You know you've had a heck of a day when you find the following assortment of coins in your pocket, all received as change for purchases within your 37-hour day: three quarters, one dime, two nickels, twenty tengue, and half of a euro.
It was long, it was harrowing, but we survived our 27 hours of flights and layovers to arrive home sweet home in Utah at around 7:30 pm yesterday evening. Actually, I think it all went about as well as you could expect 13,000 miles with 3 children to go. We had a few rough patches, but overall the flights were smooth and on time, the luggage all arrived with us, everybody got at least a little sleep, and Steve and Ben were even able to join the rest of us on the last leg to SLC even though it was completely booked (one person missed the connection and another pilot flying with us graciously took the jump seat to make room for my guys).
Sasha flew like a champ and slept on both of the long legs, although she did struggle to fall asleep (read: screamed for 45 minutes) on the fully-booked 11-hour flight from Frankfurt to San Francisco. But I could hardly blame her because the lights were on and people were moving around for the entire flight. At least when she did finally fall asleep she stayed zonked for several hours. And this photo demonstrates what a toddler's shirt looks like after 2 snacks and 2 meals on an airplane. Scary!
And at the moment this picture was taken (when we landed in San Francisco), our little girl became a proud US citizen! Ok, so Mommy and Daddy were way more excited about this than anybody else (everybody else was sleeping).
It did take a while to get through immigration, but that wasn't our fault - there were two folks in front of us in the "new immigrant" line and apparently it's common for new immigrants to not speak very good English (whoda thunk?) making for some interesting and time-consuming communication between the officials and soon-to-be citizens. But we successfully handed over the sealed packet that the US Embassy in Kazakhstan gave us (we felt like supercool spies) and our neato stack of passports and still managed to make our connection. Success!
And if you're wondering what love looks like - this is it, right here. We came home to a clean house and fully stocked fridge and cupboards with casseroles ready and waiting. Amazing. It was such a relief not to have to do anything when we returned! They even cleaned up Nesbitt's poo in the back yard so that the kids could play outside today. I'm telling you, greater love has no man than this. We have the most amazing friends you could ever dream of.
Our 60 days in Kazakhstan is complete. The adventure truly begins now :)