After such a heavy week of bad news in the world, I was ready for a week of happiness. And the past week definitely delivered!
The day after arriving home from Brazil, I went with eight friends to see Mockingjay: Part 2 – the last installment in the Hunger Games series. This meant popcorn! It also meant another opportunity to sport my Team Gale t-shirt, which was designed by a talented friend of mine nearly four years ago.
On Saturday, a friend had her third baby (a boy!). I stayed with the older two girls overnight. I don’t babysit very often (that’s a stretch…I never babysit), but I managed to keep them fed, clean, and most importantly, alive! And I think we had some fun, too.
Of course, I didn’t really want to cancel my pedicure appointment (I had a gift card for the new Nail Bar in Vevey from my Barnacle and her mama – thanks again!), but I learned that a new sticker book can keep a 5-year-old entertained for the length of a pedicure.
As a peace offering, we played with the Lego display in the center of the mall after my pedicure.
And made a snowman when we got home…
We also played Uno and made “Welcome Home” signs for the baby.
Aren’t they precious?!
I got to meet the little guy a few days later when I visited him and his mama in the hospital!
On Sunday, a bunch of us attended the 19th Annual American Thanksgiving a few minutes up the hill in Blonay. (If you’ve been following from the beginning, you may recall I attended this event two years ago – soon after I arrived in Switzerland.) It was a good taste of America, and as always, there was a lot of laughter.
Partway through the meal, I realized I forgot to take a picture of my meal. A friend sent me the one of her plate, so you could see the goodness we enjoyed!
And to say one of our friends likes pumpkin pie is an understatement. Two pieces of pumpkin pie and two slices of pumpkin bread shows how much he LOVES it!
Because the majority of my Connect Group isn’t American (and therefore not subject to celebrating Christmas after Thanksgivng) and because we couldn’t find a date that worked in December, we celebrated Christmas a little early. Our fearless leader made an amazing meal, and I made dessert. We enjoyed Christmas music, a gift exchange (where my gift was stolen from me twice!), and Apples to Apples!
On Wednesday, I received a beautiful Fortnum & Mason gift box (the tea the Royals drink) from the UK market as a “thank you” for coming to present at the end of September. It was such a thoughtful gift and so unexpected!
I baked a pumpkin pie that proved to be delicious!! (Thanks to Libby’s Pumpkin Pie mix!)
One of my US expat friends hosted several of us for Thanksgiving on Thursday night. The past two years, Thanksgiving Day was my saddest day here. All of my previous celebrations were the weekend before or after, and very few people even know it’s Thanksgiving. You work all day without acknowledgement that it’s your favorite holiday and that all of your American family & friends have the day off to celebrate.
I say all that to tell you how wonderful it was that we celebrated on Thursday night. I picked up the turkey from the same butcher as last year, and we had potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, corn casserole, and cheeses & dessert. It was amazing! She even streamed the Lions vs. Eagles game! With around 20 people there to celebrate, it definitely felt festive!
I had a meeting on Friday with a UK colleague, and guess what she gave me as a “thank you” for meeting with her?! Macadamia nuts from Hawaii!!! Apparently, she’s not British; she’s American. She grew up in Hawaii and still visits twice per year. What a fun surprise!!
I managed to mail all 350 Christmas cards over the past couple of days, and I love that Vevey joined in on the celebration. The lights and decorations are out, and I laugh every time I see the sign on the department store for “Giant Christmas.”
To top it all off, Christmas cards started arriving this week! Given my obsession with snail mail, this makes me VERY happy!
I made it a point to look for happy things all week long, and my heart is full as I reflect on all of these wonderful things. Oh so much to be thankful for this year!