It’s been a while since I’ve updated the ole blog—a lot has happened over the last month! Getting a stomach virus marked mid-late January.  The week started off well as we went to Cantina Machito with Sara on Sunday night. There Sara and I both ordered the white fish tostadas with avocado, which proved to be delicious though overpriced. Come Monday morning I was starting the workweek with watching Dylan, the adorable American 16-month old in Poble Nou. As those close to me are likely aware, I had always considered myself more of a fan of older kids, rather than younger kids and babies. However, I am quickly realizing that it is often times much more enjoyable to spend an afternoon with a precious, happy baby (or toddler) than it is a 6 – 10 year old child.

That week Dylan and I spent about 6 hours a day together; we went to the nearby parks, walked down to the beach, ran errands, had approximately 100 snacks, and read Bubbles, Bubbles more times than I’d like to recall. All in all we had a lovely week together, and I’m excited to watch him more in the future for when Cynthia takes Spanish courses. Between watching Dylan in the A.M. and Abril and Romina in the afternoon/ evenings that week, I came down with a nasty stomach virus Tuesday night. As much as I wanted to join in on previously planned outings with Cass and Sara, I ended up posting up at Damian’s for several days and just recovering slowly but surely. He was a trooper for seeing me at my worst and not batting an eye.

Dylan!
Dylan!

That brings us up to Cass’ 24th birthday, which unfortunately I was still recovering during her big weekend. I surprised her with an Oreo cupcake and her gifts, and later that night we went to Ryan’s with the Sant Cugat crew. Finally I was able to kick the virus and I worked a bit with Dylan and Abril the following week. Thursday of that week (Jan 23rd), Brenden arrived to Barcelona in the morning! We had been looking forward to his arrival for months- as an added bonus, he also brought with him my amazon.com goodies!

Later that day my mom called me with the news that my (great) uncle had passed away earlier that morning. While the news was not entirely a shock, as he had been in the hospital for over a week, it was still unexpected and surreal to hear. Within a couple of hours, I had bought my ticket to go home for the funeral and support my small but mighty family. I hastily packed up my backpack and headed across the city to Damian’s. The following morning he and his dad drove me to the El Prat airport and wished me well on my way. Just shy of 24 hours later, I was once again walking up the arrivals ramp in the sprawling Omaha airport.

My mom, aunt Lori, Dave, and Hayley and Beth all surprised me at the airport! It was so great to get to wrap them all up in my arms again after more than seven months of physical distance! My first day home my mom, Lindsay and I went to brunch at the Green Gateau- how I had missed that place. Lindsay, being the unfailing amazing best friend that she is, drove up from KC just to spend a couple hours with me as she had prior engagements planned the remainder of my time home. That night my parents, Hayley, and Beth and I had dinner at Lazlo’s; the next day my mom and I flew into Baton Rouge, LA and then drove over to Summit, MS.

Green Gateau brunch
Green Gateau brunch

Once there, we caught up with Uncle Bill’s side of the remaining family and tried to help Aunt Charlotte as much as we could in terms of preparing for the funeral and everything the next day. From the minute we got there I was very glad I had made the decision to come home and be with my family during this time. Monday came and from the moment the sun came up people started delivering food to the house. Around mid-day we made our way to the funeral home; it was quite difficult, for me at least, to see my Uncle Bill in his casket at the viewing. His funeral was well attended; my mom and I each read a poem during the service. After the burial in the local cemetery, family and friends all came back to Aunt Charlotte’s for “fellowship,” aka a huge feast of homemade southern food. Highlights included chicken pie, peach cobbler, chocolate pound cake, and cheesy potatoes.

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The rest of my time at Aunt Charlotte’s was mainly spent relaxing and spending quality time with my mom and Aunt C. We watched movies, played some heated rounds of Scrabble, and ate more leftovers (mainly cake) than I’m proud to admit. Also noteworthy, it snowed 1-3 inches in southern MS and that basically shut the state down for the majority of my visit. By Thursday afternoon the highways had finally been re-opened and I was able to catch my flight to DFW for a long weekend visit with my Dad, Julie, and Alan in Southlake.

While in the lone star state I got to meet the two new boxers, Punchy and Rocky. The weekend was filled with shopping, dining out, movies, and family time. My “little” brother is now 6’2’’, 250 pounds, and wears an XL in polo shirts. It was a really fun weekend in Southlake; I would say the cherry on top was having a surprise early-birthday dinner at Bob’s steakhouse.

Early bday dinner at Bob's :)
Early bday dinner at Bob’s 🙂

My remaining week home was a blur of snow, face-blisteringly cold winds, family, and great friends. I certainly tried to make the most of my time at home, which included everything from catching up on Modern Family with my mom to going to the dentist, and from having mulligatawny soup at the Oven to seeing my 108s at my birthday gathering. Regardless of the brevity of my visit home in Lincoln, I was once again reminded of how lucky I am to have such strong bonds with such high quality people. My mom enthusiastically hosted a 23rd birthday celebration at our house, which proved to be a huge success as I got to see lots of friends and catch up with a good amount of my favorite Nebraskans.

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Mom & I on my 23rd!
Mom & I on my 23rd!

Before I knew it my visit home was coming to a close a week ago. I wrapped up the trip with a family dinner at Florio’s, and then went to Aunt Lori’s in Omaha where we watched Downton and had leftover birthday cake. Originally I was supposed to fly from Omaha to Minneapolis to JFK to Barcelona, however, due to several unforeseeable delays, I ended up flying from Minneapolis to Amsterdam to Barcelona. It was a stressful and tiring trek, but I very happily made it back to BCN in one piece, only an hour late, and with my checked baggage. Upon seeing me walk out of the baggage claim area, Damian’s face was priceless and something I will never forget.

The last week back in Barcelona was spent settling in again, unpacking, spending time with people, and getting back into the working-gal groove here. It has been so nice to once again have grits, pretzel M&Ms, Emergen-C, and Trader’s Joes candies among other things. We’re celebrated some belated birthdays this week and I’m looking forward to a good upcoming weekend. Not to mention the lovely little fact that Adi is now here!!! We went on a gal date last night to a cute crepe place on Via Lietana; the food, wine, and company were all delightful and I’m so glad she’s going to be here all semester!

@ La Creperia con Adiii
@ La Creperia con Adiii
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