I know it is late but I thought I would give a quick update of our holidays. As in the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Like I said - I know it is late.
The plan was to have a nice quiet Christmas morning at home with just the five of us, then head to my uncle's for teh big family gathering. We had a snow storm hit Christmas Eve night and while it was not a big storm it did mess up the roads evough that we did not want to be on the road so we stayed home. It was really nice to let the kids open and play with all their toys and just lay around in our jammies for m ost of the day! The next day we were leaving for Iowa to see Steve's family so we had plenty of time to pack our bags and load the car.
Our drive to Iowa was basically uneventful. I think it was the first time we did not get pulled over! WooHoo! The kids were great in large part to Zachary getting a Nintendo DS for Christmas and Steve setting up his laptop to play movies. It was long (12 hours) but we had good roads and nice weather.
We enjoyed 4 nights at Steve's mom's house. Another blessing is that Steve and I were able to sleep on a bed in her extra room! First time for that too. Usually we slept in her bed with one or two kids or on a chair, loveseat or the floor. We got to see both sets of his grandparents, his siblings, their significant others and kids. One night the five of us and Steve's sister Sarah, her family and Steve's brother Matt went bowling. It was so fun! We had a Christmas of our own and a huge dinner which was so good you couldn't help but over eat! The kids played so well together and we all had a great time. Unfortunately time goes fast when you are having fun and before w eknew it we were packing the van up again to head to Tulsa to see my parents.
The drive to Tulsa from Albia was supposed to only take about 8 hours. It was 8 very long and boring hours. Maybe because I was just so anxious to get there! Missouri was actually fairly pretty for it being the middle of winter. We stopped for gas and a drive through lunch and a couple potty breaks but for the most part we just drove.
We spent 3 nights at my parents' new place in Tulsa. They had already done a lot of work to the place in jsut the 2 months they had lived there. Mom and I went shopping for new bedding for their guest room and talked about design ideas for the rest of the house and yard. We took the kids shopping for their Christmas gifts, visited with my uncles Jeff and Matt who also live in Tulsa and have an amazingly beautiful house. It looks like a museum or fancy antique boutique or something. Certainly a "don't touch things house." Ellie and I had been there a few months earlier but it was the first time Steve, Zacka dn Kendall had been there. Ellie was disappointed the pool was closed for the winter but excited to see their 3 yorkies. Matt and Dad were both sick so they did not get to spend much time with us. Jeff came over for dinner one night but then he began to feel ill. Luckily none of us got it! The last night there we all went out to dinner at the Elephant Bar which has a fun African theme. And in a blink we were loading up the van again and saying our goodbyes. This one really upset the kids, especially Zack who misses his grandparents and cousins so much. He cried and cried which made me cry too though I tried to hide it. I think even my parents got a little teary!
Well if we thought the drive from Albia to Tulsa was bad, the trip from Tulsa to home was worse. First we were astonished by teh devastation the ice storm had caused to the entire Tulsa area. It was wors in the open space where none of the trees had been cleared. It looked like a bomb had gone off in some areas. Then we hit Kansas. No offense but I hate driving through Kansas. Driving in winter is ever worse. It is so brown and depressing. Finally we hit the Colorado border. A few long hours later we were home.
It was so great to get to see so much family for the holidays but I do not think we will ever do a trip like that again. I think from now on we will either just visit one state or take a longer time in each.