Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Blink Trip to the States and Christmas arrives in Vladivostok

Kristen says...

So, a week ago right now I was really, really jet lagged.

Why, you ask?

Well, because we made a "blink trip" to the States (as in, so short that if you blinked, you might miss it)...and like many short trips home, this trip was not for happy reasons, because unfortunately my last remaining grandfather passed away two weeks ago Friday.

Two days later we were on a plane.

We arrived on a Monday, attended the visitation on Tuesday and had the funeral on Wednesday.

The silver lining (besides seeing all my siblings and cousins) was that we were home over Thanksgiving, and were able to have dinner with Chris' parents and grandmother on Thursday, and then with my family on Friday. We also were able to celebrate my nephew's 3rd birthday on Saturday before getting on a plane early Sunday morning...and, thanks to an overnight layover in Seoul and the time changes, we arrived back in Vlad mid-day Tuesday...thus my jetlag.

But all sadness aside, it was a great trip...mostly because of these adorable kids:
Our newest niece, Gemma!
She was just over two weeks old and sooo tiny and cute!
The 4-month chunk Bennett!
What a happy baby!
Sweet Norah!
She has the most expressive eyes!
The J-man, Jackson! He is always smiling and lots of fun!
The biggest boy, Ezra!
Actually, on Saturday we celebrated two birthdays:
Ezra turned 3
And Chris turned 30 (almost)
Chris had some old friends at his party
 We also celebrated Christmas with Chris' family, which was lots of fun!

 The Christmas theme has continued since we arrived back in Russia...this weekend I went and bought a Christmas tree (our first since 2009!) and some fun Russian decorations:
Yay Christmas tree!! (Ёлка in Russian)
Дед Мороз (Ded Moroz--Father Frost)
Снегурочка (Snegurochka--Snow Maiden) She is Ded Moroz's grandaughter
Santa Claus!
 This will be our first Christmas away from Iowa, so Chris' grandmother got us an ornament to commemorate it!
Thanks Grandma Marge!
 I also decorated the rest of the house--I have over 10 nativities out, and this homage to Santa:
 Good times.

So that's where we're at.

In other news, Chris grew a beard in November for Movember

and won an award at work, which is nice

And Pip, as always, is very cute 
With freshly-fallen snow on the ground and the twinkle lights blinking merrily, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...in Russia. Can't wait. :)

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