Fun. Busy. Exhausting. But fun.
The boys and I arrived in Ohio on Tuesday night. Wednesday we hung around with my parents and my oldest brother, Loren. He spent most of the afternoon slowed down because he was helping Payton learn to cook. It was so cute. Payton stood on a stool with his uncle to the side and did everything he was told. I wish I had gotten some pictures of it. :(
Thursday, the boys and I spent time with my father-in-law's side of the family. It was a nice dinner and it was great to catch up with them all. In the last few years, a lot of the cousins have become adults and don't get together as often because we all have our own plans for the holidays. It was great to see a few I don't get to see all that often. And Payton had a GREAT time helping his great aunts rake leaves in the yard and jumping in them.
Friday, Max and I went to Target around 9am and picked up a few things then went back to my parents house. Matt came in to spend a few days with us. It felt like I hadn't seen him in weeks and I was so happy he was there with us. We went letterboxing with my dad while Max napped and Payton was very proud to find two boxes that my father had planted. When we made it back to my parents, we enjoyed a great dinner with my brothers, my sister-in-law, my uncle, my parents, and one girlfriend. It was great to have a full table....MINUS children!! I put the boys to bed early and we had a NICE grownup dinner. Ahhh...what a JOY that was!!
BUT, the highlight of the weekend...going to Tower City Center in Cleveland. It was a great memory place for me as a child...the lights, the stores, the decorations, the characters, the parade, the decorated window fronts, Twigbee store...I wanted my children to have those memories too. Payton had a GREAT time and Maxwell was mesmerized by the Toy Solider. It's impossible to capture the magic of the moment on film, but here is my attempt.
We had such an amazing time. The parade was a disappointment and we won't stay for that next year, but overall, it was an great memory relived for me.
Sunday, we went to church with my parents where I was able to sign a Christmas song for the church. These are all the people that watched me grow up and it was nice to share something with them.
We're home. Settling in and catching up on laundry. It's exhausting being gone for so long. But it was well worth it to see all our family and friends and to spend to so much time with loved ones. We have so much to be thankful for.