Thursday, December 29, 2011

Les fêtes

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  Mine was great.  On Christmas Eve we had a big dinner with my parents and my brother and then we spent some quality time together opening presents and playing games.

Then on Christmas Day, as is tradition, we drove up to my aunt and uncle's house and had a big Christmas meal with my extended family.  It was so nice to see everyone, especially because it has been so long since I've seen a lot of my family.  Lionel and I even got really motivated this year and made a traditional bûche de noel, which actually turned out to be much more complicated than expected, but it sure was good in the end!

Then on Christmas night we were invited to my friends house for her 2nd annual Naughty Santa Christmas party.  "Naughty Santa" because the whole premise is that everyone brings a bottle of alcohol for a gift exchange, and then afterwards everyone ends up drinking it all, along with the beer and wine everyone brought.!  It was a lot of fun and I ended up seeing a lot of people I knew in high school and haven't seen since high school or early college and it was really great to see them again and to catch up.

Unfortunately, because we were so busy with our arrival in the US and all that goes with that, we didn't really have the time to do any of the other holiday activities I usually enjoy so much in the US.  But I'm still very glad I was able to be in the US this year for the holidays, even if it made the move even more exhausting and stressful with all the Christmas shopping to do!

And I know someone else who really enjoyed Christmas, or at least the Christmas tree:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to everyone out there in the land of the internet!

Enjoy whatever plans and celebrations you have.  I know I'm looking forward to a wonderful Christmas in the US with friends and family that I haven't seen in quite a while.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm back!

Sorry I've been a bit MIA lately, things have been very busy and just completely crazy here.  But I wanted to post really quick to let everyone know that I'm still here!  The cruise was amazing and we had a wonderful time exploring new places, meeting lots of wonderful people and relaxing for 8 days while crossing the ocean...but more on that in another post.

Lionel and I arrived safely in the US on December 3.  After a slight snag at the port in Fort Lauderdale (they didn't have the materials necessary to process someone arriving with an immigrant visa and they had to drive to the airport to get a fingerprinting kit), Lionel's visa was processed and he is officially good to work, live and travel in the US for the next year with his stamped visa in his passport while waiting to receive his green card in the mail (which will hopefully arrive in around 6 months, or so we've been told).

Since then we spent a few days enjoying the hot and sunny weather in the Fort Lauderdale area with our friend Amy, then we headed up to Ohio, where it is considerably less hot and sunny...in fact it is freezing here and I've already seen a little bit of snow!  Quite a shock for someone who hadn't worn her winter coat until the arrival in Ohio!

Since we've been in Ohio things have been going incredibly smoothly and we've pretty much finished the mile-long to-do list we arrived with.  As soon as I get a chance I'll publish a more detailed post on the stuff we've had to do for Lionel since arriving, but for now I'll just say that I LOVE the US for the ease of the administrative/bureaucratic tasks and the friendliness of the people who work in all those offices!

We still haven't really processed the fact that we are in the US "for good" and sometimes I still feel like I must be here only for vacation (which is strange because I've already started working and everything), but I'm sure that as time goes on it will set in.  So far I have to say I'm pretty happy to be here and I'm not yet regretting leaving France, though I'm sure that will come after a month or two.  But for now I'm just enjoying being back in the US and I promise I will try to post again soon with more details and photos from the cruise!