Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Home Again

We are officially a family again. After 6 weeks apart, Eli and I flew back to New Jersey last Monday. We will miss the heat and sunshine (and wearing shorts and t-shirts every day!) of my beloved Arizona,



but it is soooo nice to be married again.



I don't know how people who are deployed for 6 months or a year do it. I have even greater appreciation and respect for the sacrifices service members and their families make. 


Two days after we arrived, friends of ours stopped in for a few days on their way back to Germany. Amy was part of a group of English speaking girls I met with each week when we lived in Karlsruhe. I don't know what we were drinking on our coffee dates but something was in the water because three of the six of us got pregnant within two months of one another. Amy was one of the three, so this trip was extra special because we got to meet each other's little ones.


Nothing like three adults sitting on the grass in Central Park acting ridiculous in attempts to get two (very active) babies to look at the camera and smile at the same time. 



As you can tell by the two pictures, we weren't very successful. 

Lukas is two months younger than Eli but you'd never know it comparing them side by side. Everywhere we went, people kept asking if we had twins. This worked to our advantage when we were dragging their luggage (5 suitcases, 3 bags and a stroller--it was quite a journey) through the public transportation systems of New York. We got lots of help from several sympathetic people, proving that there are, in fact, nice people in New York City. 

Since we've been back I feel like we've pretty much eaten our way through the city. That's usually what ends up happening when we have visitors. 

Korean BBQ tacos at Seoul Food, a food truck serving up Korean food with a twist. Delicious.

Soup dumplings at Shanghai Cafe in China Town. Literally soup in a dumpling. They were incredible. The best thing about this place though was that they weren't afraid to grab our kid and hold him while we ate. 



Amazing food and getting to eat with both hands free and not restraining a baby from tornado-ing his little hands through anything and everything in front of him?? It's a mother's dream restaurant. 



Burgers, fries and milk shakes at a hole-in-the-wall joint hidden in the swanky Le Parker Meridien Hotel. The Burger Joint deserves a post all in its own it's so good. 


Thomas Keller Oreos, biscotti and coffee at Bouchon Bakery. And then there was Smorgasburg, where we consumed so much delicious food that it too deserves a post all to itself. 


Eli also had some culinary endeavors of his own this past week. He got his first lick of an apple slice.


And he had his first meal: rice cereal.



So far he seems to be more interested in playing than eating. 



The kid does not sit still. 



We also came home to a new apartment. Can I just brag on my husband for a bit? Since I haven't been in NJ since December, he had to do all the apartment hunting on his own. And since we were subletting the other place and it was furnished, we had absolutely no furniture other than a crib, a swing and a bouncer.  

Luis found us a beautiful apartment at a price we could afford that is still conveniently located to the city and near enough stuff that I won't be stranded without a car. He also furnished it completely--couches, shelves, bed, dressers, even area rugs?!? And the best part about it all? It looks incredible! 

I absolutely love our new place. It may even be my favorite apartment yet. And that's saying a lot because we've lived in a lot of really great places.  

I'm so glad I have a husband who 1. took the initiative to get everything in order before I arrived 2. actually picked out great stuff that goes well together without breaking the bank. 

It's so great to be able to genuinely say, "Wow, babe, this looks great!" rather than saying it out of love and understanding in appreciation for what he was trying to do but secretly thinking "Hmmmm, those couches are hideous." haha

Wives out there, I know you know what I'm talking about.

Though our life rarely has any semblance of normalcy or "settledness"--last week Arizona, this week New Jersey (and a new apartment) next week who knows where--I've come to understand that no matter where we are, with Luis and Eli, they are enough "home" for me. 

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