Wow, I guess since April 2012 a lot of things have happened, well maybe not a lot, but some significant ones. It was very sad to see my parents leave last year after their first trans-atlantic trip to come see us here in California and I think about it a lot still. But soon after my sister came to visit us as well and that was fantastic. I have been to Germany twice since then. For Christmas, and then for my Nephew's first birthday, which was a surprise for most and totally awesome! Champy came to Germany with us for Christmas since he wanted to experience a real winter and see his girlfriend again, who by now is a lot bigger than him. We spent New Year's in Paris, France, with another dear friend of ours and had the time of our lives eating French Croissants in French-Land. Starting the year off a little later than planned I think it is pretty safe to say that work is going great, if not even fantastic. I could not have a better team to work with and I love every moment of it (except getting up at 4.30am maybe, but hey I wear yoga/pajama pants to work EVERY DAY). Of course I had to pledge allegiance to the state of California with the L.A. Lakers for Aaron's birthday and made a not so pretty but tasty vanilla cake with frosting (as requested) for his special day. Anyway, I had originally planned to go to Germany for Jonesi's birthday but somehow got into gear too late and didn't like any of the flight options the magical world called the internet gave me. Long story short, awesomest parents ever stepped in (with no option for any discussion form me) and Jonesi, dad, mom and I made a pact not to tell anyone and have it be a surprise. Of course that did not work out and we decided to tell my sister like four weeks before my travel date. It was so awesome. My nephew is so great, I am totally in love with that little chunky ball of joy. Mom and Dad bribed my sister-in-law and my brother to go on vacation so I could spend an entire week(!) with that little munchkin. Oh, I get sad just thinking about it. I still get kisses on the iPad when we have our more or less weekly baby-dates on one of those fabulous apple devices. This month also marked my "90 calendar days before my 5-year anniversary immigration date"-date-day. First of all, my goodness, have those (almost) five years flown by. Secondly, I officially sent off my application for U.S. citizenship last week and am waiting on the instructions from the USCIS. Anyway, first I found out (on accident) that my motherland introduced a new "law" that German citizens who wish to obtain another/second citizenship have to have special permission from the German government to stay German. That application was more time-consuming and document-finding than any other application I have yet had to fill out since my GC application in 2008. Either way, totally worth it. I love Germany, totally German that I am, I got permission to keep my German in me (officially) and also switch it up and officially say "y'all" as an (not quiet yet) American citizen, jk. So right now I am waiting on my case number and an invitation to go somewhere for my fingerprints. Next step will be interview and then ceremony, turn in GC and apply for my passport and I will be official. Not that bad, right? Well, considering what kind of a person I am (impatient at times, planning ahead in ridiculous time-frames and a little itzybitzy tiny bit controlling at times) this will be a piece of cake. Oh, did someone say cake? Thank goodness next week is Thanksgiving!!