Our first stop was Charleston, SC, where Simon got to spend his actual birthday. He tried his first cupcake (it was ok, nothing special) and opened gifts. His parents watched in amazement as their little baby turned into a boy. It kind of felt like that. Somehow, in turning into a one-year-old, it seems like you are moving on, leaving a little baby behind. It doesn't matter if they walk or talk - it's all in the numbers, or at least that's how it feels to me. I could never have anticipated that I was so excited for his birthday - and I really was! (Although not excited enough to coordinate the cupcakes with the invite to his birthday party. Seriously - who does that?!?). We enjoyed the sunshine, went to some parks, saw the gators, and attended Folly Gras - check out this cute pic!
Due to some seriously poor planning, we left sunny and 80 degree Charleston for record snows and frigid temperatures in MN. (I want to talk to our travel agent!) But it was sooooo worth it. First of all, I cannot believe that there are people with children who live in the same place as their parents (the grandparents). What a goldmine! We had help! It was AMAZING! Grandpa and Grandma jumped at every opportunity to watch Simon, bathe Simon, take Simon swimming, etc. That gave parents (especially mama!) some much needed rest. I did YOGA! (I still can't get over it. Today is the first weekday back in Germany and I am feeling it - where's the help?)
Simon also had his second birthday party in MN with lots and lots of family! We even had friends from Dusseldorf who recently moved back - what a small world! Simon and I also took a quick road trip to Madison, WI to visit friends and filled up on plenty of good 'ol midwestern pie!
All in all, it feels great to be back home (Dusseldorf!). It feels great that I can call it home and that in the short time that we have been here we have managed to build the relationships that make it feel like home. It may be foreign - but it's home for now!
(I will add pics soon!)