Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010

For years Ryan and I have played with the idea of not going to Michigan for Christmas. We moved away from Michigan in December of 2004. We moved to sunny, beautiful Venice, Florida, when Ryan began law school. After completing his law degree we moved to Miami, Florida - despite my negativity there were some good things about Miami: Audrey was born there, we made some wonderful friends there, they have the most rocking zoo I have ever been to, Pinecrest Gardens, the best smoothy place on the planet at some roadside stand (on the way to Pinecrest Gardens) and Ryan's favorite restaurant ever Pollo Tropical - where Ryan earned his Master of Laws degree. While there we job HUNTED and were offered a position at a law firm in Asheville, North Carolina.

Anyway, we have lived away from Michigan for a long time and the drive that is required to go to Michigan during the holiday season is long - from all three of our locations, it is long. Last year we were unable to travel to Michigan for the holidays due to Audrey's health. 2009 will probably be referred to as the year without a Christmas forever in our family. Why the year without a Christmas? We couldn't go to Michigan, we couldn't be with our family and it stunk. We will never play with the idea of not going to Michigan for Christmas again!

So, we made it. My younger, but much taller brother, Justin, flew down and stayed for a few days so that he could drive up with me and the kids. (Thanks Justin I couldn't have done it without you!) We had a wonderful time. As mentioned in a previous post, this is the first time my family has been together in three years! We aren't very good about remembering to get out the camera so we don't have too many pictures but I will share a few that I do have.

There were many highlights to our trip I will try to hit them

# I was able to attend the Hiatt (my mom's side) family Christmas
- I only wish I had more time especially to talk to my cousins. Addie, you went above and beyond last year with your warm wishes during our difficult Christmas. Organizing everyone to send letters to us was incredible. You are extremely gifted and talented with your crafting abilities and the angel you made for Audrey is fantastic. Thank you. I wanted to tell you all of this in person and failed. Sara, how I wish we had hours to just sit and talk. We grew up together and I wish that our children would have that same chance. Breanna is so much like you both in appearance and attitude!

# Time spent with my family both individually and collectively
- Justin I seriously could not have driven to MI by myself. I am glad for all of the time we had to talk. Soon I think everything will fall into place for you. You are a hard worker and know what you want. Chad, Nathan said he wants to be just like you, what more can I say? I appreciate the love you and Sarah show to all of my children (even though you keep trying to take them). Mom and Dad even after all of these years I feel guilty that you don't get to see the kids more. But the time they spend with you is never wasted. Everyone soaks up the time and love enthusiastically.

# I was able to visit with my great Aunt Linda
- She looks and sounds just like my Grandma. Aunt Linda is my Grandma's youngest sister. I never realize just how much I miss my Grandma until I am with Aunt Linda. When she walked in the door I nearly cried. And even now thinking about my time with her brings about the same emotions.

# Time Nathan and Audrey had to play with Zachary and Alaina
- We went down and spent a day at their house and I honestly never saw them. The cousins were so excited to be together that they occupied themselves and had the best time. There are always tears when we have to leave the cousins!

# Generosity and gifts
- To Ryan's parents: we are so grateful for your generosity - not just this Christmas season. Without your generosity we would have a mountain of student loans, we wouldn't enjoy the beautiful home we have and we certainly wouldn't be able to help others in the way we have been able to. Thank you for a great example.

I hope everyone had the merriest of all Christmases this year!


The McGee's said...

Kids are beautiful as usual--Elysse's look are so different--know you had a wonderful holiday this year--A wonderful 2011 to all of you and hope that we can see you!

Karen said...

It was nice to finally have our whole family together again.
I wish that we took some pictures of the whole family.
Dad and I treasure the memories that we have of our visits. We talk about the Nathan, Audrey and Elysse everyday -- with love and smiles.

Addie M. said...

I just saw this post. Life has gotten crazy and it's no excuse, but I kept forgetting to check your blog. No internet at home, means I "sneak" time at work. Thank you and I'm glad you appreciated. I have to tell you, by the time I finished the angel, I wanted to keep her, haha. I hope she still brings joy.

Addie M. said...

Oh, and if you would just get a Facebook already, it'd be easier to keep up! :P