Ben and I spent the last two weeks traveling and spending time with loved ones for the holidays. First, we visited Ben’s family near Traverse City, Michigan. We played games, worked on a puzzle, made a massive snow turtle in the yard, watched Christmas movies, and ate Ben’s mom’s delicious from-scratch food.
Then on Christmas day, we made the three-hour trek to Kalamazoo, where my family Christmas celebration was in full swing. There we opened presents, played games, watched It’s a Wonderful Life, grazed on goodies, and then landed at my brother and sister-in-law’s (Dan and Kristin’s) house to crash. We spent time with each of my siblings who made it home: toured Isaac’s work and grabbed lunch with him and Sara, visited Nate and Laura’s house where we ate a quick dinner and played a couple rounds of Mad Gab (during which I doubled over laughing) before heading to the theater to see Les Miserables! On our last night in Kalamazoo, our hosts served us Three-Alarm Chili with Cornbread (spicy and spectacular!) and beat us handedly at Trivial Pursuit.
On the way back to Richmond, we stopped in and reconnected with Gary and Janet Friesen, friends from Indiana, and learned about their new granddaughter and Gary’s penchant for bluegrass instrumentation. When our Honda reached Cincinnati, we were warmly greeted by our friends, the Ferrell’s. Julie and Addison, who Ben befriended while attending Duke, had a beautiful little girl last April named Lydia. We had a sweet time visiting with them: playing wizard and 42, eating Graeter’s ice cream (the blackberry chip was unrivaled), stopping in at a local waffle restaurant, watching The Scarlet Pimpernel (sink me!), and talking about how we are adjusting to life’s transitions.
Then, we journeyed back home to Richmond, where we promptly picked up my sister, Amy, from the airport. She stayed with us over New Years! We ambled around the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, went ice skating down town, drank champagne, shopped some consignment stores, drove my commute to work, played several rounds of Scattergories, and swapped updates on life. There is no one who makes me laugh quite like Amy – what a joy she is in my life!
Now we are getting back into the swing of things. Thankful for the break — excited about a brand new year!