When I landed, my parents and my sister and Dave picked me up from the airport! I was so excited to see everyone - especially Kel and Dave who had driven all the way from Houston to spend the day in Arlington with the family. Yay!
We went straight from the airport to Kev's baseball game. Aunt Debbie, Uncle Bruce, and my cousins Lindsay, Taylor, and little Noah met us there because Lindsay teaches at the school that Kev's team was playing. We had a great time soaking up some sun and catching up with everyone! Unfortunately, Kev had played the last two games in the tournament, so this was his game to sit out - darn! But it was fun to support his friends, and we got to see Kev play on Tuesday.
We went over to Debbie and Bruce's house after the game. They're remodeling their kitchen, so we wanted to check out the progress!
The kitchen looked soooo different, and it's gorgeous! I can't wait to come over for a happy hour or pool party sometime in the future!
And then...it was Bueno time. TACO BUENO - always a must within hours of my landing in Texas :) Dad went and picked it up while Mom and I hung out with Kelly and Dave. I loved hearing about their new life together in Houston - and hearing them play their new harmonica! Dave got Kel a harmonica for her birthday in January, and so they've learned a few fun tunes. When Kev and Dad got home, we feasted - party burritos, mexi-dips, and tacos galore!
My birthday was the next weekend, so Mom had ordered a red velvet cake for me! It was fun to taste test a new bakery's attempt to top Red Oven's red velvet. The cake was actually very good! Not as good as Red Oven...but still delicious enough to devour in a couple of days :)
My family was so sweet to have birthday presents for me, too! Kel and Dave got me a cookie press that I've been wanting for awhile (tested it this weekend - Brian has dubbed those cookies "crack cookies" because they're so delish and addicting). Mom, Dad, and Kev gave me a lot of things that I can't get in Germany, which was so nice. And Mom took me on an amazing shopping spree - more on that later!
After all of the birthday fun, we watched Modern Family as a family. I made it through the newest episode, and then I crashed - jet lag stinks!
The next day, Grandma drove in from Austin to visit, and Papa came over, too! Mom made tortilla soup, and we enjoyed a fun Sunday at home with the family. Kelly and Dave had to leave around 2 (sad), but I was so thankful that I got to see them.
Next, manicures/pedicures with Mom and Grandma at our favorite salon! I think any woman will agree that the company you get a mani/pedi with totally makes the experience, and I LOVE going with my Mom and Grandma. I got a gel manicure instead of normal paint, and my nails are still a perfect French mani - I highly recommend the gels!
Gap and Ann Taylor are in the same shopping center as our nail place, so I started my shopping spree on Sunday :) So great to be back in the USA where things are open on Sundays. Then the big shopping push was on Monday, and I shopped for all of the things that are difficult to buy online - sunglasses, jeans, costume jewelry, and some of those new, fun and flowy styles that either look like a PJ shirt or super adorable. I found some great stuff!
Monday night, I was rewarded for all of my hard work :) with a fun happy hour with lots of friends at Pappasitos!
Mom, Grandma, and me, shopped out and ready for happy hour
Catching up with friends is always a highlight of going home. And Pappasitos margaritas are a highlight as well :)
Kristen, Chad, Mckenzie, Joe, and Taylor came to hang out, even though it was a school/work night! I love this crew! I got to hear all about Kristen and Chad and Mckenzie and Joe's wedding planning - so many fun stories and details.
After Pappasitos, we moved to a new bar called Boomer Jacks.
The party crew that stuck around for happy hour part 2!
Joe stopped by too!
Tuesday was my last day in Texas. I had Taco Bueno one more time, went for a nice long walk with Mom and Dad, picked up a couple of things from the grocery store, and then we went to Kev's baseball game! I had so much fun working in the concession stand with Mom and Dad - I really admire my parents for dedicating so much of their time to volunteering for Kev's baseball team, so it was fun to help out for a night and see everything that goes into their work. Plus, I got to see some of my old high school teachers and youth leaders, and we had a great view of the game! Kev played really well!
On Wednesday, I flew to DC, where I had meetings on Thursday and Friday. I also got to see a few friends there - Andrea and Dave, our friends from Pakistan, had me over to their house to meet their little precious daughter, Leighton. My meetings went really well, too, which made the trip very rewarding!
Friday evening, I flew back to Frankfurt, where I was greeted by my sweet hubby and a huge bouquet of tulips! When we got home, he surprised me with an apartment decorated with balloons for my birthday, and he had baked a delicious cake! And, he had coordinated a birthday party for me that night - we went out to one of my favorite restaurants and then went to a jazz concert!
I know I'm spoiled - a fun trip to the States and then the perfect birthday weekend - can't get any better than that! Thanks so much, everyone!