Thursday, January 08, 2009

Happy New Year!! And Merry Christmas!!

Yes, I realize I'm a little late. I've been busy. I'm sorry. I have TONS of pictures to show everyone, but first, a little bit about our trip...
It started on Dec 22nd about 4:00pm. We should have known to just wait, but we were excited and wanted to see our family. So we left Syracuse in the middle of a HEAVY snow storm. According to the weather, we would be done with the storm by the time we hit Buffalo. It did get a little better, but by the time we got to Erie, PA we were on solid Ice, so we decided to stay there for the night. That meant our drive would be around 11 hours on Dec 23rd, instead of 9. OK. We could handle that.
We set out early on the 23rd. Good thing I've learned to pack a simple overnight bag, so all of our stuff (except for that) could stay in the car. Got gas and coffee and were on our way. Everything was smooth (a little slow at points, but smooth) until we got to Indianapolis. We had ice again. ALOT of it. the time we knew what we were going into, we had already passed the last exit for about 15 miles. From 5pm until around 1:30am we were stuck on highway 70. Mostly in completely stopped traffic. When it was going, very slippery, so only going about five MPH. We finally made it off the highway (along with everyone one else in the free world) and wouldn't you know it? All hotels booked solid. We couldn't get back on the highway, too slippery and Geoff and I had been up for about 20 hours driving and very sleepy. We told Michael we would have a BIG Adventure and we would sleep in the car. That's what we did. Pulled into the jammed packed parking lot of KFC. Turned of the lights. Locked the doors and slept (very uncomfortably) until about 5:30.
By 9:30 am on Christmas Eve, we were in St. Louis and very tired. But safe. All three of us took very long hot showers that morning and very long naps early that afternoon.
Ok. Done moaning about that part of our trip. the rest of it was fabulous (stave for lots of the family getting a stomach bug). Christmas Eve we did a big family gathering and did secret santa gifts with the family (we draw a name each year, it's alot of fun:)
Geoff made these Christmas Trees for Aunt Holly, his Secret Santa Recipient. He got orders from Mom for more. Guess we know what she's getting for Christmas next year:)
Christmas Day Santa came to Grandma's house. We were so happy he knew where to find Michael and Jessica and the other kiddos!), we went to the Stock's and played with the little ones and had great family conversation and that evening we were back at the Kleisly's for more family fun. Such a wonderful place to spend the Holiday!
Santa brought Michael another piece (huge piece) for his Thomas track. All that stuff came in one box:)
The day after Christmas, we all went to the City Museum in Downtown St. Louis. if you live close and haven't been there, GO. It's amazing, it's all made out of recycled or re-purposed stuff and there are tunnels and slides for kids of all ages. Even Mom and I made it down the 7 story slide. Thanks to Alison and the other kids Michael was able to do EVERYTHING!!!He had the best time. he went in the highest tunnels, inside and out. Aunt Ali had a heck of a time trying to keep up, but she did a really good job, despite all the bruises she acquired. I spent a good deal of time admiring the fantastic mosaics and sculptures. It really is an awesome adventure.
He fell asleep while we waited for everyone to finish their fun. He hasn't fallen asleep in my arms for a couple years, so I was pretty happy!
We all took a moment to kiss the frog on our way in. Our cousin, Corrinne Foster, passed away in April of 2004 and she worked there and loved it there. The frog was placed there in her memory and she is greatly missed.
Saturday we went ice skating (obviously, this is a royal "we", Daina doesn't do skates..) Michael had a blast, but Big Michael, Daddy and Aunt Alison got to get him around the rink. So comical and lovely!!!!
Sunday, we (Geoff and I in one car and Michael, Aunt Ali, Maw Maw and Paw Paw in the Suburban ahead of us) left for Little Rock. A very uneventful trip, thank goodness!!!
While in Little Rock, we spent lots of time relaxing with Michael's Aunts and Uncle and taking in the Scenery.We went to Pinnacle mountain and did a little "hiking" it was a good outing with both the Chocolate Lab (lottie) and the Yorkshire Terrior (Chelsea) in tow. Michael walked both dogs during the hike and had an awesome time. It was really hard keeping him off the giant rocks though:)
This picture is just for reference. I am actually this much taller than Geoff's sisters (and mother) I feel like a giant sometimes:)Then, Michael got a time-out. While at the mountain. Seriously.

On New Years Eve, we worked puzzles and drank Champagne and lit sparklers. It was very low key and very wonderful. Michael got to do a sparkler before he went to bed at about 8:30.
We left Little Rock on January 2nd and had another uneventful trip. Stayed over-night in Columbus and got to see Jamie for about an hour. Left Columbus at about 7 on the 3rd and Got home around 3. We've been trying to get settled back into a routine here, after being gone for two weeks are are gradually getting back to that.
I have an infusion next week. It's two weeks late because of vacations between my doctor and I, and I've been feeling that for about a week, so the next week won't be too much fun, but I'll probably get alot of reading done:)
Don't forget. Don't use the 708 area code cell phone number. No longer valid. If you didn't get my e-mail, e-mail me and I'll send you our new cell phone numbers:)

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