Mina is coming!

In less than two weeks, my sister will be here to visit.  I’m so excited, I can hardly stand it.  I haven’t seen her (or any of my sbilings, or my dad, or my stepmother) since we left for Austria last April (and I haven’t seen my mom since August) — it will have been nearly a year by the time she arrives.  I miss her terribly.

I can’t believe that she’ll be here so soon!  I’ve been spending a lot of time daydreaming about the fun stuff we’ll do and all the things I want to show her.  I certainly have a list of “important” Vienna destinations, like Schönbrunn Palace, the Hofburg, the Rathaus and Stephansplatz, but there are also a lot of little things special to our time here that I want to share with her, like the playground where the boys like to go, the Starbucks at Michaelerplatz that I enjoy so much, our favorite very Italian pizza place and a couple of other restaurants that we really enjoy.  It’s her first time in Europe, too, so I want to be sure she gets to walk down the narrow, cobblestoned streets, take in an Easter market and sample the variety of delicious confections and pastries that exist so abundantly here.

However, after my friend Pam’s illness plagued visit last month, I’m trying not to get my heart set on seeing or doing any of those things.  I know that whatever happens, we’re going to have a great time, because although I’d love to be a great host and show her all around Vienna, there are really only two things that I consider vitally important to her visit:  that I see her (which, assuming I don’t forget to pick her up at the airport, is pretty much a given) and that she gets to spend time with the kids (again, assuming Dan doesn’t lose them while I’m picking her up at the airport, that part is going to happen pretty definitely).

I have to remember, however, that I am not the only one excited to play host to “Mina” (Benjamin’s name for her, which is what I now call her pretty much all the time).  Benjamin has a pretty packed itinerary, too.  He wants to have a sleepover with Mina, make popcorn with her, have her read him stories, show her how to play “Angry Birds” (I think she already knows, but we’ll let him show her anyway) and have an Easter Egg hunt.  (I think there was one more, which I’ve forgotten — I’d better start writing this stuff down somewhere.)  If I know Benjamin (and I do) the list will shift and change before she arrives, but that’s ok.  I know that what he really wants is her company and her attention, which he shall have.

I think, more than anything, what we all will probably enjoy (Benjamin included) is watching Mina get to know Liam.  He was just 6 months old when we boarded the plane for Austria, and he really doesn’t know our family.  He is in for a treat, because Mina is a wonderful aunt, and I know she will be absolutely charmed by him.  Benjamin — although he’ll have to share Mina with his little brother — is going to love sharing Liam with her.

I can’t wait to see her.  She’ll be here very soon.  We’re all very excited (and trying very hard not to get sick) for her visit.

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