Boy, does time fly when you’re having fun. Here I was, all talking about skipping Thanksgiving and moving on to Christmas, and we’re already halfway through January.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram have an idea of what we’ve been up to. For the rest of you, here goes nothing.
So…Christmas! We did end up skipping Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for that. (ha ha ha!) It was good not to have all that planning and cooking stress, although I will say that I did miss it a little. So I made a pumpkin pie (two, actually) and called it a day and happily brought down 5 boxes of Christmas decorations from the attic.
We spent the first 14 days here, and they were as busy as ever – a couple Christmas parties, a few trips to the Christmas markets (but fewer than in previous years), and activities as usual and before we knew it, we were flying to the States. We took a crazy route this time and the flights over went surprisingly well, considering it was our first long-distance flights with two kids and that our trip started with delayed flights. The way back would be much more complicated, and THAT is the understatement of the year, but perhaps best reserved for its own blog post, although it’s almost too much to write out and I think that in the long run, I would rather forget the details of how awful things went. Hah!
It was very exciting to see my family again. My nieces are now 5 and 2, and Theo was excited to see Grandma & Granddad again and play with all the new, fun toys at their house. My mom had decorated the entire house for Christmas, and it was just cozy and magical and no matter how long I am away (1.5 years this time), stepping back into the house I grew up in still feels like home. I know where every creak in the floor is, or what it feels like to walk out from my room to the kitchen. (The only thing that totally threw me for a loop for the entire two weeks we were there, though, is that they moved the trash can!)
A few days after our arrival, it was time to start Peter’s wedding festivities. Theo stayed home while the rest of us attended the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The next day, Theo made a very adorable ring bearer and, with joyful tears in my eyes, I got to watch my best friend get married. It was a lovely celebration and I am so thankful to have been there for it. Congratulations, Peter & Julia!
(Not the most flattering picture of my mom…trust me, she was very excited to have us here! haha)
Avi fell in love with his Grinch that my Gram gave him
Avi’s first thrift store shopping experience
Here are a few from Christmas Eve – and because I’d rather have it done than perfect, I just took pictures of Tobi’s computer screen with my phone. 😉
Then we had a lovely Christmas celebration with my family. Unfortunately, I felt nauseous all day long, and Avi barfed a little bit, too, but was otherwise normal. There were tons of presents and Theo really enjoyed opening all his new toys. It was a lovely day. We had breakfast in the morning, then opened stockings, and then opened the presents under the tree. The kids took naps, and when they had woken up, we drove over to my aunt and uncle’s house for Christmas part 2.
On the way home, we drove through the Winter Lights Festival at Watkins Park. I had remembered going there as a kid and wanted to do it again, and it was free on Christmas Day. We got in there on the way home, right before they closed for the evening. It was a lot of fun, although an overtired Theo fell asleep in the car and missed the whole thing.
There wasn’t much time left after Christmas, as we were (supposed) to fly out on the 27th. We missed our flight and flew out on the 28th instead. Oy.
Anyway, we had a few days to wind down from our travels and try to get back onto some semblance of this time zone, and celebrated New Year’s Eve as usual with our church friends. We ate raclette, watched Dinner for One (as is the custom here), sang songs, and shot off fireworks at midnight and toasted 2017 with champagne. It was lovely. And Theo was so into the fireworks! He especially liked the crackers (Knallerbsen). Next year we will have to get him some of his own.
And that’s all for 2016!