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May 14, 2008

Once again, I’m behind. Quite frankly, 12.5 hour days are sucking the life out of me. However, I’m going to do my best to make a post every day for the next five days.
(The fact that they are all pre-written and just awaiting a click on the ‘Publish’ button should make this possible)

Where to start? How about the highlight of the past 4 weeks… Home!

Now, believe it or not, the apartment in Leuven is coming along. We’re still short a few light fixtures and a midbeam for my bed but we’ve got a comfy couch, a rug, a desk, curtains and bookshelves. If you threw in a closet, a garbage disposal, dishwasher, washer/dryer and a live-in maid it might even be pleasant.  But. Even if we get all the little design extras – like artwork, candles and a garbage can (apparently piles of trash bags in the kitchen is more shabby than chic?) – the best it will ever be is home.

Not Home. With a capital ‘H.’

Home is dumplings for dinner.

And having family game nights featuring rounds of Catch Phrase where you give the clue “I’m not a __” (while pointing at your head) and your sister screams, “COW!!” (thanks, Kels.)

And family parties with the best homemade dips, pasta salad and company ever.

And friends that try on an assortment of ridiculous clothes at Target and then pose in said clothes.

Meg and Janna. Future models.

(WHO thought THAT dress was a good idea? More importantly, if that dress was #1, what was #2?)

And big sisters who take you to the quaintest, most delicious little coffeeshop in the area and then split white chocolate & raspberry scones with you.

And hoodies.

And friends that take a break from studying for hugely important Finals to have lunch with you.

And sales where you pay for the merchandise in dollars.

And friendly people that speak English.

And sitting on the front porch with your best friend from 8th grade.

And being productive on a Sunday.

And loud, obnoxious dinners at Olive Garden.

And curling up in your dad’s armchair while you dad is in the armchair.

And falling asleep to episodes of Law & Order.

And friends that will help you look all over Coventry at 2:30am for the digital camera you dropped while climbing trees at 2:00 am.

And Meatless Eggs Sausalito at the Inn on Coventry.

And friends that have Mexican food and Margaritas with you on a weeknight.

And mother-daughter-sister-baby shopping trips.

And unlimited coffee at Panera, the Inn, Treesdale and Einstein Bros.

And ESPN Sportscenter with segments on the Pens & Cavs playoff wins.

And a beautiful blue-eyed girl that changes your entire attitude towards babies and leaves you a blubbering idiot that says things like “Well aren’t you just the cutest thing ever? Yes. Yes you are! Yes you are! You are just so cute” or “You are SO big. SOooooooooooo big.”

And a baby that enjoys being read the Wall Street Journal (you gotta start young) before taking afternoon Britt & Baby naps.

And a spacious, green backyard.

And last, but certainly not least, kluski noodles.


(i may or may not have taken a suitcase full of Kluski noodles back to Belgium.)

(The Seven Fields Giant Eagle may or may not be completely out of this delicacy.)

After 3 years, Leuven might get close, but unless we get a Target, some proper sports and an influx of expats from the Pittsburgh & Cleveland region, it will never be Home.

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