I have to admit, as a sift through the Christmas Break pictures of my friends and co-workers a wave of jealousy flows through my body. Between zip-lining through the jungle canopy, splashing in waterfalls and just sitting on a tropical beach soaking up the sun, it just all looked so AMAZING. I think what makes it hardest for me is the knowledge that I could have been there. After a few minutes of these feeling though I remember I got a real christmas break, one complete with mall Santa Clauses, Christmas Music on the radio, real Christmas trees, and of course Family. Although my Christmas break lacked the adventure I've come to know and expect, it was no less good, just a different type of good.
The first week at home was almost surreal. I drove my car, strolled through the aisles of Target and even went to the dentist. It was seamless, almost as if I'd never left. Elaina had not forgotten me as I had feared and the wonderful world of (free) on demand was there to welcome me as a lounged on our couch.
On Wednesday I got to meet up with my bestist friend Jen and we caught up over Mexican food. As life moves on and we get older and more committed it becomes more difficult to write time into our schedules, so it was good to meet up.
Finally Christmas Eve arrived. As far as my memory can stretch Christmas Eve has been a family affiar. We could gather together and end the night by going to the candelight service at church. This year was a little different. Our Chinese neighbors (who live in Hawaii, long story) invited to share dinner with them. We spent hours forming new bonds and feasting on fried rice, chicken, sushi, tempura and all manners of asian fare. One thing's for sure, we didn't go home with empty stomachs.
That night, Santa Came! Or at least that's what Elaina beleives. She's at the point now where she knows what Santa is but she doesn't quite understand how Christmas Morning works, so she didn't notice that the Barbie movie she asked for from Santa was actually wrapped under the tree.
Even though Elaina wanted to open every present in sight, whether it was hers or not we had a pretty chill morning. That afternoon we loaded up the SUV and headed north to my cousins house in Mill Creek. As is typical, presents spilled over the floor streching feet away from the tree it'sself. Thanks to the presence of several little ones gift opening was mildly chaotic, the upside was that it was a quicker process than most years.
The day after Christmas we took Elaina to go see "The Princess and the Frog." The movie is totally cute. It was definitely the best Disney movie in year, and the music is so great.
My second week at home was completely booked. On monday I met up with an old friend. We ate lunch at Red Robin and then played Rock Band for 3 hours (love that game!). On Tuesday my whole family headed downtown. Although my time at home at been very dry the day we decided to go downtown it rained of course. That combined with a two year old in tow and some unfortunately grumpy attitudes in others, we didn't get to visit a lot, mainly Pike Place Market.
On Wednesday dad and I headed up to Crystal Mountain to go skiing. It was a nice day but since it was Christmas Vacation it was pretty crowded and since it hadn't snowed in a while the hills were ridiculously icy. I could tell I was out of practice by the intense burning shooting through my muscles. I never felt tired but I had to stop like every 100ft just to stretch my legs. It was ridiculous. I was so thankful Dad didn't want to stay until closing time. I wouldn't have made it.
My new years eve was tame and boring compared to last year (Koh Phi Phi was AMAING). Since I was leaving in the morning to fly back to Thailand I decided to just stay home. We rented "The Hangover" and then watched the Seattle fireworks on TV. It was raining so I didn't feel too bad about not being out in all the fun.
I've been back at school for 3 days now. I still haven't gotten over jet lag. Hopefully soon, but I must admit I like being back here. I feel like everyday is an adventure even if I didn't do anything. It's a little surreal that there's only 3 months left...
I'll leave this post with a few pics from the GES Christmas Program which I am SOOOO glad is over.