolerate being at the mall with me. You see, I have this special super power endurance that most people don't have when it comes to shopping. Unfortunately not a lot of people can hang with me when I go. I've been dragging her with me since she was little but we love it and it's great bonding time!! I think we were there every day for the first week I was home! It was tough trying to stock up and by gifts and trying to remember what all we needed. In between doing all of that, we tried to get into all our doctor appointments and made sure we got haircuts!! We did our best to have lunch or dinner with all of our friends and family members. Our day would start early and end late. It was so fun, totally exhausting, but totally worth it! Thank goodness for my Mother-in-law! No, i'm not sucking up. She doesn't have anything to do with computers so I know she will never read this. She did our laundry and helped me stock up on items that we needed from the store, went to the post office several times for me, and she makes my whole world go around when we come in town which allows me time to spend time with my family while we were there and friends. I just wouldn't have had time to get everything done so we were both so grateful for her help.

Since I did leave my house early every morning I never even thought to take my camera with me. I did not get enough pictures!! I don't think I got any pictures of our friends at all. I did manage to get some of our families at Christmas. We celebrated with my family a couple days earlier so they could go see my older sister and the grand kids for Christmas. I was thrilled to go watch my little sister dance at the U.K. game. Then we had Christmas afterwards. We had such a great time!!

Me and Lily!

Mom and Lily!

Dad and Lily!!

Lily and David!!

Lily in action!!

Me and mom!!

Part of the family!!

I did not get enough pictures with my side of the family!! This is unusual because we are one crazy picture taking family, but I was not on my game for some reason. Probably because it was late and I was still struggling with the jet lag at this point. I didn't get enough pictures with my brother in them either. Miles wasn't able to go to the game with us and then for some reason I didn't get many afterwards. Over Thanksgiving my brother got engaged and we are so excited for them and I am looking forward to adding another sister to our family!! Miles, I'm going to be following you around like the paparazzi when I get home!!
Miles and Miranda!

While my family had to go out of town for a couple of days for Christmas all of David's family came in. We decided years ago that instead of doing gifts with his brother and sister we would do gag gifts. It's inexpensive and we have the best time opening them.
(My sister-in-law Virginia made this for my Mother-in-law)Grandpa with the gradkids!!

Here are a couple of the gag gifts that were given.
Andy got a Richard Simmons workout video!!

And then so did Steve!!
Just what we both always wanted!!!!

I know Virginia greatly appreciated this beautiful shirt we picked out for her haha!!

Almost everyone got some kind of crazy shirt!! Here they all are wearing them.

Kate got some kind of a stuffed doll that was the ugliest thing you would ever see. Virginia got a clock that was addressed: To Virginia from your daughters school. I won't tell you the story behind that without her permission, but it is hilarious!!

Here is a picture of Me and Kate. We sat down on the couch and were chatting away when my father-in-law pointed out what we had done.

My niece had been playing with her dolls and we had sat down next to the correct doll (which matched us) without even realizing it. We had a good laugh over it.
He was so excited with his light saber that we got him, his face says it all!!
Our traditional game of UNO!

So typical of the boys!! I have given up trying to get a normal picture with David, Andy, and Steve!! lol

The Real Housewife of Geneve

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