Monday, June 3, 2013

Home sweet home.

Yes, Thailand is our home too.  But if I'm completely honest, America still feels like HOME.  The weather, the food, our family, dear friends... there's just something special about coming back to a place so familiar and cozy.  I have often caught myself closing my eyes and taking a deep breath.. savoring the moments that are so life-giving to my soul.  :)

And what a sweet, sweet time we've had so far!  It's been so fun introducing William to everyone and spending quality time with our families. We ended up pulling off a huge surprise on Mother's Day for my mom, dad & grandma!  They all thought we were coming in a week later, but little did they know everyone else was in on the huge Mother's Day surprise!  We put William in my nephew, Nathan's, crib and my sister-in-law told my mom to go get Nathan up from his nap... Since words don't really do the rest of the story justice, you can just watch the video here:

After mom regained her composure (kinda...), she went downstairs and tricked my dad and grandma.  Again, the video says it all:

What a fun day.  Knowing that we were about to surprise my parents was the only thing that kept me sane for the 20 hour plane ride!

I documented our long trip home... william started cutting his first tooth the day we left, so I was pretty anxious about how he would do on the flight.  Thankfully, William was such a trooper and was able to fall asleep in such random places.  I'm so thankful for such a flexible and sweet baby boy.

In the airport in Chiang Mai at 11:50 PM! WAY passed his bedtime!

Finally fell asleep after take off

But he woke up when we put him in the bassinet!

Finally got him down :)

Unfortunately, he was up and down the whole flight to Korea... which was the middle of the night for us.  We're all pretty tired here... William fell asleep eating his bottle as we descended :)

My two boys knocked out on a random bench on our 5 hour layover in Korea!

Flight #2. Korea to America.  14 loooong hours!

When William was awake, Stevo would take him on a "walk" around the plane.

Despite reserving a bassinet 3 different times, we were told at the check-in counter that we didn't have one reserved.  I must admit, I went all "American" on the poor lady at the counter, but I was pretty upset that our reservation was lost.  Well, my complaining didn't get us anywhere and William was forced to sleep on the floor between our feet.  But again, our little guy surpassed our expectations and did beautifully on the flight.  I think he liked the vibration and darkness of the floor! :)


Sweet home Chicago.

Since arriving, we've just spent a lot of quality time with family and friends.  Steven has been able to help his dad a bit on the farm and we've been enjoying catching up with loved ones. I am continually reminded of what great people we have in our lives.

Reunited. Finally!

All the grandma's are crazy in love with William!

 We were so blessed to have everyone on Steven's side of the family join us for Mother's Day!  Both of our immediate families.  Together in one place.  A perfect 1st Mother's Day for me :)

 The first few weeks home we spent in Naperville just relaxing and trying to get over jet lag!

Making memories with my favorite niece :)

Everything's bigger in America!

I managed to hold William off on food until we got back to the States (I just didn't want to mess with it on the plane!)  Well, William was MORE than ready and was thrilled to finally be eating!  Here's a video of him eating for the first time... with big cousin Leila helping out!

Getting his outfit ready for Auntie Kelsey's wedding :)

 Out to dinner with some of our best friends :)

 Love them lots!


 4oh1 reunion!  All of my college roommates managed to make it in town on the same weekend for Kate's Bachelorette Party!  So fun to be together again.  I've missed them.

Visiting with his great-grandma!  I have a pic of me with her when I was a baby at this same tree :)

Meeting his second cousin, Amber! :)


A week later and we're still dealing with jet lag.  It was a lot harder for William to adjust to the time change than I thought.  The first couple of nights he was up from midnight to 4 am just wanting to play, play, play!  After about a week, he finally started sleeping through the night again... although he was waking up at 5 am!  It brought me back to the earlier days of sleepless nights and it made me super appreciative that we are out of that phase!

Leila's a great big cousin!

Ice cream date!

Papa and "Tak"

He loves the swing!

And his Ama :)

Meeting Miss Jenny :)

Getting a lil' belly?

 And then we headed down to Champaign to celebrate this pretty girl's wedding!  (more amazing photos @  What a joy and honor to stand beside Kels as she pledged her life to Tony!

First time seeing Kels in her beautiful dress.  She was stunning.


My cute family @ the wedding

Proud parents of the bride

Steven with cousins Kate & Steph... they (the girls) did a beautiful job singing at the wedding!

 Daddy with his future ILLINI (I hope he becomes more enthusiastic about it as he grows up!)

 Couldn't leave U of I without a family pic on the quad!

After the wedding, we made our way to home sweet Roanoke to spend some time on the farm :)

Daddy with his boy @ the house he grew up in, his dad grew up in and his grandpa grew up in!  Love it.
Boys day at the lake :)

"Grandpa's lil Farmer"

Loving time with his Grandma and Grandpa Sauder!

My sweet boy.

His favorite spot in Grandma & Grandpa's house

The kid loves peas!  

And beer?!?! :)

Having dinner with Great-grandma Sauder

& Great-grandpa Sauder

Eating Grandpa's head :)

On the move!

I love this sweet picture.  Falling asleep drinking his bottle with Grandpa :)

A historical pic:  4 generations of Sauder men
(William is the 1st out of 17 great-grandkids to carry on the Sauder name!)

Morning cuddles with daddy

A morning walk around Roanoke!

Trying to find a life jacket for trips to the pool... looks like this one's a tad small!

All pooped out from being so busy!

Just hangin around

And because today is Auntie Kara's birthday...

So if you couldn't already tell, we are SO enjoying our summer in the States! :)