Though we were frustrated by our change in itinerary and the loss of a day on our trip, there was one advantage - our layover in Atlanta was 3.5 hours, so we had time to visit my aunt and cousin who moved there in the fall from Minnesota. They live right by the airport, so my aunt picked us up, then we grabbed some pizza and went back to her apartment. My cousin Emily, her boyfriend Joe and the kids came over and we had a nice dinner together.
Emily and Timmy...I can't believe he'll be 2 in January!
Shaun with Brynn...she was a little unsure about us. It's crazy how different she looks from the last time we saw her, when she was just about a month old.
After a visit to the roof of their apartment building to watch a few planes land, we made our way back to the airport and had a smooth flight to the Quad Cities. On Monday morning, we went out to breakfast with my mom, stopped by my aunt and uncle's house for a few minutes, and then went to my LASIK followup appointment. The doctor I saw said everything looked good. I'm still seeing halos at night, but he said they still consider you to be healing for the first 3 months, so he's not concerned at this point. After my appointment we loaded up my mom's car and made the 6 hour drive to the Twin Cities - between our luggage and all the presents and food my mom had (plus the dog), it's amazing we all fit into her little Nissan Versa!
Most of the week was just spent relaxing at home. We did make it out to a couple of movies though - Shaun, Laura and I saw Avatar in 3D and it was awesome, and all five of us saw Did You Hear About the Morgans? - which was kinda predictable, but not bad. It started snowing on Wednesday night and didn't stop until well after Shaun and I left on Saturday. Because of that I didn't attempt to make plans with friends, but that was okay, because I really appreciated the time just watching movies and playing games with my family. Laura and I even busted out the VHS tape with a couple of our favorite old-school Christmas specials (A Muppet Family Christmas and A Garfield Christmas Special, complete with 80s commercials!).
Anyway, here was our view on Christmas morning...no dreaming necessary; it was very much a white Christmas.
Stockings for all
Ruby had to put on her Christmas sweater to go outside...it was cold!
Setting the table for Christmas dinner, pretending I'm not paying attention to the photographer (and showing off one of my gifts - a sheer cardigan from my mom)
Never too many pictures of a cute dog
In contrast to our July Minnesota trip where we were constantly running around, this visit was a really nice change of pace. Unfortunately it still seemed to go by way too quickly. It definitely helped though that on Sunday, the day after we got back, we got to celebrate Christmas again with Shaun's family with presents, dinner, and some Catch Phrase.
I'm sure it's common, but I always get a little bummed after the holidays. I have to kind of wean myself off of Christmas music (hopefully by New Year's), and I start to dread the long winter months of January through March. I just have to remind myself of the fun things coming up in the year ahead, like going back to MN for Laura's college graduation in May, hopefully going to Florida for my cousin Amy's wedding over Memorial Day weekend, and some more trips in the late summer/fall if we can swing it. And in the meantime, my big TV season will keep me occupied on the dark, cold winter evenings, with Chuck and American Idol starting the second week of January. It's the little things, right?
I'll probably be back over the weekend with some kind of 2009 recap post...for now, Happy New Year everyone!
6 hours ago