Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from….the USA!
Surprise surprise surprise I am home and it sure does feel great! Now, if you are like my dad and sister you might be surprised by this announcement because I was not supposed to return from Turkey until 2013. However, a determined mother to have her youngest home for the holidays after 7 months, said kiddo willingly sorting out her academic life in Turkey to cut her semester short (I may or may not be writing a paper intermittently with this) and lots of whispers (no lies were told – just not telling the full truth) made what was coined “Operation Return to the Fatherland” a smashing success.
A good number of people were in on the surprise (and thank you to all for not letting word get out), but I must say mums takes the award for the hardest job! Now all I did was say – “ciao mama – anyway you can change my flight and get me home before the holidays?” Classic example of ask and you shall receive because she made things happen at lightening speed. We had my dad’s secretary in on it to be the ears at the office (Thanks Annie) and two of my best gal friends even accompanied my mom to the airport and were there when I landed (love you Jess and Keri). A smattering of others knew too so thank you to all for not letting word out – it was greatly appreciated and made for two surprised loved ones.
Now it was truly a full on event because I even got to spend some quality time in the Frankfurt airport with my oma, aunt and uncle! Talk about a whirlwind of reunions! I enjoyed myself a delicious German pretzel in the process too. Let’s be serious good food must be had at all chances. While my time with them was short between flights it felt great to see all of them and surely did make the travels easier. Let’s not discuss how I called the wrong number when I landed to meet up with them and got heated at an unfortunate German man in sporadic English and German who I thought was my uncle and couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t fulfill the simple task of just puting my aunt on the phone. We won’t mention how it was 7 in the morning either… Poor fellow.
Oma and I
By the time I landed I was ready for round two of reunions and lunch at Giordano’s (crazy good Chicago style pizza place). While the lunch was quick and the time with Jess was short, I was thankful that I could see her just for those brief hours. Thanks for delaying your return home just for me (: That kind of lunch was totally necessary to make the last three hours of the journey via the car ride home bearable. When we got home Keri and I went into the house after my mom and I waited about a minute before I made my appearance. Dad was speechless (aka was more concerned with his task at hand – chopping parsley and making sure his milk in his soup didn’t curdle on the stovetop) – kept going through the motions because he didn’t know how to respond. When he finally was able to ask a question it was “How did you get here?” followed by multiple questions on my classes and grades. Classic father move. None of it was setting in because he didn’t make the connection that my mom had actually gone to get me in Chicago instead of working that day.
Delicious cookie Jess got for me (:
Mom and I at lunch
Keri and I
Jess and I
After that it was a long waiting game of getting my sister to come over. Who would have thought that this would be the hardest thing. Finally she headed over so I hid in my parents room and waited. Now I could hear her from the kitchen “oh these are my favorite cookies” so I decided to sneak up on her and say “but aren’t I your favorite?” and she just about had a heart attack of shock to include a little dance and some screams.
A full day of travel from 2am in Istanbul till 5pm in Illinois was completely worth being home for the holidays!
Especially hanging out with this little nugget (Zoey)!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you. May your day be filled with joy.
Happy 8-month birthday Zoey!
Cheers from a gal who now has her own “Home for the Holidays” story