To say I was ready for a vacation would be an extreme understatement. By the 23rd I was counting down the hours until I could be done with work and come home to pack. After 4 hours of sleep I got up at 3:30am on Christmas Eve and Jessica dropped me off at the airport (what a great roommate!) My uncles were flying in at the same time I was so I met up with them and my dad at the airport and was welcomed to Portland by the freezing air that rushes over the walkway to the parking garage. Ahhhh the fresh, brisk air of winter in the northwest. Somehow I always forget how cold it is up there in the winter. We hurried home by way of several stores, picking up last minute Santa goodies. When we got home we were greeted by a rush of not so small anymore children welcoming us home. Everyone was home this year except for Thomas who is on a mission in Colorado Springs.
One of my favorite family traditions is making gingerbread houses. My mom hand makes every gingerbread house and then we all get to decorate one. This year there were a total of 12 houses to be decorated, one for each of us. We spent Christmas Eve day decorating and eating way more candy than is good for anyone. Then that night we went Christmas caroling and delivered houses to friends in the area. It was absolutely freezing for this soft California girl, but it was a lot of fun. I got to see some people I haven't seen in a long time and just spend good time with my family. Here are some pictures of the houses we made. Everyone but David agreed to give theirs away. Maybe next year he'll be old enough to want to give his away!
***For some reason I can't upload my pictures right now, so look for gingerbread house pictures in the next post!
Christmas day was fun as usual. The kids got up at who knows what time, but I stayed in bed until 7:30 when David was just dying to be able to open his presents. Somehow I neglected to take any pictures on Christmas, so the gingerbread houses will have to do for now. It was nice to just be able to hang around the house and have fun with the family. We also go to talk to Thomas. We only got a few minutes each but it was great to say hi to him and see how he is doing. He's hanging in there right now. Thomas never says much, but it was fun to talk to him anyway. Mom delighted us the whole weekend with a gastronomical feast. She seriously is the best cook ever. Between the waffle cones, blueberry coffee cake, delicious ham dinner, berry and cherry pies, mouth watering soups and much much more it was a weekend of constant indulgence.
The rest of the weekend was spent around the house mostly. It was too cold for me to really want to do anything else. I could not have had a better time. It was so relaxing and fun just to hang out with the family. Monday came much too soon and I found myself packing again. This time I wanted nothing more than to not get on that airplane. But I finished packing and we headed up to Portland to see a few sights before my uncles and I headed back to reality. Somehow this year I wasn't excited to come back to LA like I usually am. Maybe I didn't spend enough time away from it or maybe I'm just not that excited about LA anymore. Only time will tell I guess. Even if it was only a few short days break it was great to get that time to see family and also remember the wonderful miracle that Christ's birth brought to each of us. It truly is a season to rejoice.