Friends, we are back. Stateside. In that wonderful, wacky, unpredictable and confounding land known as America. Or, uh-mur-kah, in Southern话 (that means dialect). Michael may or may not have gotten teary-eyed watching the video montage playing as we waited in line for customs in New York (then again, it could just be relief at finally getting off that dang plane after hours upon days upon years cooped up in economy). So, you know, just sayin, we’re glad to be back.

We spent the first few weeks hanging out with just our families… first, recovering from jet lag in Sylacauga (with my family) and then at the lake outside of Chattanooga (with Michael’s). This week we’ve gotten busy, and it has been so, sooooo good to reengage and remember that while we’re living it up on the other side of the world, life continues for our peers in America. I don’t know, it kind of made me feel normal to realize that suburbia and backyards and kids chasing fireflies and church and parties still go on. I’m very thankful because (so far!!!) neither Michael or I has experienced much culture shock, either going away or coming back. I find my general attitude, upon return (to our home on either side of the globe) to be: “I forgot how much I love it here! This fits!”

Those, in short, are my thoughts at two and a half weeks in. We’ll be Stateside through the beginning of August, most likely, and are excited about a summer of family and friends. In case you’re curious, here are a few iphone photos of what we’ve been up to thus far.

Getting all dressed up for weddings! (Don’t we look fancy?) This one was in Auburn, which was fun because 1) celebrating people is awesome and 2) Auburn is awesome.

Sisters! And our mama. Minus Helen, who’s at camp in Texas. Hurry home, baby sister!

Annnnnd, just on schedule, here come the photos of kiddoes. Aren’t they adorable?  (I wanted to write presh, which is a by-product of the constant influx of 22-year-old American girls straight out of college, but I stopped myself. You’re welcome.) This, by the way, is Katie Page, the youngest of Michael’s older brother Matt and wife Suzanne.

This would be Chase and Riley…

….and Ryan, because a blue ballpark Sno-Cone just says VICTORY in a way much more meaningful than anything else.

We got a car, thanks to my awesome friend Michelle who is in Nicaragua. Not only is the car incredible, but it has an Auburn license plate. In case you’re not clear, that’s me, being pleased.

And, obviously, staring at pretty things. Sigh. I love hydrangeas. And uh-mer-kuh.