We were in Washington for the holidays. At first the weather was absolutely beautiful with clear skies, perfect views, and not too cold. Then the days passed and the REAL Washington decided to show up for us. Rain. Overcast skies. Mud. Grey. Blah.
Anyway, we stayed over at my mother-in-law's house. My parents' house was a bit crowded with their exchange student, my one sister, and my brother already there.
Overall the trip was okay. I was a bit annoyed that plans consistently fell through on this trip! We were going to visit Ryan's dad and grandmother on a certain day but his grandmother was busy so we decided to go a different day. Then she wasn't available that day either... and by then Ryan had gotten a cold which nixed visiting his dad (he's in poor health and if Ryan passed on his cold his dad could easily get pneumonia). We planned to spend some additional time with Ryan's one aunt and uncle but the day we had available was the day they were out of town. Urgh. And our plans with Ryan's other aunt and uncle didn't work out because the morning we were to drive up they came down with a yucky sickness that they dealt with even after we returned to Albuquerque. My pans with different friends didn't work out either. I was just frustrated and irked by the whole thing.
We did have some pretty decent Christmases though. We ended up saving our little family Christmas for when we returned to New Mexico... so we celebrated on New Year's Day. Thankfully, family listened to our plea NOT to give the children a bunch of toys so we didn't have to ship boxes back home. We are truly blessed with our families and where we all are in our lives that we can all give to each other. It is always a fun time.
There was some complications with Christmas, though. We knew before we went home that there was a conflict on Christmas day for Ryan's family dinner and my family dinner. After talking with both sides, Ryan's family said they would start their dinner an hour earlier and my family would delay the meal by 2 hours so hopefully we could get to both.
Well, that didn't really pan out.
The dinner with Ryan's family didn't come out right because some people who were supposed to show up at 10 didn't show up until almost noon. That didn't really affect the dinner, but it did affect the socializing. There was some slight set back on the turkey not cooking fast enough... but it turned out good and we were able to eat and talk and even headed out the door ON TIME. I was thrilled!
Then we got to the car.... and Will pooped his pants (he was having some issues that day). I couldn't make him sit for 2.5 hours in the car with poopy pants so I quickly changed that and we loaded up. We ran over to my parents' house (it was on the way) to pick up the kids' coats I left there as well as my keys. Well, the house was locked up and the spare key had not been replaced after its last use so I couldn't get in. Flustered, I returned to the car and continued our drive.
We had to stop briefly to pay the toll for the bridge. Awhile later Will started doing his potty dance and crying saying he had to go pee. I'm speeding along (as much as you can speed in Washington - 5 over) and knew we would not make it to the rest area in time. So we pulled off in Olympia at a gas station where Ryan ran Will inside for the bathroom. I would have just pulled to the side of the road... but it was pouring and we were in a city area so it was easier to make the stop. Then we continue our drive again.
Downpour after downpour. I'm not as used to driving in the rain as I once was... and the downpours were so bad that with the windshield wipers on full you still could not see the road. So that slowed us down quite a bit.
By the time we got to my family dinner in northern Oregon we were an hour late. There was no food left. People were kind of pissed off at me because they held dinner 2 hours so we could be there and then we don't even show up on time. Snarky remarks were sent my way by a number of people.
Oh, and there were about 70 people there... all family.
So that kind of dampened my mood. But then we hung out with my oldest sister and her husband (even crashing at their place) and we had a great time with them. In our almost 7 years of marriage, this was the first time Ryan and Kevin (my sister's husband) ever had the chance to just talk and get to know each other --- and they hit it off.
The next day we were able to spend more time with my sis and bro-in-law and visit my other grandparents then head back to Washington. A few days later we celebrated my mom's birthday... and then people started heading back to their homes.
And that is Christmas in a nutshell. It was nice to be home and visit family and have family spend time with the kids... but it's always nice to be home. As of now we do plan on coming home for the next Christmas as long as finances allow (it's kind of expensive to fly home and we have a move coming up). I'm not sure how or if we're going to do both sides of the extended family for Christmas though. After 3 years of stressing over it and nobody ends up happy... and we're the ones driving all over the freakin' place on Christmas day... I'm not sure it's worth it.
We'll just have to see.