Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Our Time Back Home (Plus a Few More Pictures)

Remember when I told you I went bowling with my friend Lisa in this peek into our week?  Well, what I didn't tell you was that Lisa was 36 weeks pregnant when we went bowling and about 2 hours after we finished bowling her water broke.  You could say it was my fault since I suggested we go bowling.  But I will say that I originally thought we should go play badminton but then thought that was a bad idea so see bowling was much better :).  Her sister who is 12 was in town and I was trying to be a helpful friend and come up with something fun for all of us to do.  It was fun and I got to meet her little boy, Gray, before I went back home.  Since we were back in Kansas over Christmas we've had 4 close friends have babies.  It is hard missing friends having babies.  It is a life changing thing and we aren't there for it.  That has been hard.  I like seeing babies when they are "brand new" which is hard when you are gone.  And then I realized I might be back in the Kansas when my one friend in Stockholm has a baby.  Not cool!  But thanks to bowling great timing I was able to meet Gray when he was brand new!

Lisa's sister was in town to visit over her spring break I got to hang out with her a few times since Lisa was in the hospital.  My love language is quality time and I know that some people's love language is acts of service but I've realized mine also might be being able to give acts of service to others.  I like being needed and having someone to help.  (I get that from my mom.  She will go out of her way and sometimes way out of her way for close friends or even acquaintances.  She rocks at that!)  Thankfully, I am close enough to Lisa that I can be there for her to help her with things.  When she had a Valentine's Day party at her house I got to go over early to help set up.  I was giddy that I knew someone well enough not only to be invited to a party but to be there to set up for the party.  So when she had Gray I was more than willing to help.  I really enjoyed that I had someone that I knew well enough to help.

On Wednesday before we flew out we went to see Sweeney Todd at the Kulturhuset.  We have seen Sweeney Todd a few times before and we were excited when we saw that it was playing in Stockholm.  We thought we had missed our chance to see it but I was able to get us a few tickets.  After I bought the tickets I was asking about the show and then I realized I hadn't asked if it was in English or Swedish.  It was in Swedish and I had already bought the tickets so it looked like we were going to get some Swedish lessons along with the musical entertainment :).  The night before the show we listened to the music to refresh our memories and I'm glad we did.  The show was really good.

Jake flew out on Friday morning.  He flew to Chicago and spent the night there before flying to Atlanta and then onto St. Thomas for his sailing class.  He took the class with four other friends from his office in Olathe so they could learn how to sail.  The goal of the class is to learn enough about sailing and get certified so Jake could rent a sailboat for a week in the Caribbean or in the Mediterranean without having to hire a captain.  I told him he should write a blog post about his sailing trip . . . we shall see if he does :).

I flew to Chicago and then to Kansas City on Saturday.  As soon as I touched down I was on the go seeing friends and family until we took off 11 days later.  I wasn't that scared to fly by myself until that plane went missing.  Then I was a little bit nervous.  The flight was good but I think next time I'll sit on the aisle if I'm flying by myself.  The guy next to me slept about 80% of the flight which made it awkward if I wanted to get up and stretch my legs.
Mexican food and a Dr. Pepper for lunch during my layover in Chicago :).
My friend Amy picked me up from the airport and drove me home.  As soon as I got home I hopped in my car and drove to Lawrence to have dinner with Kelli, one of my college roommates.  After dinner I stopped by to see Jan's new house.
Just picking up a few essentials at Walmart since I can :). And I ran into a former student who used to say "this makes me boorrring" which brought a smile to my face. #itisgreattobeback #ilovemacandcheese
Sunday was Easter and it was strange not being with family for Easter but I didn't want to drive back and forth to Wichita more than once while I was home.  I went shopping, met Brad and Victoria's beautiful baby girl Zion.  She was the first of the four babies I missed seeing brand new since we were in Stockholm when she was born.  On my way home I stopped by my brother's house to see my nieces and hung out with Jan again.
So thankful I got to hold this beautiful baby girl today and hang out with her parents. So fun to see Brad as a dad! #sheisevenmorebeautifulinperson #zionrose
Pure joy! #ihavemissedthisface #janzensathome
On Monday I had lunch at La Carreta with a few school friends and had my first espinaca cheese dip of the trip!  I mowed the lawn which I was really looking forward to.  I am not a huge fan of yard work but I really enjoy mowing the lawn now that we have a riding lawn mower.  I got to meet Nikki's little boy JR, baby #2 out of 4, while I had some friends over for dinner.  It was great catching up with friends that I used to see every day and now I see whenever I'm back.  Plus we had Pizza Hut pizza and Little Caesars bread sticks.
Such a great day already! Lunch with friends and espinaca :). I mowed in perfect weather (yes I like mowing) and a quick stop by my old school. Is it weird that I miss the parking lot? It just reminds me of so many great memories! #iknowiamadork#itisthelittlethings #janzensathome
Hung out with a few friends and met baby #2 out of 4 that arrived between Christmas and now. And he is wearing a onesie with a squirrel on it :). #ilovesquirrels#missingfriendshavingbabiesishard #janzensathome
Tuesday I did some more shopping for running shoes and backpacks.  I had Noodles and Company for lunch at Faltermeier's house while we hung out and I got to see her boys.  For dinner I met up with Jan and her family and my brother's family for dinner at Mi Ranchito and more espinaca!  If you haven't figured it out yet most of my get togethers involved food :).
My dinner dates sure were cute tonight (Jocelyn, Avery and Avery). #itisgreattobeback#anothermealwithespinaca #janzensathome

