To wake up on Christmas morning in our own home, leisurely opening gifts and enjoying time together over cinnamon rolls and hazelnut coffee (or dark coffee in Jeff's case.)
We left in a snowstorm headed north into MN to celebrate a surprise 80th b-day party for my MIL Dec. 23rd ... and well ... I'm just now returning to the blog after 10 days on the road, as I have for the past 12 years, not with my family but with the in-laws. It's been a journey. Which I will spare you all the details and will try to highlight the happier moments (which unfortunately, in my opinion, are fewer.)
The birthday party went well especially considering she hates surprises, her age and birthdays. She does like attention and she got lots of that. It continued to snow throughout our trip which allowed for a very white Christmas. After Christmas Day, we continued North from the Cities into The Great White North "enjoying" more snowfall which all-in-all totaled well over 2 feet!
The highlights of the trip included a lot of ice skating on the plethora of outdoor rinks and downhill skiing with the 2 older boys (Easton's first time! and he did really well!) Brayden is fearless ... which scares me gray!
We returned home on Jan. 2nd leaving in weather that was NEGATIVE 30 degrees (straight temp) and then subtract the wind chill even further and it was nothing less than BRUTAL! In fact our truck (which is a diesel) started gelling up WHILE driving as the intake air was SO cold. Yes, we had let it warm up for over a half hour even! Luckily we made it from Jeff's mom's in the frozen rural tundra of Northern MN into the next big town in order to make an attempt at fixing the problem. We bought some fuel additive and waited and prayed for it to work through the system. We decided to swing through McDonald's for some dollar cheeseburgers while we waited ... which then led to Nolan hurling in the truck all over himself and the carseat. At the beginning of an 8 hours drive this is NOT the smell you really enjoy adding to the car. BUT the time it took for me to clean him up with paper towels, kleenex and wet wipes allowed our truck to warm up enough to get us home worry free.
It was far from the dream Christmas travel, but I was with my boys and Jeff and all in all they were well and happy. To be truthful I am a bit jealous of folks who feel a positive bond with their in-laws, I wish I had that. But for whatever reason, that is not the relationship I will have with them. I pray to be a good MIL someday to my future DILs ... I guess I am learning a lot and with 3 potential DILs someday that is wisdom that perhaps I should be grateful for, even if it comes at a cost. I just hope it's a cost that I can keep to just me.
Since returning home Brayden has endured a nasty flu bug and now Easton was up all night with it. Ug! I think I've had an hour of sleep. But I'm here. Just thought I'd let you all know, in case you were wondering :-)
Christmas was wonderful and it's good to be reminded not to overlook that or take it for granted ... even if it's not exactly the way I may have wanted to picture it. (P.S. It is Jan 11th ... it's taken me about 9 days to detach from the experience and gain this perspective ... please don't be fooled into thinking I'm deeply gracious all the time. I am continuing to grow I guess.)