Thursday, January 3, 2008

Things I learned on my Christmas vacation!

- I don't like 12 hour car rides nearly as much as I did when I was 20! And it amazes me that it can rain all the way from Ohio to the North Carolina coast for the entire drive!!
- It takes at least 4 days to recover from a 5 day vacation! It would probably take less if I didn't have so much to do once I got home!!
- Time mellows people. It's been 3 years since I've seen my sister-in-law and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that in those 3 years she has mellowed considerably. In fact, I'm down right proud of her new open mindedness and desire to keep the peace.
- Two weeks of lots of sugar and junk food wreak havoc on my body!! I'm still de-toxing from all the sugary treats and am just now starting to feel more normal again!
- I'm not the type to sit around for hours every day without finding something active to do. Thankfully the weather in NC cooperated for most of the time we were there and I was able to take some nice walks.
- Christmas is definitely NOT all about the stuff!! (OK.. this is not something new I learned, but rather something that was reaffirmed in different ways during our vacation.)
- I miss being closer to family, but I'm still not willing to move!

Our Christmas vacation really was very pleasant. We spent 5 days with David's family in North Carolina, and were able to spend Christmas Eve with one of his sisters in Virginia. We had a great time talking and catching up and playing various games ("Catch Phrase" is awesome!! Anyone want to come over and play??!!) We took the kids to an ice-skating rink and had fun watching Aimee and one of her cousins gradually work their way from holding onto the rail the whole way to gaining the confidence to skate freely. We took Aimee up to Williamsburg, VA to stay a day and night with one of her best friends. David took the time to visit with some old coworkers and we stopped at our favorite BBQ place for lunch. We both agreed that as much as we had enjoyed living in Williamsburg, neither of us misses it anymore- a testament to just how truly Cincinnati has become HOME.
On the day before our departure we got the news that David's great-grandmother had passed away. This presented us with an interesting end to our vacation. We ended up caravaning with David's parents, sister and niece as we all drove back to Ohio. (His grandmother was up in Findlay, OH.) We stopped at our house for the night with his sister and niece while his parents finished the drive to Findlay that night. We then drove to Findlay the next morning to be there for the funeral at 10am. Needless to say, 17 hours in a car within a two day period is NOT enjoyable!! I have to admit to feeling pretty out of place at the funeral and gathering- I had only met David's g-grandmother once and have only met most of the rest of his family twice! It was a nice service though and we were able to visit with his grandparents for a couple of hours afterward. I had to laugh when the pastor mentioned during his remarks that he called one of the ladies from the church to ask her to have a meal prepared for the family- because I know that I'm that lady if there's ever a funeral in our ward!! (Quite a shocking thought actually!!)
We were quite happy to have David's sister (Shelly) and his niece (Emily) come back with us and stay for Sunday. And we were even more happy to find that Shelly was willing to attend church with us!! She has been pretty staunchly anti-Mormon for years so we really didn't expect her to join us. She told us afterwards that if it wasn't for the Book of Mormon she would actually attend our church, because she agrees with a lot of it's teachings! WOW! This is such a drastic change in her position on the church that David and I both had to try not to stare! What a wonderful change though!! We are so thrilled at her willingness to look at things in a different way now. The mellowing she is experiencing is a beautiful thing to witness.
By the time they left on New Year's Eve we were beyond exhausted. We did manage to stay up until midnight but then promptly fell into bed! We were literally too tired to even try to make it to any gatherings, so I hope no one has thought we were being anti-social. I've been back almost a week now and I'm caught up on the most important things (RS business, laundry, vacuuming... and now blogging!!) I'm still working on getting back into our normal routine and getting back into the swing of things. There haven't been any breaks since being back so I thought I'd sneak a few minutes on the computer to post this while Aimee works on her homework.
Today, by the way, is Aimee's 14th birthday- Believe It Or Not!! It's hard to believe Aimee's now old enough to go to dances (she can't wait!!) and will be starting seminary next fall (ugh!) It's fun watching her grow and learn and figure out who she is and what she wants in life. We're planning a pizza/movie/slumber party for her and her friends next weekend so tonight was supposed to be a quiet family affair. Unfortunately David's got a spill to go to so it may end up being an even quieter Mother-Daughter affair!! We'll have fun either way!!


chelle said...

Glad your back and it sounds like you had a great vacation...although exhausting (as vacations tend to why do we crave them so badly?!?!) lol
HAPPY BRITHDAY AIMEE!! What a mile stone. Andrew will be 15 on Sun. and STILL hasn't gone to a dance!! Guess girls look forward to them more than the most cases! :D
Hope you have a great mother-daughter night!

Louann and Bari said...

I'm glad you had such a good time with family and friends. But I'm even gladder (YES- gladder!!)- that you're back ----AND THAT blogging is high on your priority list!!!!!! By-the-way, we've played Catch-Phrase and also love it. - Call some time.

Sarah said...

Yuck! We took a lot of trips this season and I agree with your sentiments on car travel. I'd be happy to stay put for about a year after our travels. Hooray for Aimee! I remember my first dance (it wasn't as great as I had imagined it to be!) However, I went on to become a dance-aholic. It is one of those things that I will always remember.

Pampered Princess said...

Catch phrase sounds fun. The driving sounds dreadful. I'm glad you had such a nice time with your family, especially the "mellowing" and the less "anti-Mormony" attitudes.


ANTSYLLI said...

Happy Birthday Aimee (a little late)! I am also glad you are back. Travel like that is very exhausting and when coupled with bad eating and funerals---well lets just not go there.
Oh, and The Man of Steel Leg wants to congratulate Dave on his team--the great Miami Dolphins--decisively winning first draft choice! GO TEAM!!!!

Leslie said...

Great. Now I have six months to dread the thirty-six hour drive to Colorado with two children. Thanks for the reminder.

Seriously, I'm glad you had a nice vacation. That's great about your sis-in-law.

Congrat's Aimee!

Papa D said...

Patty, we have moved cross country with 3 children (MA-AL), three slightly older children (AL-UT), and three even older children (UT-OH) - and we have driven OH-AL with six children. You get no sympathy from me, girlfriend. *grin*

We will play about any card or board game without hesitation. Call if you need sometwo.

Happy Birthday, Aimee. Thanks for being a good friend to Jessica.

Mama D said...

Umm, Papa, that would be *4* kids AL-UT and *4* kids UT-OH, and we've also driven OH-UT with 5 kids. (Not that I'm nit-picking at his comment or anything!)

We received Catch Phrase for Christmas. And Ray is teaching Laura to play Yahtzee... she has the knack of rolling yahtzee's! We love games!

What a wonderful list of things learned on your vacation. It's always good to come back with some perspective.