I headed to Wichita on Wednesday.  I was supposed to meet my mom for lunch at Hog Wild Pit BBQ and when I showed up LaDonna was waiting for me.  Then my mom showed up and then I saw my dad walk in.  It was fun having surprise guests at lunch :).  Then I headed to get my hair cut and highlighted.  I have been going to Kristy to get my hair cut since high school.  Even after I moved to Olathe I would still drive back to Wichita for haircuts.  Just because I moved to Sweden doesn't mean I'm going to start going to someone else but I haven't figured out what I'm going to do over the next 8 months since we aren't going back for a while.

I went shopping with my mom for curtains after lunch.  She is making blackout curtains for our bedroom since the sun is going to be up for over 18 hours a day this summer with the longest day where it rises at 3:30 am and sets at 10:08 pm.  I had dinner that night was with my roommates Jami and Emily.  I got to meet Will, Emily's second little boy, and hang out with Wes her other son and Jami's little boy Jackson.  It was great seeing those girls but it is so hard getting so excited to see someone and then only a few hours later saying goodbye again :(.
It was so good hanging out with my roommates. It is hard though getting excited to see people only to realize it is also the last time you'll see them for a while. #ilovemyroommates#missingfriendshavingbabiesishard #janzensathome

On Thursday I met my friend Chris for lunch at Taco Shop.  He drove about 45 minutes to eat lunch with me at a Mexican fast food joint that I love and he doesn't even like Mexican food.  We had a great time catching up.  After lunch I did some more shopping with my mom before meeting Amber and Haleigh for dinner at Old Chicago.  Whenever I come back to Wichita I always try to meet Amber, Haleigh and Chris at Old Chicago but this time Chris couldn't make it so that's why we met for lunch.  I always order the pizza rolls and we always go to Old Chicago to celebrate each others' birthdays.  This time Amber told them we were celebrating my birthday since I'll be in Stockholm in July and we won't be able to celebrate together.  They sang to me which means my face turned bright red but then I got to share a chocolate chip cookie and ice cream so it was worth it :).

My mom and I were off on Friday to finish up some shopping and errands for a baby shower we were throwing with my sister-in-law Missy on Saturday for my other sister-in-law Lindsay.  We had lunch at Braums before we finished our errands.  We had family night on Friday at my parent's house with Robbie, Missy, Jace and Maci.  It was fun hanging out with them before the shower the next day.

The baby shower for my brother Aaron and sister-in-law Lindsay was a friends and family BaByQ.  We had a great time celebrating their little boy that is due this summer.  I drove back to Olathe after the shower to see Jake for the first time in over a week.  When you are together almost every single day for 8 months and he is really one of the only people you know in the whole country it is strange being away from each other for a week.  Jake's parents drove up from Wichita to hang out with us for the weekend and help us do a few projects around the house.  Over the weekend Jake and his dad installed a doorbell, fixed two gates and did a few other random projects around the house.  We went to Mi Ranchito for dinner and more espinaca!
It was really windy but we had a great time at the shower!
Espinaca at Mi Ranchito!
On Sunday we finished up a few projects and did some shopping.  (It seems like all I did when I was home was shop and eat . . . which I guess is true but I did have a list and it was in the budget so that makes it okay right?)  We had dinner at Uncle Bob's house on Sunday night.  It was great just like it always is.
The flowers were arranged by Bob of course :).
Jake did some yard work on Monday morning before he headed to work.  I made my Walmart run for all of my essentials for the next 8 months.  Jake wasn't able to make it to the baby shower which meant he also hadn't been able to see our nieces so Lindsay stopped by Jake's work, which is also where Aaron works, so Jake could see the girls and I could give Lindsay some things.  Then I took my car in to get an oil change and ended up getting a loaner because they were doing a few recalls and needed another part to finish it up.  For dinner we went to the Double Nickel for a happy hour with Jake's work friends.  We got to meet Collin, baby #3 out of 4, who is Liz's second little boy.  After the happy hour we went to Brad and Victoria's house so Jake could meet Zion, who is beautiful by the way!
Said goodbye to my nieces today and met baby #4 of 4 born since we were home at Christmas. Too bad one of my best friends is due in a couple of weeks and we won't be here to meet him/her :(.
#missingfriendshavingbabiesishard #thankgoodnessforskype  #ilovemynieces #janzensathome

Tuesday was our last full day in Olathe.  I picked up my car and Jake so we could meet Liz and Jon at Iron Horse for lunch.  It was nice being able to catch up with them over some great food.  I ran some last minute errands before we met Erin for dinner at Gates BBQ.  It was fun catching up with her and I love hearing her fun stories :).  We also went over to Jan's house to clean Dino's cage and to hang out with him for a little while.

