In the words of my five-year-old niece, Christmas was "kinda awesome". I realize that it's now four days past Christmas, but the five nieces and nephews were keeping me totally occupied. For the last week, I've been giving pony rides and doing flips and reading stories and playing games. I love them all so dearly...but I admit that I was also relieved to get some quiet time when three of them left yesterday...which gives me a chance to catch up here.
I admit that Day 1 of our vacation didn't start out "kinda awesome". The first leg of our flight was totally fine, but then our flight out of Denver was cancelled due to weather. After waiting in the customer service line for more than an hour while my husband went to check out one-way rental cars, we decided that it would be best to fork over the $250 for the car and drive the five hours north that day (with 10% chance of precipitation), rather than take the chance of waiting for an 8:30 pm flight the next day (with the storms increasing). My poor sister-in-law had already left to head to the nearest airport in South Dakota (three hours in the opposite direction), so she ended up driving all over to finally meet us in Gillette, WY and drive us the last leg of the trip up to Montana. But all of the travels were totally worth it, and we had a beautiful White Christmas (the first for this California girl).
My only "complaint" (if you can call it that) is that I feel like I didn't get quality "grown-up time" with my husband's family. Each of his sisters and his mom casually asked how I was doing, but it was never the time or place to really open up and share what's on my heart. I thought that there would be an opportunity with one sister--she shared that they were trying again, and that she had recently had a really early miscarriage in October...and then her three kids came in from the snow and the conversation quickly changed. And that was the end of that. There really wasn't a good opportunity to bring it up again. I think I may send her a note to let her know I'm thinking of her...but I've never really had that sort of "open relationship" with them. Both sisters already have kids (one with three kids ages 3, 5, and 11 and the other with two kids ages 6 and 10), so we've been at totally different places in our lives since the day I met my husband. My husband says that they're scared to really ask how I'm doing because they think it might cause me pain. I guess I understand that...but I just wish that I could connect with them somehow.
All in all, Christmas truly was "kinda awesome". Yes, it was unfortunate that our flight was cancelled, but my husband and I made the most out of it and rocked out to Christmas songs along the drive. And though it was cold, it really was special to have a White Christmas. I've had so many hugs and kisses and goofy smiles from my nieces and nephews to get me through till we see them again this summer. Though my arms are still empty, my heart knows that I'm blessed.