It’s amazing what a day will do. You go from happy, fun Thanksgiving to this intense, maddening holiday rush where sleepless people wait all night to save $20 on a big screen. I was a little sad to be out the States yesterday, but I’m not missing “Black Friday” at all on this side of the Atlantic. As I watch the news stream in from the States of big lines and huge sales, I’m struck with the fact that it’s become such a part of the American culture. From what I can tell, that doesn’t seem to be the case over here, but only time will tell just how strong that American influence is to the rest of the world.

We packed and left the hotel this morning and were back home around 11am. My voice is slowly returning, but I woke up with a pretty bad sore throat today. My energy hasn’t returned much either. We had a little meeting around 3pm with our landlord to get a new copy of our rental agreement which is needed for our long term visas. She has an office above our flat and while we were signing papers the kids ended up bringing her drawings they made which she was really excited about. Through her computer she translated, “I am going to bring them something for Christmas.” I’m glad our landlord likes our kids enough to want to bring them gifts!

Presents Await (11/28/14)

Speaking of gifts, tomorrow is Avery’s actual birthday. Above is a photo of her last present, which is from us, so she’ll have something to open. There’s also a chance we’ll be joining some friends for ice skating tomorrow. They too have a daughters whose birthday falls on the 29th and they invited us to join them. We have never taken the kids ice skating, so this should definitely be an adventure.

Shortly after our meeting with our landlord, we decided to lounge around and watch a Christmas movie together. With me not feeling well and all of us a little worn out from Thanksgiving, it was nice to just “veg” as my dad would call it. Bethany prepared some food and I made popcorn. Avery loves to make popcorn from scratch and watch the popcorn pop on the stove top. She giggles and says, “That’s silly!” which I think is just hilarious. We had a lot of fun just hanging around today and being together. Hopefully I can feel good for ice skating tomorrow and Avery’s birthday. Being sick just isn’t fun, especially when you’re trying to celebrate holidays and birthdays!