I spent more time with family this year than I have in many years, even though I used to live much closer to them.
I got to visit home for personal and work reasons far more than I planned. (6 times since I moved out here 1.5 years ago, plus a family visit out here and family reunion!) But there's something about the distance that made me appreciate and value the time we had.
My relationship with my siblings--all very close in age and very different--has matured a lot. I I wondered many times over the last 5-6 years if we would ever really click together. Lots of hormones and teenage angst later, and it's a lot more fun to be around my siblings (+ 2 husbands) again. Christmas was no exception!
games and dramatics
lots of smiles and jokes
my baby sister just turned 19!
While home, we also captured as much time as possible with grandparents as a continual reminder, they won't be here forever.
While family was priority, and we also snuck in some of our favorite quick eats from back home.
The Carraig (an irish pub we frequented in college)
We ended the week by going to my family's favorite German restaurant, Chef Klaus' Bier Stube
No photos at the restaurant, but here are my leftovers of Natur Schnitzel and red cabbage.
I realize that doesn't look appetizing to everyone. But if you like schniztel, this stuff was fabulous.
Food + Family = feeling very merry!