We started our vacation in Kansas. I loved being at my in-laws, being able to read something besides textbooks every night and getting to know everyone a little bit more. It is funny how the mind (and heart) works sometimes. I am not sure when it happened, but these people have transitioned from Gabe's family to our family. They are no longer his nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters and parents but mine as well. I feel so loved. We devoured food and watched nostalgic movies, you know the kind where everyone is quoting almost every line but no one seems to notice. We cut down trees and tried out the new treadmill. We ate at our beloved Braum's and drove around exchanging stories about Salina. It probably sounds a little boring to you but after this semester it was exactly what we needed.
We left midday on Christmas Eve to drive down to my grandparent's for a Christmas Eve dinner (which consisted of delicious barbecue, I love the South sometimes) and then on to my mom and stepdad's new home in Clinton, OK. I love watching my family interact with one another, my grandpa telling stories of the day he met Dolly Parton (another post, another day) and being able to see everyone. It was odd visiting a place where my mom lived that I didn't call home. It wasn't that it was not welcoming, or that my family was there, but more that I have my own place with my little family now. While we missed the rest of my siblings we had a lot of fun with my little brothers. I love each one of my family members, a lot and the holidays usually remind me of that. Adam and Gabe are pretty much besties these days, and when John and Benji's friend came over to compare Christmas presents they said that their brother Gabe was here. I love those boys, they are so sweet and yet so full of energy. Energizer might want to consider replacing their bunny with my two youngest brothers.
We made a quick stop to pick up a few dear friends and try to fit all of us and their stuff into our little Lancer... It was a really long 15 hours home. But we made it, and here we are getting ready for a new year and a new semester.