Here's how it went:
British Embassy (Monday, via email): um, we opened your application just now. We'll let you know what our decision is tomorrow.
British Embassy (Tuesday): [nothing]
Us: eek! Something's gone terribly, terribly, wrong. We're stuck in Utah forever. We'll lose our jobs. We'll be here for months. Everything's ruined!
British Embassy (Wednesday, via email): your visas have been approved and UPS is bringing them to your door.
Us: booyeah! Our visas are here! It's a miracle! Let's call to reschedule those flights. Hello, Northwest?
Northwest: Reschedule flights? Not a chance. Call Delta. No wait, call Air France. They won't help? Alright, if you insist, let's see what we can do. Hm, looks like we can reschedule your flights for $450 but you'll have to call us back later. [Later.] Actually, it'll be
$1200. Don't complain. No you cannot speak to a manager. Well if you're going to get all angry about it I'll just charge you $2600 then.
Us: We hate you all! [stamp and cry, then call back for the bizzilionth time]
Northwest: fine. $450 then. Done.
of course this is the condensed version; the real pain and suffering was drawn out over days and days. But this is the perfect example of why I actually LOVE when bad things get horribly worse, because then when they go back to just bad, it feels so good! We only have to pay $450! Oh goodie goodie! We're flying home Sunday.
Let's look at some pictures now! How bout it?
Our magnum opus we made yesterday in my parents' front yard
We spent many happy hours hanging with ol Ryan
And hurling snow at each other
And riding in cars with kids
We got to go see the Body Worlds exhibit - we stared and stared in amazement
painting a family-themed mural that rocks my parents' basement
And this was so awesome. Since Marc's graduation in England would be family-less and lame, Matt and Kat arranged a surprise graduation ceremony at their house. Complete with Commencement Speaker (see Matt in captain's hat), musical number (we listened to a Beatles song) -- and I got to give the "diploma". Marc's dad made the sweet hat.
The Big Nelson (marc and his 4 brothers) love to swim
Exciting arrival at the front door on Christmas Eve!
Epic neck chop tournament. We'll have to make another post about the infamous NCP.
waffles! yes, real waffles, it's not a dream!
White elephant game at our family party. My grandma's a pretty fantastic bowler so it was appropriate she got this book
Christmas Morning - best two hours of the year!!
My parents got round-trip flights to CHINA from a certain daughter and son-in-law.
What? No, not us. We've shelled out enough to the airlines already.
Cute nephews all excited about blowing out the advent candles
Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days;
that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth;
that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away,
back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!
~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836