For several years now I have attempted a digital Christmas card letter/blog, often in the form of a top ten list. This year I could only come up with seven things to share, so I’ve decided to break them into mini-blogs that I’ll be posting on the seven days leading up to Christmas. Today’s (not-so) mini-blog is brought to you by our summer trip home. (Can you tell we’ve been watching a lot of Sesame Street at our house??)
2017 marked our second summer visit back to the States since moving to Indonesia. We had a full six weeks off this year, which allowed for much needed time with family and friends. Upon landing we had about 36 hours before loading up for a 16 hour road trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It had been 18 months since everyone in David’s family (now numbering 22!) had gotten together, and with everyone spread out from Texas to DC and everywhere in between, Tennessee seemed like a great “meet in the middle” vacation destination. David’s family rented a huge cabin which afforded a whole week’s worth of family togetherness. We went hiking, white water rafting, cooked together, worshiped together, and played a ton of games. Clementine got to meet her new cousin, August, and all of the cousins had a blast playing together.
We also spent time in West Texas visiting my side of the family. Our Abilene time was filled with traditional Abilene outings: visits to the Grace (for an outdoor showing of ET … David had never seen it), the Planetarium (where we were reprimanded for pushing the buttons on the astronaut suit), Perini’s (where C fell in love with sidewalk chalk), and the Abilene Zoo (C still talks about feeding the giraffe). Clementine loved her time with her Gramps and Gran and Uncle Dan. We made it up to Amarillo for the new annual tradition: Thanksgiving in July. These short days were full of football, hiking, and lots of Rook. In fact, for the first time since the inauguration of the Rook tournament plaque back in 2011, I won the tournament! My mom and I made a good team and vanquished the other mother-daughter pair, Kaye and Carlee.
Thanks to my aunt lending us a car for the summer, we were able to take a few road trips to visit friends and family in Texas and Oklahoma. David is an expert at planning these visits most efficiently! We were thankful to spend time with loved ones in Austin, Waco, Georgetown, Norman, Harrah, and Oklahoma City this trip. Even in Dallas I got to see a (newly engaged) old friend from my Illinois days! Much fun was had spending time with David’s family in Dallas as well.
We are always thankful to be home over the summer because it means celebrating Clementine’s birthday with family. And with our parents living only about three hours apart, Clementine gets plenty of celebration. This year we got to spend her birthday morning with David’s parents and birthday evening with mine.
So that’s Day 1 … stay tuned for six more 2017 highlights!