July42013

Meeting the newest cousin arrival at just 3 days old.. Sweet little Lauren Daphne Liddell!

12AM
Happy 4th of July Eve! So excited to be back in the States for my first 4th in two years… 

Man it’s been an incredible week or so with the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup, my brother and his wife’s amazing wedding, the birth of my new beautiful cousin Lauren on Monday and now the 4th of July/my grandpa Charlie’s birthday! 

Marathon of awesome events and keeping it going with my dad’s birthday on the 10th, an upcoming high school friends trip to lake Geneva the following weekend and then making my way down to ATX…

Something like 13 days until I eat my body weight in BBQ and Tex-Mex and see all my fav TX people!

Happy 4th of July Eve! So excited to be back in the States for my first 4th in two years…

Man it’s been an incredible week or so with the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup, my brother and his wife’s amazing wedding, the birth of my new beautiful cousin Lauren on Monday and now the 4th of July/my grandpa Charlie’s birthday!

Marathon of awesome events and keeping it going with my dad’s birthday on the 10th, an upcoming high school friends trip to lake Geneva the following weekend and then making my way down to ATX…

Something like 13 days until I eat my body weight in BBQ and Tex-Mex and see all my fav TX people!

June252013
Hanging out in the Amuuuurica library at bed and breakfast after checking out Galena and the adorable restaurant where the rehearsal dinner will be come Friday night.. Good decisions there, Greg and Cerena!

Hanging out in the Amuuuurica library at bed and breakfast after checking out Galena and the adorable restaurant where the rehearsal dinner will be come Friday night.. Good decisions there, Greg and Cerena!

5PM
Just got into Galena, IL to help get everything ready for Greg and Cerena’s big day! Checked into this adorable B&B just in time for “Wine Time” with my awesome Aunt Marcia (seeing for first time in 2 years!) and mama J :)

Just got into Galena, IL to help get everything ready for Greg and Cerena’s big day! Checked into this adorable B&B just in time for “Wine Time” with my awesome Aunt Marcia (seeing for first time in 2 years!) and mama J :)

June242013

Dinner seeing high school friends for the first time and free concert at Millennium Park… Great to be back hanging out with these girls downtown Chicago!

So at this point, I’ve been back about a week and a half… it’s been a whirlwind of wonderful experience and hilarious readjustment packed into that short period of time. I just can’t believe still that it is an end of my Peace Corps Mongolia era and now we’re moving on to next big step… like that in less than 5 days, my brother and his fiance will be married at a beautiful wedding ceremony in Galena, Illinois! After that, it’s a month and a half preparing for grad school at Indiana University….

It was amazing experiencing This Mongolia Life and getting to share it with you all these past two years. Now though, we’ll be moving on to This Grad School Life and for all our sakes, I’m thinking it’s about time to wrap up this operation here on this blog as exciting at a blog about grad school may seem. ha. Just wanted to say thank you to you all for all of your support these past two years and coming on this crazy blogged journey.  Please feel free to contact me if you ever have any burning questions about Mongolia, Peace Corps, and everything in between.

I’ll be posting one or two more posts about my brother’s wedding and maybe any more hilarious readjustment debacles I experience in the next few weeks… just need to get a hold of an amusing sound clip to attribute to WBEZ general manager Torey Malatia :) and that’ll be a wrap!

June192013
smooth transitioning through the Americanized version of hauling water

smooth transitioning through the Americanized version of hauling water

5PM
The omnipresent world conqueror.. Conquered even to downtown Wheaton, Illinois with his Perfect Patron and Corona Rita Specials  :)

The omnipresent world conqueror.. Conquered even to downtown Wheaton, Illinois with his Perfect Patron and Corona Rita Specials :)

June182013

So I got home from Mongolia around 1am in the morning to unpack and repack for my brother’s fiance Cerena’s bachelorette weekend in Nashville, TN.After a few hours of sleep, my mom drove Cerena and I to the airport only to discover the flight had been canceled. But that wasn’t going to stop us from getting our bachelorette party on!

We caught the next flight to Knoxville, TN and drove a rental car over to Nashville to meet the rest of the bridesmaids for a great weekend going out downtown Nashville and to Cerena’s sister’s boyfriend’s family’s (follow that one?) cabin for boating, tubing, wake boarding, four-wheeling, bonfiring and smores, great food, and getting to spend some good quality time with the rest of the bridesmaids…

I kept stopping and thinking about how incredibly different my life had become from that last Mongol day to this bachelorette weekend… well besides the bonfire making. Really couldn’t have asked for a better first weekend back. So excited for my brother and Cerena’s big day in just 11 days!

9PM
12PM
Our family dog seems to have enjoyed the Mongolian dried goat meat I totally forgot was stashed in my luggage that just arrived from Sunday night after hanging out in Beijing airport since I left Wednesday… I walked into the room, took one whiff of the meat and was instantly back in my ger in Mandalgovi… crazy how close sense of smell can be to memory. Mongolia sure has some pretty specific smells! Missing my Mongol family and friends right about now..

Our family dog seems to have enjoyed the Mongolian dried goat meat I totally forgot was stashed in my luggage that just arrived from Sunday night after hanging out in Beijing airport since I left Wednesday… I walked into the room, took one whiff of the meat and was instantly back in my ger in Mandalgovi… crazy how close sense of smell can be to memory. Mongolia sure has some pretty specific smells! Missing my Mongol family and friends right about now..

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