Sunday, September 27, 2015

Day 1

Hi guys!

As you can see from the title, today was my first day in New Jersey!!! YAY! It was one big emotional rollercoaster for sure.

I don't want to talk too much about the whole 'having to say goodbye at the airport' thing because I really don't want to relive those emotions. It was so hard. I would even say that it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Once I was past the part where I had to say goodbye to my family (yes Maren is family too), I was ok for a little bit. But then I got to the security part, they pulled my backpack aside and had to check it and it took forever. It stressed me out so much because I knew I wouldn't have any time at the gate before we would start to board. And I really didn't need that stress on top of all the other emotions. Then when they finally let me go, I looked for my american passport because it wasn't in the spot where I usually put it, but I just couldn't find it. I was sure the stupid lady who searched my backpack took it out and kept it or something. It's not like that hasn't happened before with important documents in our family (hint hint Nikki). I just pictured calling Mom after only 20 minutes of being by myself to tell her I had lost it. But then I decided to just ignore it and started rushing to the gate. Once I was there, I had 15 minutes to go to the restroom, buy myself something to drink and take my entire backpack apart. Ahh my passport was there! Thank goodness!

Boarding, taking off and flying was the easiest thing ever. I was able to sleep for 3 hours, watched Mall Cop 2, started watching Harry Potter (like I've never seen it before), watched the Friends episode where Ross is "Fine!", watched an episode of The Middle... listened to Welcome to New York a LOT... Oh and I had my very first ice cream on a plane. Altogether, the flight was what calmed me down after all the excitement at the airport. Thank god there was hardly any turbulence at all. It was a perfect flight. During our landing I could see the New York skyline in the distance and for the first time that day I started crying happy tears. I was in New York. This was really happening. You don't know how surreal everything felt.

I got off the plane, went through customs, got my luggage, went through border control and then I was outside. I looked around but couldn't see my host family anywhere. I started walking up and down the airport, thinking I was in the wrong place, but finally decided that where I came out was the only International arrival spot there was. So I just waited a little, knowing I was early. Finally I just went outside and called my host dad (Yeah I probably could've done that earlier! Haha!). They were actually just right around the corner. Meeting them was such a big relief. They were so so so nice. The kids were super cute and excited. The drive to Denville took us probably 30 minutes. The nature here is so unbelievably similar to home. I guess I'm not used to normal trees and hills here in the US. All I'm used to is palm trees, ocean and flat land. So that was a pleasant surprise. It felt so familiar somehow. When we drove through Denville, I fell in love. I'm so sad I couldn't take pictures because I would've loved to share them with you right now already.

Denville is the smallest little cutsie town you have ever seen. Little shops on the left and right, trees, parks, classic american houses everywhere. When we drove up to our house, you should have seen my face. It is so beautiful here!! I will make sure to take pictures tomorrow! We arrived and they had 'Welcome home' balloons on their front door. So sweet. Then, Alisa and the girls showed me the entire house. It is really really nice!! My room is so cozy! I love it! Afterwards, the two youngest girls, Evie and Ellie wanted to show me the outside parts so we went into the backyard and they showed me their trampoline and everything. Then, the three of us walked down the road to the lake where they have this little beach area. Because we walked on the street, I had too hold Ellie's hand and I could already see myself as Nanny Julie. When we got home, I gave them their presents (german games and sweets). Everybody loved the chocolates, and together with Ellie and Evie, I played some of the games I brought. Soon we ate dinner (Tacos yuumm). Oh and I also met the grandparents who were the nicest people ever. After dinner, I went upstairs to have some quiet time and unpack. All this time I was close to crying, just because it felt so real. How could I possibly stay in this family for an entire year? How could I not see my family for so long? But as soon as I had unpacked my suitcases, it already felt a little tiny bit more like home in my room. After her bath, Ellie came into my room and we kinda played/ talked (however you talk to a 5 year old) for quite a long time. She was so adorable. Soon Evie came in too and we just spent the rest of the evening in my room together. First the two of them had a blast sliding around my room with my fuzzy socks on. Then, Ellie got kinda tired so she snuggled into my bed while Evie entertained us with different sketches and commercials she thought of. I can only say..  Noseapillar. I don't know how Evie prefers to spell it, but she invented the caterpillar hanging from a nose: The Noseapillar. It was genius. We really bonded in that hour or two and it made me feel so much happier. If I could bond with them after only a few hours, I could only imagine what it must be like in a few months. And it's clear that I'll be spending most of my time with the two youngest ones. The two older ones definitely like to keep to themselves, which I totally get.

Now it's 10pm and I'm laying in my super comfortable bed. I'll probably fall asleep in 0.2 seconds after posting this post. I am so glad that I had such an amazing first day. Even though it was super hard and I had to shed a tear every now and then, I'm really proud of myself. I know it will be super hard for the next weeks or months. I just hope it keeps getting better and better. We'll see what life brings my way.

Hugs and kisses!


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