Joe’s been in Germany for a class for the past 3 weeks and while he was away I decided to trek across the Atlantic for some quality time with my friends and family. I haven’t been back to my hometown of State College, PA for almost 2 years (go PSU) so I was very excited to have this time to shop, eat, and visit with everyone. My flight from Spain was amazingly stress-free and easy, even being 6 months p.g. My lovely doctor informed me that an Ambien or two wouldn’t hurt so my 8.5 hour plane ride, with a whole row to myself, was actually quite relaxing. There is is no beverage service on the military space-available flights but from what I hear that’s becoming a thing of the past on most major airlines nowadays anyway. And I pay a lot less for my seat on a C-5 cargo plane transporting tanks back from the desert so it all works out in the end.
My amazing Dad was waiting for me at Dover Air Force Base when I landed and we had a nice drive back to State College with an hour-long stop at Babies ‘R’ Us on the way. Living in Spain, I had to register for all my baby gifts online, sight unseen, so when we spotted a BRU on the highway outside Philly I squealed for my dad to stop. “5 – 10 minutes tops, Dad. I just want to test-drive the stroller I chose since I haven’t seen it yet.” Yeah, right! 1 hour later, after we had attempted to open and close every single stroller and car seat and had the dept. supervisor running all over the place, I ended up picking a completely different stroller. The one I had originally chosen, which had gotten great reviews on the BRU website, required an engineering degree to open or close it. Forget it! I mean, when you’re juggling a crying infant, a cell phone and a piping hot Starbucks, can you really be required to maneuver a stroller closed in 4 consecutive steps? I think not!
My whole first week home consisted of dropping my lovely mother off at work and then gallivanting around town to TJ Maxx, Ross, Wal-Mart, Target, the mall and all the other places where a dollar actually buys something more than a gumball. Joe and I love Spain but with the American economy in less than desirable conditions it makes shopping in Europe close to impossible. Tripp now has an entire wardrobe for his first year and I stocked up on discount housewares and Motherhood Maternity clothing for a fraction of what I would pay in Europe. Now shipping all of this back to Spain is a whole other matter but we won’t go there.
I made a list of all the places I wanted to eat while home in the States and none of these places serve jamon or chorizo, surprisingly enough. Spanish food is good but every Spanish restaurant (at least in our neck of the woods) serves the same things. I need some ethnic variety while I’m visiting. I’m heading out for Korean food tonight and have already had Mexican and Chinese.
Yesterday my mom held a wonderful baby shower for me. The 1st of two, since our friends live in State College and our extended family lives in the NY/NJ area. We had a luncheon at the Nittany Lion Inn, the historic Inn on Penn State’s campus where Joe and I got married. It was a beautiful shower, although I missed a few friends who couldn’t make it up to State College for the weekend.
We had these gorgeous ribbon topiaries made to use as centerpieces which I will then ship back to Spain and use in Tripp’s nursery.
Some of my mom’s lovely grad students and co-workers from her department at Penn State came to the shower.
The women sitting at my mom’s table are some of the sweetest ladies you would ever meet. Some of these women have known my family since I was a little girl. It’s amazing to celebrate my 1st baby with them!
Summer is a busy time for everyone so, unfortunately, not all my friends could make it to the shower. Some of my NY friends will be at my second shower on Sat. Sept. 6th but a few of my closest friends were able to help me celebrate yesterday. From left to right is Me, my best friend, Michelle, and two of my closest friends from high school, Marijke and Annie. I can’t believe we are all grown up now!
It was so nice to celebrate the upcoming arrival of the first grandchild with my mom and all our friends. My mom loves to celebrate life’s momentous occasions and threw me a beautiful shower yesterday. I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon to welcome my first born into the world.
And Tripp made out like a bandit – check out this adorable little jean jacket.