Friday, August 27, 2010

Settling in.

The girls and I are spending our first night in our new home tonight. Up until now we've been camped out at my parent's house while I took care of a myriad of things. But now things are (semi) ready for us to move in and so we took the plunge.

Right now it is closing on 8 pm our time and I'm pretty sure my monitor isn't working since I can hear various shouts from upstairs. I hope the rest of the night goes better than it started.

So I'm sitting here, blogging again (finally), and looking around our house marveling at how different our lives are now. It happened so fast. And it is so odd to look around our new home at the things that were in storage mixed with the things from our travels. For example, there are two purple leather poufs we bought in Marrakech sitting on the rug we had in our master bedroom before we moved to Switzerland. So very odd how they all go together now.

And then I start thinking about where I was four, six, eight weeks ago. Was I really on a cruise through the Baltic and North Sea less than two months ago? Did I really spend a week in Provence? Four days in Marrakech? Move my family and some of our belongings to another country? Did all of that really just happen?

It seems like a lifetime ago.

Aside from the amazement of what we just did, I'm adjusting to living in the US. I've driven more in the past week than I did in some months in Switzerland. I can understand everything that is going on around me and sometimes it hurts my head to hear that much talking. I spent an hour walking through my local grocery store, memorizing where everything was and being amazed at the price of everything. I bought strawberries on Monday and ate some today (still good!). And I've been to Target five times.

It's been a wild week but we're getting there. The hardest part of this transition, by far, has been missing our friends. We might as well start saving now for visits to see everyone!

Tomorrow begins our final phase of our move. Brian arrives after finalizing things in Switzerland for us and I can't wait to see what differences really stick out for him. And to see Marion and Betti's faces when they see him. That will be priceless.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Why hello there blog, how are you?

I've missed you, blog. I've been a little busy though. Since I last wrote you I have:

- Sold all of our household items and gave the ones that couldn't sell away.
- Packed up what we wanted to keep and mailed seven boxes to our new home in the US.
- Packed up the extra stuff that didn't get mailed and brought it with me on the plane (seven very large bags plus two carry-ons).
- Managed to forget that the very fragile snow globe a friend gave me had water in it when I packed it in my carry-on. Heathrow security confiscated it.
- Arrived to the heat and humidity of Maryland and promptly switched my jeans and sweater Swiss weather for shorts and t-shirts.
- Crashed in exhaustion after my flight.
- Woke up and saw my girls for the first time in two and a half weeks.
- Had a full day of errands where I bought: a car, a refrigerator, a washer and dryer, and some small necessities from Target (it was like returning to the mother ship).
- And finally, yesterday, I moved all of our stuff out of my parent's basement and into our new home.

Now I have a house full of boxes and will be unpacking and organizing for the rest of the week.

So, blog, aren't you jealous? Trust me, I'd rather be here writing to you but things must be done. I'm sorry, I will be back soon!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Okay, not really, but it makes me giggle. :)

So, I'm a little late with the prize post. Big surprise, right? I'm leaving Switzerland after 5 sleeps, my flat is a complete wreck, we just got back from our last trip (Marrakech), and as I write this a stranger is going through my kitchen to take away as much free kitchenware as he can manage.

Yea, just a wee bit busy.

But don't worry ladies and gents! I did not forget about this giveaway. Thank you so much for all of your comments! They were a lot of fun to read. After reading all of the comments, I decided the best way to choose a winner was to write each of your names on a piece of paper from my trusty "Big Move Book" and pick one. How appropriate, right?

If I lose this notebook I am screwed.

Anyway, there are all of your entries in one of my Migros bowls, waiting for my wonderful hubby to pick one.

So, who will it be?

Congratulations ToadMama! You are the winner of some fabulous Swiss loot.

Thank you all for entering and following us on this adventure. I hope you stick around as we settle in to the US, get back into the American groove, and make our new home ours. You can't get rid of us just because we are moving back to the states!

So stick around, I won't let the dust settle on this joint for too long. Thanks again for following!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The final farewell to Switzerland giveaway

As I make list after list to get this move completed, it's becoming pretty clear what my favorites are in Switzerland. And it is pretty random. My musts from Switzerland are muesli, chocolate, wooden toys and Migros bags.

Yep, random. But there is a good reason for each.

Muesli because it's so much easier to purchase the good stuff here than make your own mixture in the states. Oats, raisins, nuts, yum! It's all there and makes making your very own birchermuesli super easy.

Chocolate. Well, I've talked about this before. Nothing beats the good stuff, period!

The wooden toys in Europe are unlike anything I've ever seen in the US. Stop over at my favorite toy store, Spielba and you'll see what I'm talking about. I love the durability, the uniqueness, the designs, and the simplicity of them. And my kids love them too. I'm having a hard time not buying a ton (shipping prices have stopped me from doing just that more than once!).

Finally, Migros bags. Something so simple but makes such an impact.

I've been using these since I arrived in Switzerland; just picture me in the above image but with a stroller and two kiddies! To Brian's dismay, Migros changes up the design of the bag every few months so I now have a stack of bags I want to take home.

So, a goodbye Switzerland giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a bag of muesli from my local Migros, one Migros shopping bag, one bar of chocolate, and a wooden rattle (that you can ditch in favor of an extra of the previous prizes if you aren't thrilled about having a rattle).

For good measure, I will also throw in a Swiss cookbook to be purchased at the airport as I leave the country, providing the store that I bought the last copy in has it in stock.

That's some good stuff people! Here's how it is going to work this time around:

First, leave a comment telling me which prize you would most like to have (and why if you are feeling chatty!). That'll get you one entry.

Second, become a follower of my blog and then leave a comment letting me know. If you are already a follower, you can leave me a comment letting me know that. Being a follower will get you a second entry. See? Sometimes it is good to be a follower :)

Deadline for this giveaway will be Friday, August 13 at 12 noon EST. Good luck!