I keep wishing there was a way to go back and post date things so that I could write about all the things that have happened in the past months, but didn't. I asked Tyler about that and he said, "That's not the point of blogging". Thanks Tyler! I'll try to be more timely and prompt about my blog posts this year...smile!
We just got back from three wonderful weeks in the States for Christmas. My mom and dad gave us the gift of flying to be with them for the holidays this year. It was the first time we'd spent Christmas with them since 1994...Claire was just 2 months old then! She's a lovely teenager today, and I must say...it was ever so much nicer to fly with all three teenagers than it was 13 years ago with babies and toddlers!
Dave joined us a week later and we had an incredibly special time in Oregon over the holidays. It's hard to say what was best or most special...how do you compare a Starbuck's Gingerbread (non-fat!) latte with a DQ Hawaiian blizzard (uh...not so non-fat...)??!! I mean...there are just so many different tastes, let alone experiences, to be had in America - especially at Christmas!
But some of the highlights were:
- Of course, time with my mom, dad and brother, Mike! It was wonderful to be with them for three whole weeks!
- Christmas shopping in the mall (complete with great classic Christmas music!)
- Starbucks...and did I say Starbucks?? Ahhh...the lattes were wonderful! Thanks Dad for the gift card!!
- A Charles Dickens tea with my mom at her friend's Victorian house (five courses of incredible food along with a reading of "A Christmas Carol"!)
- Picking out a Christmas tree at the lot, just like my family did when I was little!
- The Nutcracker ballet with my mom and Claire
- Taco Time (an Oregon classic...you have to eat there to know how much better than Taco Bell it is!)
- Papa Murphy's do-it-yourself pizza...love it!
- Driving around to see Christmas lights...my oh my! It's an art in America!
- The kindness of the clerks, waitresses, nurses, doctors, flight attendants and people of America!
- Parties with relatives...went to a family Advent evening that has been taking place in our family for 45 years! It'd been a few years since I'd last been there...like maybe, 30!
- Starbucks on the University of Oregon campus...oh, did I already say Starbucks??!!
- Being at Laurelwood, my home church in Vancouver WA, having lunch afterwards with many dear people
- A beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve service on the 23rd at my friend Michelle's church in Portland - one of the most moving services I've ever been to
- Red Robin after that service and time with Michelle and her parents, Jim and Jan - long time friends of ours
- Doing ceramic painting with Claire and my mom
- After Christmas sales!!! Nobody does 'em better than in the States!
- Going to the movies for $.50! Yes, that's fifty cents!! Awesome price! Saw "The Game Plan" - highly recommend it! Cute movie!
- New Year's Eve at my mom and dad's watching "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve Party"! I've been watching that since I was a little girl!
Of course there are loads of other special memories from this Christmas, but as Tyler reminds me...blogging is not writing about all the details, just the highlights, the tidbits, and snippets of life along the way!
It feels nice to be back home with all of these memories tucked away in my heart and mind as we roll into the New Year!