... time for another trip to Germany! Yikes! If you've been reading my blog for a little while, you know by now that every spring, we pack up our family and travel to Germany for a month-long visit with my family. My entire family is there - my parents, my 3 siblings with their families, our 7 nieces and nephews, my 2 grandmas as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, you name it!
This will be Liana and Amaya's 4th trip to Germany - and they will celebrate their 4th birthday there (on May 4th, nonetheless!) Again, if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you'll also know that somehow, our trips have proven quite ... adventurous, let's say :) From severe illnesses to choking episodes on the plane, to cancelled flights and ticketing errors made by our travel agency causing us to get stuck at Frankfurt airport one year - we've had it all! Not to mention the huge organizational task of packing up a family of four for 4 weeks; and let's not forget the joys of being stuck on an airplane for 10+ hours with two screaming toddlers on our laps.
So you will understand why in the past, our annual Germany trips (while highly anticipated!) have also caused me quite a bit of anxiety. To be frankly honest, when someone would say to me something to the effect of having a "wonderful and relaxing time!" - I had the strong urge to hit my head against the nearest wall :) Don't get me wrong, every single one of our trips was well worth it because the girls got to meet and then spend time with their German family, learn about the German culture and experience all the things I experienced growing up there. And besides: I got to go "home" :)! But in order to make that happen, those past 3 trips were quite a lot of work, and not a whole lot of down time for Bjorn and I.
Until now. Because this year we're turning over a new leaf. I can feel it :)! As a matter of fact, I'm so zen about this whole thing, I can hardly believe it. The usual packing, shopping, cleaning, preparing madness has been pretty easy. Of course, this is our 4th year, so I've had some practice! But it probably also has something to do with perspective, because we've had a lot of bigger fish to fry this year and our Germany trip just didn't seem all that big of a deal in comparison. The biggest difference, of course, is that the girls are another year older. They are almost 4, and oh my word, how wonderful is it to be able to explain things to them! To anticipate and prepare together! They are remembering our last trips, and are learning what to expect. As a matter of fact, we've been doing so much anticipating that when asked about what they were most looking forward to about our trip, Amaya said: "My favorite thing 'bout Germany is .... being on the airplane for a really long time" :) That's Mommy's favorite, too, for sure!
We've had another snow storm here this week (I am not kidding!), so we're keeping our fingers crossed for no delays and smooth travels. We should arrive in Germany early Tuesday morning, and I hope to check in with some pictures and a little update later in the week.
By the way, I just wanted to mention this, too: This trip was planned and paid for long before any of the adoption stuff happened earlier this year. And since our tickets were non-refundable, there really was nothing else for us to do but go! I am grateful that we were able to purchase the tickets when we did (before we knew we'd essentially have to re-pay for our adoption) because once our little guy is home, we'll need to stay put for a little while to give him a chance to adjust ... so it's not very likely that we'll get to go to Germany next year in the spring. We're "only" going for 3 weeks this year, however, saving some vacation time for at least one trip to Ethiopia yet this year! (Fingers crossed!)