Monday, December 28, 2009
Christmas 2009 and the 6 days of Christmas
At the last minute we were able to get tickets HOME for Christmas!!! We were so glad to be able to go home, but it was a short whirlwind trip to visit all the family and friends we could!
To the left is our little Charlie Brown tree, but if you put enough ornaments on it, it looks alright. And we were obviously packing for the upcoming trip to Michigan on the 21st when this was taken.
We woke up early on the 21st for our trip to take the dogs to Heather and Mary's houses and then drove to the airport to park. We actually made it to the airport early and had time to grab some breakfast before boarding the plane. Our flight was uneventful and we landed early in Detroit; we were not so lucky on the flight home.
We spent the remainder of the 21st and 22nd with Josh's family. We were so happy that some of our friends went out of their way to visit us at Peggy's house;Brian, Hosha and Erica. It was great to see everyone again, even thought we were just here in September for a visit.
Aleecia has grown even more and talks a lot more, she just turned 2. The rest of the nieces and nephews are getting big, some are teenagers, crazy! This makes us feel old. But Josh had a great time wrestling and playing with the kids, Josh is the biggest kid himself; we also went bowling at the persistence of Alex. That was a fun evening, it has been years since I last bowled, and I am just as bad as always. Josh beat all of us every game...argh the bragging he got to do.
The next morning we were up early to go to my parents house for the Maher Christmas. We arrived before 9am and helped my mom get things around (sort of) for the festivities later that evening. My good friend Robin and her two boys Gideon and Orien came to visit us, it has been over 2 years since I have seen her and I miss her so much!! My sister and Cody came around 3:30 and we sat around and talked with them until company started coming around 5. Laura didn't know we were staying until the 26th, and she thought this was the only day she was going to see us, tee hee!
The Maher Christmas was lots of fun, as always! My cousins get older and it's great to talk to them about their lives and accomplishments :) My cousin Amanda is talking about a backpacking trip through Europe and her brother Jim has a really awesome girlfriend Noc who I really enjoy talking to. Meghan, the closest cousin to me in age has two children Jenna and Kyson who are getting so big! Those two kiddos are hilarious; the last time we saw them was in 2007 when we were home and Kyson was an infant. And I am always impressed by my cousin Courtney who is a senior this year in high school considering going to school at WMU next year.
As always, the evening flew by and I barely got to talk to everyone for a few minutes. We said goodbye's and went to bed to get up and do it all over again on the 24th, Christmas Eve. The best part of the Maher Christmas was hanging with my sister, she gave me her gift to me that night because she didn't know that we were surprising her and staying through the 26th! So I was tickled the entire night we were going to surprise her.
We had breakfast at my parents house on the 24th and as always dad gave me a bunch of books to take with me, so I was stocked up for a few months. Mom made a great breakfast, we packed up and were on our way again.
Next we visited Steve's house, who is Josh's step-dad and his family Lori, DJ, and Kaylee. Kaylee had just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and she had spent a lot of time in Bronson hospital in November. It was good to see her looking happy and healthy! I always enjoy going to their house; both Steve and Lori always make us feel at home and are so glad to see us.
We were able to spend a few hours at the Brenke house before we left to go to Peggy's for Christmas Eve, plus we wanted to stop at Josh's cousin, Gina's house on the way to Peg's... whew!
When we lived in Michigan, we spent a lot of time hanging out with Josh's cousin Gina and her husband Joe, but we haven't been very good at keeping in touch with them while living in Colorado. Mostly because Josh and I both don't often talk on the phone, and they didn't have email. Now they are on facebook and we were able to reconnect with them. I was really glad to see them both and their daughter Kailey, who we only saw once as an infant. They now live in Hillsdale, in a cute house they inherited from Joe's gramma. I think Kailey, Jenna and Aleecia would all be good friends, all three of those girls are very girlie and love princesses, dress up, shoes and all things girl :)
After a short visit with Joe and Gina we headed over to Josh's mom's house for their family Christmas, which is always celebrated on Christmas Eve. All of the Shawn Mason family was there, Josh and I, Miranda and Aleecia. There was a lot of Wii bowling, I wish I was as good at regular bowling as I am at Wii bowling . We got Peg a wireless print server for Christmas that Josh couldn't get to work. Josh spent hours on it, and it never connected to the router. That was a bummer! She had to send it back.
The Shawn Mason family said their goodbye's and all left early on Christmas Eve; we spent the rest of the evening with Aleecia, Miranda and Peggy playing Wii bowling. I am starting to like the Wii a bit, maybe someday we can get one.
On Christmas morning we had to get up early to drive to Kalamazoo to my sister's house for the Bob Rainey family Christmas, then drive to Newaygo for the entire Rainey family Christmas. We said our tearful goodbye's to Josh's mom and got in the car for the drive.
My sister didn't know that we were going to be at her house for Christmas, so it was really fun to surprise her!!! I love surprises! She was in the bathroom when we came into the house and when she opened the bathroom door and walked out she spotted Josh! yay! fun! It was great to have the whole family together on Christmas morning! Dad had tagged all of his gifts to mom with funny things like; To: Ma From: sled Jockey. It was pretty comical! She got lots of gifts from Rite Aid, haha! (they got a computer as their gift to each other).
After eating a yummy breakfast cooked by dad on Laura's new griddle, we got back into the car for the 2 hour drive to Newaygo. We arrived first at the Doug Rainey family house and shortly after us everyone else came too!
My grandparents also didn't know we were going to be here for Christmas and just before we walked in the door my sister did her best "shocked gramma" impression and it was spot on when Gramma walked in the door and saw Josh and I. The Rainey family is blessed with such wonderful roots, my grandparents are some of the most interesting & amazing people that I know and I love them so much! After everyone arrived the festivities started! Each time we are home with our family everything picks up where we left off and it feels like we see each other all the time, rather than just once per year. Again, we had great food, wine and conversation. My cousins are getting so big, and now there are two family dogs, Fred and Ella who celebrated Christmas with us. I love having dogs around, they make everything more fun! One of my favorite things about the Rainey Christmas's is hanging out on the deck outside with my uncles and sister and talking. This is a great photo of Tim and Laura outside! ---->
The next morning we woke up, had breakfast and packed up to head to the airport. Due to the festivities the night before, the next day was pretty brutal for me, then our flight was delayed and eventually after being de-iced during the blizzard, took off and landed just fine. We didn't get home until 9pm after picking up two very excited dogs who were very glad to see us. It was such a great trip and we were so glad we made it home. Happy New Year! Here are a few more photos from the trip.