Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Big Christmas Post

Greetings, family and friends!  Yep, things were suspiciously quiet around here last week, and that was because, after Shaun and Carly went home in August, I had a hankering for more family gatherings and thought, "Wouldn't it be awesome if we stayed with family for Christmas?"

Which, in August, doesn't seem like too big a deal; but, come December and wintry road conditions, is actually a very big deal.  Fortunately, the weather held in our favor (although we were racing a storm on the way to our location) and we were able to travel to and from our families' homes in safety.  I've been able to unpack and unwind enough from the trip now to take some time to glance at the photos taken during the jaunt north, and couldn't resist sharing some with you all.

My dad opened up his very own restaurant this year, and we used our drive up as an excuse to finally take a peek at how he's spending his days:

The grand tour of the kitchen.
The kids were especially intrigued by the enormous dishwasher.

His restaurant is called Tumbleweeds Bar & Grill, and it's located in Mattawa, Washington (or Desert Aire...the town naming is a little confusing).  The food was really, really good, which wasn't surprising at all because I've grown up eating what he cooks.

It was just plain good to see the Ol' Man again.

We traveled onwards to the Seattle area, where we stayed at my aunt's home, and it was so much fun to just hang out with them.  We ate loads of sugar, drank Diet Coke until our hair buzzed, stayed up way too late, and the kids had no shortage of board game partners.  It was just good.

We also spent some time with my mother's side of the family, in the form of attending the big extended family Christmas party and also attending my mom's and my grandmother's homes for Christmas Eve traditions.

While at the big Christmas party, we managed to capture a great FIVE GENERATION photo:

Yes, my children know their great great grandmother.  Isn't that amazing?  I remember how big of a deal my mom and grandmother made all the time while I was growing up about being able to take "four generations" pictures, and now we get to do five generations.

Great Great Grandma is a whopping 98 years old.

Let's take a moment to think about all the things this woman has seen happen in her lifetime--she was a child during World War I, a teen during the Roaring 20's, a young mother during the Great Depression, and still bearing children during World War II because that's how long it takes to give birth to NINE children.

Yeah, I KNOW.  She's amazing.  And when you sit down to talk to her now, she's still "in there."  No foggy mind at all; it's such a blessing to have her here in her entirety.  This lady has some serious spunk.  I adore her.

Santa attends our family Christmas party, because we're that awesome, and Monkeyboy was absolutely shocked that the Big Guy brought him a gift.

For Monkeyboy.

Who wasn't at his house.

Who was far away from his house.

Santa found him.

He couldn't believe it.

 My mom took her Grandma duties seriously:

And then there was a day with my bestie, Denise.  And I have no pictures.  Which makes me sad until I remember that there just wasn't any time to take pictures with all the fabric and yarn shopping, the movie-watching, and the waffle eating.  It was a day stuffed with awesomeness.  Oh, I miss my friend!

And then we spent lots of time with Granny and Grandpa Harry.

And the food.

We introduced the Brookelets to the fun that is the game "Apples to Apples," cheered for the Seahawks, marvelled at one of my cousin's ability to put together 1,000 piece puzzles in a single day, and put Michael to work installing electronics.

On the way home we also managed a visit to one of Michael's brothers and enjoyed a nice dinner and quick chat with them before the Brookelets absolutely lost control of their wits and required swift removal from the premises.

Which brings us home, where I took two days to just sit and stare into space and catch up with my life.  Whew!

So yeah, I'm posting about Christmas on New Year's Eve, when everyone else is posting about reflecting on the year and making goals and all that soul-searching stuff.  Apparently I'm a week behind everyone else.  Expect profound posts next week, I'm still grinning stupidly over Christmas.  It was that good.


  1. Yay for Christmas! And I miss you too :)

  2. I love the 5-generation picture! I have just one. My great-grandma passed away at age 98 when my oldest was just 4 weeks old. I'm sad none of my children ever really got to meet her.

  3. Sounds like a beautiful holiday.


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