One of the most difficult parts about living in Tennessee is of course being away from family. That is why I took the opportunity to go back to Washington for almost a month this Christmas, and that is why I haven't blogged in so very long. It was a different Christmas, and difficult in some ways. Steve's mother passed away December 23rd, which meant an unexpected flight to France on Christmas day for Steve and all the repercussions that a death in the family inevitably cause. While he was gone, the kids and I spent a very quiet time at mom and dad's, watching the rain, visiting with family and just generally relaxing and being cozy. Steve was back by New Years Eve, and we had a great party with many of our good friends and family. The last week that I was there, I spent at my sister Aubree's where we endeavored to live in harmony with seven little children. It worked quite well, for the most part, and it was great to let James get to know his cousins better. He is getting to the age where he remembers them, so that is fun. Leaving was tough, but we are heading back there this summer for Darcee's wedding, so it wasn't such a long parting as it could have been.
So we have been settling back into life here, working on our house, starting up lessons again, and generally waking up from vacation mode. The pictures below are just a few mementos of Christmas.