Well we made it home alive. We JUST missed the crazy snowstorm that has ravaged the northeast, and I woke up this morning to a winter wonderland. It has been a long week of Christmas events and activities, visiting and catching up with everyone. It's an exhausting week every year, but I'll tell you this--when I get home, I find myself thinking about how lucky I am to have such wonderful family and friends.
Every year is a bit of a cluster-F, I'll be honest. It started the night before we left, with a bit more than a slow panic when I realized I had not finished my shopping. (I actually still went home with less than I anticipated, but wound up finding even better gifts there.) K and I trekked out into the wilderness that is the Friday night before Christmas shopping, elbowed our way through the crowds and made it out with minor cuts and scratches. When we returned home, I realized that I hadn't packed my bags yet, and even though I desperately needed sleep, I had to get that done first. I am SO crazy about flying that I NEED to be prepared hours (or days) in advance so that I don't have a full-on breakdown when we get up in the morning. K knows this, and though he is a bit of a procrastinator normally, he eagerly packs his bags no matter how crazy early it is, just so that he doesn't have to deal with the aftermath of my panic in the morning. (It usually involves screaming, sometimes crying, and him consoling me.)
The next day went fine, we made it to the airport and home to the mitten in plenty of time. We had my Dad's party the first night, and we got to see many friends and family members that we hadn't spent time with in quite awhile. It was really wonderful. We wound up staying until around 4am, talking with my cousin who we hadn't spoken to in many years because of the family rift. And I will tell you that it was one of the most wonderful Christmas gifts I think we could have given my Dad. He sat in the chair listening to my sister, my cousin, K and I talking, and positively glowed watching us catch up.
After spending time with my Dad's side of the family, we spent the next few days with my stepbrother, stepdad and Mom. We got to see my brother's new apartment and oogle his new TV (he just moved back to the mitten from TX). It was great to see he and his girlfriend, who is such a sweetheart. We laughed, karate-chopped and punched each other, with the occasional hug slipped in. He's a total goof, and we always have a good time when he's around. We spent the night laughing and talking with our parents and enjoying all being in the same state, it was awesome.
We did lunch with my aunt and uncle, a night at the bar with some of our best friends, and ended the week with a wonderful Christmas dinner with family and friends. It was so great to see everyone, and though we were ready to collapse when we got home yesterday, I look back and think how lucky we are to have been able to spend the week with so many wonderful people. I hope you all had a wonderful time with your families too!