We flew out on Wednesday but I stopped by Jan's house to hang out again one more time before we got picked up by The Super Shuttle.  I tried several times to convince Jan to go bowling while we are back since she is only a couple weeks away from having her second baby but she was too busy moving into their new house.  It is going to be so hard missing her having a baby and knowing he/she will be about 8 months old by the time I meet him/her is so weird!

My last cup of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream on our way to the airport. We had a great time home seeing friends and family. We've been gone for 8 months which seems like it has flown by but thinking about not coming back until Christmas and realizing that is 8 months away seems like such a long time!#janzensathome

Our flight from Kansas City to Ft. Lauderdale was good.  It was about 3 hours but it was a good flight.  We landed in Ft. Lauderdale, picked up our luggage and headed to the international terminal to catch our next flight.  We had a 3 hour layover which is about an hour too long in my opinion but I was looking forward to flying out at night so we would be tired enough to sleep on the plane.  I should also mention that we both had backpacks, one rolling suitcase and then a huge duffle bag.  I put one of the huge duffle bags that we moved to Stockholm with in my suitcase so we could fill it up with stuff and bring it back.  Jake took a small duffle bag on his sailing trip so we didn't have two rolling bags which meant Jake had to carry the 45 lb duffle bag through the airport.

As soon as we got to the check in counter we should have figured out something was up.  The line for our flight was out the door and wrapped around the front of the outside of the terminal.  It was over 80 degrees and humid.  I was wearing long black jeggings, boots, a long sleeve shirt and a scarf.  I was ready for Stockholm weather not Florida humidity.  Jake doesn't handle heat as well as I do so I sent him inside with our non rolling bag because Jake hot and sweaty = a cranky Jake.  I didn't want to sit next to that for the 9 hour flight.  It is funny because had the weather been below 40 degrees he would have been outside by himself and I would have been inside.  It is a good thing opposites attract :).

When we checked in we found out our flight was delayed a couple of hours due to a construction worker cutting a wire to the terminal which meant the terminal lost connection and couldn't check people in through customs.  So the plane we were taking had to land in Miami instead of Ft. Lauderdale.  Miami is about 45 minutes away.  Our flight crew didn't get the memo and they showed up at the airport and then eventually drove to Miami and flew the plane to us since the flight crew that just arrived in Miami didn't have enough hours left to legally fly the plane into Ft. Lauderdale.  Our 9:30 pm flight was delayed until midnight and then it was delayed until 2:00 am.  Around 1:45 am they cancelled our flight and rescheduled it for the next day at noon.  They gave us hotel vouchers which took a while to fill out.  After we got our voucher we had to wait way longer than we should have to pick up our bags.  I overheard one of the airline workers telling the bag guys to wait to put the bags on the belt until he was done with the vouchers which also meant everyone who didn't need hotel vouchers had to wait until everyone had vouchers before they could go home.

We got to the hotel around 2:15 am and they wanted us back at the airport at 9 am for our noon flight.  As soon as we walked into our hotel room I smelled cigarette smoke :( and then I noticed an air conditioner sitting in the middle of the two beds.  I called the front desk but they were out of rooms and they said that the airline knew the only rooms left were smoking rooms.  So Jake pushed the air conditioner into the hallway and we went to sleep.  We tried checking our flight status the next morning but we couldn't find it.  Flight Aware said we already left.  We got to the airport around 9:30 only to hear that it had been delayed again until 3 pm.  I was not happy!  We could have at least stopped by the beach if we were going to be in Florida for almost 24 hours!
Our 9:30 pm flight last night was delayed until midnight and then 2 am only to be cancelled and rescheduled for noon today. The first picture is me calling the front desk after finally getting to our hotel last night at 2:30 am and then finding an air conditioner on the floor between our beds. After we got to the airport this morning we found out it is delayed until 3 pm. #ifonlywewereatthebeach#ilovefruitloops #janzenstryingtogethome

We hung out at the airport and made some more friends on the flight as we were waiting.  The flight itself was good once we finally boarded.  The rough part was landing at 6:45 am on Friday morning after 4 hours of sleep and we still had to struggle through the day if we wanted to adjust to the time change.  We ended up taking a nap once we got home and then Jake went into work.  But once he got there and realized no one else was there he came home.  This is now the second time that has happened and we even have a calendar this time!  I guess Friday was a "squeeze day" which means there was a holiday on Thursday so most people take off Friday to make it a long weekend.
The plane we flew on was a Dreamliner.  It had really big screens in the seats in front of us where we could watch movies.  Most long flights have them but these were really nice.  The plane also had bigger windows that had a fancy button to dim the window.
We had a great time back but it was nice to finally be "home."

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