Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Christmas 2013 Review

Since it is AFTER St. Patrick's Day I figured now was a good of a time as any to finally post about Christmas.

It's been awhile, so I'll go over it all briefly.

We flew home to Washington to celebrate the holidays. Our tickets were purchased in August but when December came around and the completion of Ryan's thesis was on the line we had to make a decision: all of us stay in Ohio? Ryan fly with us? Ryan fly and stay only a couple days? Ryan stay home?

In the end the best solution (but no ideal) was made and I flew to Seattle with the kids by myself, leaving Ryan to focus on school without us.
hanging around to see us off at the gate
iPads... great for traveling with little ones
I split the trip about in half with staying with my family and staying with my in-laws. Since our families live in the same town, I could run back and forth throughout the days depending what was planned.

One outing was with Nana to the Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo.

It was a perfect night to go... not too cold, not raining, and we were leaving right at the big crowds started coming in. Unfortunately, as we were nearing the end of our wanderings Lana went into melt down mode so that kind of put a damper on the fun.
Mt. Rainier
Our other highlight was my brother and sisters and I taking the kids ice skating. Actually just my brother and I took them ice skating. Melissa is pregnant so she was not allowed to skate and LaRetta was still recovering from ACL surgery so she wasn't allowed to skate either.
this is as close as she got to the ice
Aunt Lissa hanging with Will
Now, my brother can skate. He even took a class in college and has honed some sort of skill. This was the second time in my life that I have been ice skating. I didn't fall at all!
William wasn't much of a fan. He did go around the ice twice then happily left for the company of Aunt Retta and Aunt Lissa in the lounge area. Lana, on the other hand, kept going around and around. She LOVED it! After she had seen the Disney on Ice show she had been wanting to try ice skating... and she learned how difficult it was. I think she was disappointed she couldn't do leaps and spins like the professionals.
We had to literally pick her up and carry her off the ice when Mike and I were done... over an hour later.

On Christmas Eve morning we celebrated Christmas with my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law. We were able to Skype with Ryan and opened our presents together.
Then we went to my parents' house and had our Christmas with them.
That evening we drove down to Oregon to celebrate with my extended family. This past Christmas was to be the last big family Christmas with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins because of my grandfather's death in November. From now on the individual families will celebrate on their own and those in the area will still gather for Christmas dinner in the evening.

Christmas morning was fun. Lots of people, like always. It was comforting to be with everyone again. Lana couldn't wrap her head around the fact that all these people were her cousins (though she kept calling them all her husbands). We had our family dinner together. After the kids were in bed my cousin came over to be at the house while my sister and I met up with our brother to see "Walter Mitty" at the theater. This has become tradition: go to the movies after Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner.
 The day after Christmas we travelled down near Portland to visit with my other grandfather.
 Before going back to Washington we made a trip to the cemetery.
Then we also stopped by to see some cousins so the kids could pet their goats and chickens. I also picked up some venison but sadly left it at my mother-in-law's house when we flew home. Oops!
This is where our trip really gets convoluted. It's all a blur in my memory, really. The day after we returned to Washington I made the trip to Port Townsend to visit Ryan's other Aunt and Uncle and cousin (I saw the other half of his family earlier in our visit). While enjoying our time I got a few text messages that my mom was being taken to ER for severe pain in the abdomen. She was hurting before we left Oregon, but thought it was some minor issue... it wasn't.
Turns out it was her gallbladder. It was infected and required surgery to remove it. This came out of no where... she has never had issues with her gallbladder before. Thankfully I was staying with my mother-in-law at that time and she happily snatched up the extra time with the grandkids while I spent a lot of time at the hospital with my family while my mom was admitted.
The day of the surgery was her birthday. What a crappy birthday gift! She made it through surgery well and we had a funny party in her room. Will and Lana even came to participate! I had warned them about how we couldn't really touch Grandma and about all the wires and buttons... Will thought everything was fascinating but I'm glad to say he didn't mess with anything.
The following day she was released from the hospital and we also decided to celebrate my dad's birthday early while we were all in town (their birthdays are like 6 days apart).
he didn't want cake, he wanted a cherry pie
Incredibly early the next morning... like at a completely ungodly hour, the kids and I left to return to Ohio. It was so good to be home and see Ryan again. We missed him.

We rested on New Year's Eve and then on the first on January the 4 of us had our own little Christmas where Ryan was able to open all the gifts from everyone else and our gifts were exchanged with one another. It was a sweet and fun time. Will and Lana love to give gifts and they are at that magical age where Christmas is so real!
So that is our summarized version from our Christmas trip home. We missed not having Ryan with us, but with us gone he was able to get a LOT of work done on his thesis. We were also able to save his ticket that he can use at another time... which actually might be used very soon with orders coming soon.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you got to see so much family over Christmas! I know it would have been even better with Ryan, but I'm glad he was able to get so much work done on his thesis too. Merry Belated Christmas! :)