Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Barf-free New Year!

We made it out of Arizona on December 7th and had an adventure driving 2800 miles across the country through snow and ice to Georgia and then Virginia.  We have been staying with my sister-in-law and this was our first Christmas since 2004 that we spent with family.  It's been great but I sure do miss celebrating the holidays in my own home... especially since we got the stomach bug for Christmas this year.  The nine of us are sharing one bathroom.  It wasn't pretty.

This move has been just as crazy and fun as our previous moves.  We spent a beautiful, cold night in snowy Albuquerque and drove miles over solid ice in Dallas.  Jason helped push a stranger's truck off the ice in Oklahoma and we slept in the van at a rest stop in Georgia when I just couldn't stay awake to drive another mile.  We made our familiar trek up I-95 to get to Virginia and had fun stopping at our "usual" stops along the way.

On December 20, we finally laid my grandfather to rest after he passed away back in early August.  Arlington National Cemetery is so beautiful at this time of year.  The ceremony was nice and our family all gathered after the service to have dinner together at the officer's club on Ft. Meyer.  It was the first time I have seen all of us together in years.  My brother was notably absent (he works for the post office now and couldn't get away) but it was still a great evening.

After the dinner we headed downtown to see the White House Christmas tree and stop for coffee in Georgetown.  We may be crazy to take seven kids into the city on a Friday night but we had lots of help from family that came along.  It was a perfect night.

Amelia was baptized on Sunday and we have spent the last two weeks driving around northern Virginia to visit family.  We drove past some of our old houses and showed the kids the park in the mall parking lot where Jason and I were married.  (We eloped and had a Justice of the Peace marry us in the parking lot of the mall where we'd met.  Long, crazy, fun story.  We never had a "real" wedding.)  The kids saw Santa at the same mall where Matthew first sat on his lap eleven years ago.
After looking at this picture, you'd think the big boys were not into the Santa visit this year.  In reality, they still wanted to tell Santa about their Christmas lists but didn't want to smile. When Christmas Eve arrived, they were the first ones to change into their matching Christmas jammies.  I have been reassured by friends that we may still have a few more years of willing participation in our little Christmas traditions.  I hope they're right.  I'm not ready for my big boys to be that big yet.

We still have a few more days here in Virginia before we head south to Georgia.  Here's to hoping that this awful stomach bug is completely gone before we all pile into the new van to drive another 500 miles.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I'm wishing you the best in 2014!
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