Thursday, January 14, 2016

Home for the Holidays

We went back home for the holidays.  I call it home because Ohio, Georgia and Tennessee are where our hearts are.  We spent two weeks in TN and GA and one whirlwind week in OH.  Ben had a shorter whirlwind trip, spending two days with my family in TN and two with his in OH, then flew back to get back to work.  It was exhausting both emotionally and physically, but somehow, in spite of the dread of more goodbyes and more tears than I can count, I was ready to get back to Ben in Oregon and to the process of settling, routine and school with the kids.

We met new loved ones...our new niece, Natalie Elizabeth,

and three of our cousins had babies since we left last Summer: 
baby Leila Ray Irine Meadows

Asher Martin

and Quinnten!

We connected with old friends

The kids and I even got to enjoy our annual tradition of ringing in the New Year with two sets of dear friends as we have done for 20+ years.  Ben Skyped with us for part of the evening which helped ease our first New Year's Eve apart.

We visited our old houses, just for fun.

We saw our most special people.
...and somehow I didn't get any pictures of our parents.  We were too busy soaking you guys up!

There were sights and sounds that brought tears to our eyes.
Downtown Dover

The LifeBridge worship team

Family loving on our kids

Worshiping with family

There is a reason I gained weight over the holidays.  Zero regrets!
Literal feasts that my mother put on (LOVE that my family all wore their traditional English crowns for Christmas dinner, and that we ate brussel sprouts, YES!!)

New Year's Day pork and sour kraut with Ben's family provided my green bean casserole and home-shucked frozen sweet corn fix. Soooo good!

Grandparent's cookies, ice cream, fudge and the neighbor lady's baklava! Oh my my!

I flew across country and back with three kids without Ben and even drove them from Ohio to TN by myself too (he drove the way up, then flew back to OR).  The Wiglets were really wonderful travelers.  Our road trip only had one barf, one silly putty stain on leggings, and one three hour period where a very "done-with-the-car-ride" four year old cried.  Other than that, it went great!  This was taken in Atlanta on our way home.  We brought just two carry-on overnight bags, and left with four and two large check-ons.  VERY symbolic!

The three and a half week trip wasn't long enough with each person we saw, and there were countless people we wanted to see and couldn't.  Wading neck deep in familiarity, friendship and love filled our hearts up.  We returned ready to conquer the unfamiliar roads, find our places in this new world, rock out our jobs at Garmin or home and even hit a few New Year's resolutions for at least a few weeks like we usually do.  Thank you for pouring into our lives, we love you all back.  Please call or email if we didn't get to connect, we really would love that!  Happy New Year all!