Friday, January 27, 2012

The Year of Two Christmas's

            So this year we had the wonderful pleasure to go back to America for the Christmas Holidays.  We had been planning it for a year and a half and let me tell you that the excitement had built to a fever pitch.  And yet still, leaving my new, sunny home in Oz was bittersweet.  We were leaving behind our three youngest daughter's, who would be spending Christmas with their mum while we took Lucy and Esther over to spend it with their dad.  Knowing we would be having Christmas this year with no kids what so ever was like a dream come true, and yet... hmm... a bit sad.  We had put up our Christmas tree, artificial of course, and it would sit there all alone for a month in our silent house.  As we left early that morning I took one last look over at our tree and at our silent cleaned home and new I would be happy to come back. 
Lucy and Es were exhausted after our 13 hour flight.
This is Lucy at the LA Airport.
      Our trip was wonderful and full of new memories, but I must admitt to you it also made me not want to set foot near or in an airport for the rest of my life... If you have never made the looooooong journey from Australia to America, I will just tell you that it is exhausting... It is always quite amazing to me though to witness the utter miracle of how the female flight attendants on our thirteen hour flight are able to look as fresh as ever, with perfectly set hair and makeup not only in the beginig of our flight, but at the end too!  While I am getting off with ratty hair, smeared makeup, and rumpled clothes feeling completly gross I just stare over in utter amazement at their bright smiles... it is really miraculous and I don't get it...  But all in all, really, the plane ride itself is actually pretty enjoyable... I mean really I can pick to watch any show or movie I want and by the time I go through about four movies and some drug induced sleep you're arriving at your destination.  What I really just HATE and DESPISE... it all the crap to get on that plane... all the luggage... Eight large suitcases, four carryon's, and four back packs... and all the lines, and security checks, confirming tickets, renting cars, going through customs, and border patrol... it is stressful, and tiring... In the end, by the time we got back home to Australia I had cried twice... almost three times... once openly in front of perfect strangers in the middle of the airport... and been on the verge of it probably a few more.  Whew!!!  (no, I am not pregnant)

The very first place we went with my sister Corinne and her husband Jason was to our
favourite sushi place... BENTOS!!! 
          We had a blast in Oregon with my sister and her husband and her woderful, crazy, and always hillarious kids.  We ate out a TON and made our selves sick... It was hard to say no though when we knew this would be our only chance to eat at these places for another year and a half... And at such incredibly cheap prices too!  One very memorable day we drove up Mount Hood to go sledding with all of the kids and had a very fun, freezing cold time.
Mick was super cute sledding with all of the kids... He was probably the most excited out of anyone.
Lucy smiling, all bundled up from the cold.
            During our trip to America, more than anything, Mick wanted to give snowboarding a try.  Having lived his whole life in a tropical climate snowboarding was never really a readily available activity, and so Mick wanted to take advantage of this rare opportunity! And so we planned a day trip up to Timberline Lodge, a place that I had heard about for years while living in Oregon, but had never actually seen!  I was very excited. 

The veiw on the way up was UNBELIEVABLE!
On the way up to Mount Hood
           Mick went for a day of snowboarding and I went to read a book by the fire... It was actually a very pleasant time and a great memory... After he was all done we went exploring through the Lodge, which I soon discovered was where they had filmed certain shots for the movie "The Shining"... And I must say, I could definitly see it...  It was very cool and creepy all at once!

Oooooh... A hallway in the Lodge... look out for little girl ghosts.
Me sitting inside the main area of the lodge...

Mick, all ready to hit the slopes...

Having a blast...

          Oh, and by the way, I have to say here how impressed and super proud I was of my amazingly talented husband... That hot aussie took to the snow like he was born for it.  I will never forget how happy he looked after he came in... with his cheeks all red and hair all wet with ice... That made me happy.  I love you baby.
Then it was off to Colorado where we got to see my parents at their new place as well as all the rest of my family, minus one sister.  It was so wonderful to see everyone.  A few days before Christmas we got hit with a ton of snow and Mick was thrilled. 

Mick and I after landing in the Denver, Colorado Airport

Outside my parent's, playing in the snow!  Yay!!!

It snowed soooo much!  Mick loved the novelty of having to scrape piles of snow
off of the car, however, he told me that he knew if we lived there all the time
 it would get old really fast!

           In Colorado we got to have a lot of wonderful time without the kids, just as a couple... however we found that we still missed them so much.  One night we were able to go into downtown Denver to see "The Nutcracker Ballet".  It was gorgeous with snow on the ground everywhere and white lights in all of the trees... It seemed worlds away from hot, sunny Australia.  We were litterally "walking in a winter wonderland"...
An outdoor eating area.  I just had to capture this image... It was beautiful!

Mick in downtown Denver

                    We had a very merry Christmas with my parents and siblings... but as they say, alas, Christmas just isn't the same without the little kids!!!  However, we did the best we could... ;)
Opening new pj's on Christmas Eve

Mick opening his Ralphy pj's... I love that movie.

I saw this Aussie flag towel and just had to get it for him...
Mick couldn't believe how huuuuge American pizza's are!
               However soon it was time to face the music and head back to the airport... and one long journey to get back home.  I was so ready to go back to Australia... I longed for summer and sun, and crazy birds chirping in the trees, and funny lizzards chasing each other across the road.  Most of all we missed all of our kids and we could not wait to go home and have Christmas with them! 
               And so a few days after we were home, showered, rested and unpacked we finally got down to the business of Christmas with our kids...
Sure enough...  Santa came to Australia too!
Taylah is super excited about her skateboard!!

Lana and Taylah in their new church dress... They looked SO beautiful!

All the girls ready for church in their new dresses

In the end, we had two wonderful Christmas's.  We have wonderful memories of our time in America, but we are so happy to be home again with all our girls. 

Lucy, Carsen, Esther, and Taylah together again.  (Lana was swimming with Daddy)