Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Montage: Our Trip Home

There is so much I want to tell you about our trip home, but it is all a confused jumble in my head. I figured the best way to cohesively break it down is just to illustrate all the different events and categories with pictures. 

Food Tour.  

One of the most important parts of any trip back to the homeland is eating all the great food we can’t find in Scotland. This was doubly important this time around since I had my fair share of pregnancy cravings added to the mix. Most important food items: American fast food...

French Toast...
frozen yogurt...
and, of course, Mexican food. 

White queso! My favorite!

The Wedding. 
The whole reason for this trip back to the States was so that we could attend and participate in Bradley (Jonathan’s younger brother) and Brittany’s New Orleans wedding. Everyone stayed in downtown New Orleans Thursday through Saturday and it was a very festive time. The rehearsal dinner was at Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House where we enjoyed amazing food and even better company. 

And I have to mention the Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding, which was certainly an idea hatched in pregnant lady heaven. 
The wedding was stunningly gorgeous, and walking with Jonathan down the aisle as part of the wedding party gave me flashbacks of my own plantation wedding 5 years ago. 
Brittany looked phenomenal, and other than the 10 last minutes of the ceremony when I had to sit down for fear of passing out in the Louisiana heat, it was an enchanting evening of good food, magical atmosphere, dancing, and New Orleans culture. 

Thanks for having us be a part of your special day, Bradley and Brittany! Congrats and best wishes as you begin your marriage together. 

The Beach. 

From New Orleans, we drove straight to my in-laws condo in Orange Beach, Alabama for a relaxing 3 day vacation. It was made even more special by the fact that Jonathan’s parents invited my parents along, so we had some rare quality time with both sets of our parents. 
We ate good food. We worked on our tans. We walked along the beach. We took naps. We went swimming. We really got the most out of our beach vacation before heading back to the overcast skies and mild temperatures that make up the typical Scottish summer. Thanks for inviting us, Dr. George and Mrs. Kay! It was the perfect opportunity to relax before heading back home. 

Family time. 

When I got back to my parents’ house in Covington, my sister and her two boys were already there, visiting from Florida. I basically got a full 3 days with them before the Gender Reveal Party and the chaotic aftermath ensued. 
I had such a great time playing mahjong, swimming with my nephews, and going out for a ‘beer’ with my dad. 
It was nothing extraordinary. On the contrary, it was completely ordinary, which in the pressurized situation of trying to gobble up as much family time as possible, is quite an impossible feat to pull off. 
I loved spending the days as if I always get to have so many of my loved ones under one roof. It was quite nice to take it all for granted for a change. 

The Gender Reveal Party. 

The gender reveal party was the climax of our trip back home. It was set for our last weekend, giving us 2 days afterwards to shop and pack. So many of my friends and family pitched in to make it a memorable occasion, but I have to give special props to 3 very special ladies in my life. 

Talia, my BFF since 10th grade. She is probably the busiest person I know, but when I was home, she totally made me feel like I was the most important thing in the universe. She invited me to her hospital to perform a highly personalized ultrasound. After my experience with  the NHS prenatal care, it was like a whole other world. She used warm jelly on my belly (all they have is the cold stuff in Scotland); she explained in extensive detail why every single aspect of my baby looked perfect and healthy; she even complimented my on a ‘chunky umbilical cord’. I don’t know what that means, but I could tell by the way she said it that it was a very good thing. 
And then, for the most textbook extrovert I know, she did the hardest thing ever; she kept our baby’s gender a secret for two whole weeks. And somehow, in her 2 seconds of spare time, she created this masterpiece of a reveal box, hid the blue balloons inside, and transported it to my parents’ house in Covington. 

I think she deserves a round of applause. How bout it? Let’s hear it for Talia! 
Second on the all-star list is my Momma. She agreed to let us host the party at their stunning home and even though I insisted on doing all of the cooking and cleaning and buying in preparation for the party, let’s be honest, Momma Diane is way too generous of a person to let that happen. 
I cannot even list all of the ways she contributed to every minute detail of this shin-dig, but I am so thankful for her support and assistance in pulling off my vision for the party. You rock, Mom. 
No one throws a bash quite like you. 

And thirdly, my pregnant sister, whose energy level put mine to shame. She was my Mom’s # 1 assistant in cooking and cleaning (while I mainly supervised and took lots of breaks), and she contributed so many ideas to the spread. For instance, she was the one who recommended that people choose a pink or blue lei at the party. 
Thanks sis!
This next photo is probably my favorite picture from the whole day. Like I mentioned before, most people figured that the odds were in favor of us having a boy, yet they were mostly silently rooting for our baby to be a girl. I felt some subconscious pressure about this because I’m possibly the most sensitive person on the planet. So while I knew I’d be thrilled with a boy, I worried that others might feel slightly disappointed if another boy was added to the family. But my two nephews, Corbin and Lucas, weren’t shy about wanting their baby cousin to be a boy. When the blue balloons came out of the box, they were probably the most excited out of everyone. 
I just loved this moment of Jonathan and I scooping them both up in spontaneous celebration over another boy!!!!!
My sister finds out tomorrow what the gender of her baby is. Will it be another boy as well???? I can’t wait to find out. 

After the reveal, my mom was still in denial about the baby being a boy. Here is Dr. Talia showing her irrefutable proof of our baby’s boy-ness.
It was my Mom’s idea to have a candy buffet in all pastels as part of the party favors. 
The mints and M&Ms were just because I like them, but the jelly bellys were because we always referred to the baby as ‘jelly bean’ and laffy taffys were my first official pregnancy craving. 

Here is a sweet shot of my dad, grinning from ear to ear with the knowledge that he will soon welcome his third grandson into the world. 
The party was a great opportunity to spend some time with my Louisiana girlfriends. Thanks for coming girls!
After the reveal, many of our friends and family stuck around for a pool party.

My gorgeous siblings.
I was lucky enough to be around to witness Baby Kye's first swimming pool experience. The kid is a natural.

That about sums up our trip home. It's so surreal to think that the next time we make that trek back, we will have a wee baby lad in tow.

It was so great to see everyone and we sincerely appreciate everyone's hospitality and effort to squeeze in some quality time with this nomadic couple.


  1. What beautiful pictures. Its so good you got to head back for a while esp so your family could see your bump.

  2. You make me feel so special! Kye and I love you so much! Cannot wait for baby boy Perry to be here. You know I was routing for a boy. :) Kye and him will be besties! It was so good to be with you and the fam. Y'all made me feel like a real person! Love you mucho!!!!!