Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How it feels to be home

Here I am sitting on the deck of my parent's condo overlooking the foothills in Colorado and I am writing this to say thank you to all of you for following my blog throughout this whole journey. I havent gone back and reread all of these blog posts but I did go back and read the first one to see if I could be inspired for this one and I realized what a journey it truly has been for me. The last 5 months of my life have been filled with..... so much. In the first blog I was writing with excitement, everything was so new, different and humorous and that made it se exciting for me. But as the weeks and months went by the blogs died, the humor faded and the excitement dwindled and although I tried to keep a positive attitude it is not hard to see that my spirit was killed a bit.

As I was leaving Russia I was really excited to be embarking on a new adventure across Europe with Becca but I was also really ready to get home to my friends and family. Dont get me wrong, the month traveling through Europe was a blast, I enjoyed every day of it and am so glad that Becca and I were able to do that, however being home is unlike any crazy travel experience. Getting on the plane from Amsterdam knowing that I was going to see my family within the day put a smile on my face bigger than the smile I had leaving Russia. Because I went to university in the northwest away from my family in Colorado coming home holds a special significance. Coming home to Colorado after these last 6 months had the same special feeling but was multiplied. I walked out of DIA customs to see my grandparents and my parents with big signs welcoming me home. There were  tears from all parties and hugs that would probably be considered awkwardly long if they weren't making up for six months of no hugs. We got my bags and went straight to a restaurant in downtown Denver that served the food I missed most in Europe, mexican food! I had a smothered chicken burrito and it was delicious. They asked a million questions, laughed at my stories and told me theirs. It was a perfect welcome home.
The sunset I came home to... CO sunsets are the BEST!
first dinner back together!
My grandparents and I enjoying time back together
My cousins and I
My uncle and I

That night I unpacked my bags, did some laundry and then..... repacked a bag to go camping for the weekend with my whole family. My cousins, aunts and uncle, grandparents, parents and of course dogs all clammed together in two camp spots for the weekend. In this family there is no time for sitting around... we are always on the go, and I must say I love that about my family. We spent the weekend waterskiing, wake boarding, tubing, tanning, sitting around the camp fire and just having some good old fashioned fun. My grandparents are some of the most awesome people I know and they have always stressed the importance of family closeness... and in good humor, the first night of our camping excursion forced our family closeness.....
The morning sun on my parents backyard... not too shabby
Getting the camper ready to go!!

The first night we were sitting around the camp fire and I was playing my guitar when a breeze started to pick up. It didnt start off too hard, you know, just a breeze where you have to watch your cups that are half full (or half empty) or your plate that has only half a hamburger left so they wont blow away flinging food and drink everywhere. But suddenly this little breeze turned sour and kicked into mach speeds. Seriously we didnt even have time to pick up our half eaten hamburgers before the wind was tearing the tops of the tents off, splintering the stakes and igniting the flames from the fire pit into a propane gas flame torch. My grandparents, cousins and uncle made it into their tents and my parents and I into our camper hoping that it would blow over. But it never did. In fact the wind kicked up even harder. At about midnight the wind speed reached about 60 MPH causing my grandparents tent to collapse. So, we attempted to make room for them in our camper... I moved up to my parents full sized bed, the dogs slept on the floor and my grandparents squeezed into the twin size converted table bed for the remainder of the night. Meanwhile the wind was threatening to blow the camper clean over (if it weren't for all of our weight holding the camper down, I am sure it would have). Needless to say we didnt sleep much and woke up at 9 AM laughing at everyone's puffy eyes and sand gritted teeth.
The morning after the storm... all the girls hangin out in bed!
The sunset before the storm get in

Luckily the rest of the weekend went a bit more smooth and we were back to some glass water (glacieerrrr as my brother has always called it). I must say being back with my family, with people who understand me without words and love me unconditionally is a truly incredible thing. Since I have been home I have been surrounded by smiles, laughter and a special love that only your family can give. Later this week my parents, the best party planners I know, have planned a late graduation/ welcome home party for me. I am sure it will be filled with a lot of good food, a lot of big laughs and lord knows a lot of people dancing!!! Then shortly after I will be taking off to Portland to watch my girls in their opening game against North Carolina on August 17th!!!! I cant wait :-)
a little wakeboarding
family lunch
Mom, grandpa and me tubing... my grandpa is awesome!!

I didnt know where to sit... but this is the crew!
some morning glacierrrrr
not too bad of a skiing place!

I am awaiting news as to where and when my next opportunity to play will be, but in the mean time I am enjoying time with my family, being back in the US, being around all of the people I love and who love me and visiting all of my friends. Speaking of which, my mom and I are heading out for a bike ride and so I am going to cut this blog off.

Before I go I would like to say for one last time... thank you all for reading and following my blog. Thank you for laughing at my stories or for supporting me when I was struggling. Thank you for all of your advice, for your kindness and love. When I was struggling this blog gave me such an outlet and all of your positive responses helped me get through it and stay motivated. My words can not express my gratitude except to say it in its simplest form... thank you.

Cheers from the US of A


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