5 years ago, today, we boarded a plane headed for Italy and the start of what was to become our European adventure. At that time, it was Josh, Mallory, and myself, 5 months pregnant. Mallory was all of 2 years old. Still happily munching on cheerios, and playing with the Elmo ABC's app.
Josh was 5 years younger, doting on his pregnant wife, and adorable two year old. I was pregnant, also 5 years younger and looking forward to all the pasta and gelato I could get my hands on.
We hit the ground running and having a baby didn't really slow us down. Mia had travelled nearly all of Italy by the time she was 5 months old. She has lived in Europe her entire life, besides a brief stint in Texas, where people spoke ENGLISH, well, most of them. Coming from Italy, and hearing everyone speaking English, was astonishing to the girls.
The time seems to move more quickly all the time. We've got another two years-ish left here in Belgium. It will be the the place we have lived the longest, and although I didn't feel the love for Belgium right away, I'm sure when this leg finishes, I'll be very sad to leave. What's next for the Hunkings? If only we knew! We don't know what is in store for us, but we look forward to continuing our adventure as a family.
For those that haven't been to Europe, there is a charm and freedom here that is alluring, that you may not understand unless you've spent a bit of time here. It is hard to explain, but when you've got the crap storm of US presidential candidates, anywhere seems more appealing. Can I get an AMEN!? It's years like this, that make living in Europe that much sweeter. No campaign adds, or 24/7 coverage of what is undoubtedly a complete mess. I don't do politics, so I'll stop right there. I mean I think we can all come to an agreement that indeed, it is a bonafide crap storm, and countless Europeans remind me of it, the moment they hear I am American. I wonder if I can call myself European at this point to avoid this. Slap on a British accent and call it a day? Maybe American-European? Meh.
Also to note: in Europe, men and women casually share bathroom space. You may have to pay to use that bathroom, but chances are it is clean, probably done so by someone of the opposite sex. I'm just going to leave all that right there.
In other news,
The school year is wrapping up, finally. 8 more days to wake up for school. 8 more days of packing lunches, 8 more days of a 1st grader and preschooler. Then a few days to prep and pack for our Summer in the states, which will undoubtedly be filled with friends, family and fun.
So Happy 5 Years of Living in Europe to us, and at least 2 more!
THEN: Off to Milan!
NOW: Living in Belgium, visiting Ghent.