Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Auf Wiedersehen zu Emily

My closest cousin Emily moved to Germany yesterday, and we were fortunate to help her go and to see her off. Her husband is a Sergeant in the Army, and is being stationed at a post in Heidelburg. They got orders probably a year ago, and Emily has spent all this time preparing. Even still, we both felt surprised that the time had already come.

When they worked to schedule their journey, it made the most sense to travel from their home in Kansas to my house here in the Metroplex. They could fly out of DFW less expensively, and they could ship their car from a Vehicle Processing Center not more than a half-hour from my house. Every other option was far more complicated. They were concerned we would be inconvenienced to host them for a couple of days and to haul them around, but we were so glad they included us in the process.

Emily and her family arrived Sunday afternoon. Emily and Aaron had a bet that I'd meet them at the door with a hot tater tot casserole, but they were mistaken (though I came this close). [[Sidenote: Emily and I spent several summers crammed in a double bed in my Aunt and Uncle's basement coming up with devious plans for dorky home movies (Fiber Food, anyone?), and tater tot casserole was the one thing guaranteed to draw us out of our lair.]] It was wonderful to visit with them, and to watch our kids play together (particularly since Gracie and Genevieve share exactly the same age difference as Emily and I). Both Bub and Gracie were absolutely fascinated with baby Samuel who mobilizes himself by doing the breakdancing worm.

I had aspirations to do school on Monday, despite houseguests, and experienced a small taste of homeschooling with a toddler. We tried hard to focus on our reading while Genevieve did DDTs on the Scooby Doo Bop Bag in the background. She was too funny to ignore, so we quickly finished our reading and watched her have her fun. Later, when we said our morning prayer, she came over and took my hand and Gracie's and just got all involved. She knew just what to do, and it was all so, so sweet.

My mom came over mid-morning to act as "substitute" while we dropped their car off at the processing center to have it shipped overseas. We stopped on the way to detail the car, and once we arrived a the VPC, the process was so much easier and faster than we anticipated, what with it being a government office and all. We spent part of the afternoon picking up those last minute essentials.

On Tuesday, the morning was surprisingly leisurely despite some of the heaviest rain I've seen in a very long time. We left a few minutes earlier than expected to account for weather traffic along the way. We arrived at the international terminal probably two-and-a-half hours before departure and accidentally parked right outside of the correct departure door (we thought Murphy's Law and a HUGE number of bags would dictate a very long walk, but we were wrong -- hooray!). We entered to find a check-in counter replete with attendants and completely void of other passengers, so check-in was much smoother than expected. The clerk gave me a guest pass to help them through the security gate and back to their terminal, while my mom found space for my kids to play and explore.

Going through security was a bit challenging. Removing shoes, sending liquids and laptops through the machine, manually checking strollers and car seats, and coaxing kids through metal detectors all make for a real fun time. We were fortunate that even at security there was no line, so we took over an entire side while other less-loaded-down passengers filed through the opposite side. Their gate was right past security, and in between was a USO courtesy station filled with free food and drinks for those in the service and their families. Overall, we were quite surprised by the ease of everything, and this morning, I got an e-mail that they'd not only arrived safely, but that the kids slept on the plane. Seriously, could you even ask for more?

Emily, I love you, and I love your family. I'm so glad we got to be a part of your big adventure, and I can't wait to live vicariously through you. Enjoy every minute of your new German life! Auf Wiedersehen!

Genevieve going to "Jeremy"

Loads of Luggage

Off on a Big Adventure

More Than Cousins --
Lifelong Friends


  • Randi

    What an adventure for them. I'm so glad you got to spend some final time before they head overseas. Sounds like it couldn't have gone any smoother (well, except for the missing tater tot casserole).

  • Emily

    I'm totally shocked that Aaron said he'd eat tater tot casserole. I'm going to take him up on that and make it when I get a chance :p Thanks again for everything. I can't wait to have your family and Babbit over here.

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