So we went to Florida for Solstice and Christmas. My Dad kept apologizing for it being so cold, and we had to keep reminding him that it was snowing in Indiana AND that we had lived in Cleveland and Berlin in the past 6 years. We were just soo happy to see the sunshine.
Don't worry, I went to the Dollar Tree and got some styling sunglasses for the rest of the trip. I always forget to pack mine for some reason.
We got to stay in this great condo that is owned by Andy's work, and this was our view from our bed every morning. Yes, I know how lucky we are!
My aunt and uncle took us all to the light display at the botanical gardens.
It was quite lovely
Santa & the Mrs were there for pictures, but Mayzie was uninterested.
Annika and Santa are TIGHT after this year; she got to see him at least 5 times.
We had a hilariously imperfect dinner at my aunt and uncle's house, where my children didn't actually destroy too much.
(You see that lady in the background? She's the feistiest 94 year old I've ever met! We LOVE her.)
Mayzie tried to help the Grinch's heart grow a little bigger with her cuddles.
Elwood (our elf on the shelf) made sure to let Santa know that we weren't going to be home in Indiana, so he would bring the girls' gifts to our home away from home.
Annika would hardly take the dinosaur hat off.
The girls went fishing with their Poppy on Christmas Day, but Annika was so not into the photo-op, despite looking ridiculously cute.
Here are the girls before the present opening bonanza at Poppy & Noni's house.
Those are their lovely Christmas dresses made by their Nana, and this was at least the 20th picture we took and only 1 of 4 where Mayzie wasn't putting her feet in the air.
The flight home was MUCH better, probably because the Tampa airport seems to have predicted the fact that children under 10 might actually at some point need to play somewhere instead of driving everyone around them bananas.
Seriously, get it together other airports!
We made it home with plenty of time to play in the freshly fallen snow.
As usual, our trip was much too short and we didn't get to see everyone that we wanted to or to spend as much time with everyone as we would like. We spent a whole afternoon at our friends' house with 4 couples and 8 kids between us, and took exactly one picture. You always know you've had a great time when you're too busy catching up to take any pictures. We'll never forget the smack-down that went down in the bouncy house, when Alex learned not to pick on the bigger girls, or the annual closet clean out that turned into an episode of who wears it best. I won't forget the hugs from some of my oldest friends, who've known me MUCH longer than I've known Andy and put up with my crazy shenanigans that my family probably doesn't need to know about. I loved catching up with my Aunt and Uncle and skyping with my newly hairy cousin and his beautiful wife. I don't want to forget all the laughs over so many bottles of wine that we lost count or the fabulously impromptu meals when I had to remind my step-mother that she wasn't feeding 20 people. Holiday traveling is never an easy thing, but seeing all the faces and spending time with the ones we love is totally worth it.