Saturday, December 26, 2009

What a Merry Christmas!

The last week has been a whirlwind of activity, starting with a trip down to Ohio to see my parents and brothers, along with their families. Sandy, Greg and I started out early in the morning by dropping off the van at the Detroit Airport before 7:00 am in preparation for Jason and his family's arrival later in the afternoon. Then we went to an early church service close by the airport before driving down to Ohio.

We met everyone for lunch and the went to check into the hotel before heading over to my parents. It was great to see the family together as it has been a few years. While there we were all waiting for Jason to arrive as everyone but my mom knew they were coming.

Jason drove straight down after their flight arrived in Detroit around 4:30. We had my mom talking to Jason on the phone when he walked through the front door. What a scene, it reminded me of something out of a TV commercial you see around the holidays. For Jason's wife and kids it was their first time meeting most of the family other than my mom and dad. In spite of them starting the day at 2:00 am the kids and parents were still in good spirits.

We got back together in the morning before we headed back home, leaving Jason and crew to spend some more time with their little seen relatives and then they headed back to our place. We were looking forward to spending a few days and Christmas together before they would leave to visit Emily's relatives in Indiana.

Our house instantly became much more active, noisier, and festive once they got in. Having little ones around at Christmas just adds to the excitement of the holiday. but I think since the kids were so young that the grown ups may have been more excited than the children.

We weren't able to get to do everything we wanted during their short stay but we did get in a visit to Santa as well as a trip out to a former co-workers place to let the kids get on a horse back ride. We also were fortunate to spend an evening with our good friends the Scurr's. My new camera definitely got a workout over the past week.

We went down to the midnight mass on Christmas eve which means that the service was over at around 1:00 am and then we visited at the church and then took a slight detour on the way home through Rochester to see the Christmas lights. We did not make it back to the house until 3:30 in the morning.

Sandy and Jason stayed up even later and didn't get to bed until around 7:00. Fortunately the kids slept in and we didn't get up until 10:30 or so. I think that is the latest I have ever started opening presents. I have a feeling as the kids get older it may be harder to sleep late.

We took our time unwrapping gifts and were surprised to hear a knock on our door. One of Jason's friends stopped by with his family to visit. Nate had been one of the ushers at Jason's wedding and we hadn't seen his new family for a while.

After they left we resumed where we had left off but I don't think we finished unwrapping until 2:30 or so. it's not that everyone was loaded down with gifts but I think we were moving at a reduced pace due to the lack of sleep. The kids were well behaved and had to be reminded from time to time that there were more presents to open; they were busy playing with those already unwrapped.

Sandy cooked a fabulous leg of lamb and we were plenty hungry, most of us had not eaten much during the day but had instead munched on baked goodies and washed it down with lots of coffee. Sandy's home made ice cream roll topped off the meal. In spite of being tired we stayed up late, knowing that they would be leaving the next morning.

This morning Sandy mad gingerbread pancakes and sausage to provide a going away meal for the travelers as well as those staying behind. All too soon it was time for them to pack up and leave for Indiana. Fortunately Jason will be back next week before flying home and Emily will be up with the kids in a couple of weeks. Even though we would be seeing them again soon it is always tough to say goodbye.

The house really seemed quite once they left. But tonight Sandy and Greg were laughing hard as they played video games and watched episodes of Frasier. Life goes on.

While Jason was here I didn't really get in any training but got out for a while today. The rain had washed away a lot of the snow but it also left behind a lot of ice. Thank goodness for studded tires. There is some snow falling now so maybe it will cover the bare spots to make everything look fresh again. With another week of vacation yet to go I plan on riding as much as possible and hopefully get to XC ski as well except we may need to head north.

I tool so many picture and videos this past week that I could post a new one every day for over a year. But instead, I will probably post a few every day for a while, to showcase the week that just was.

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