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As you know the hubster and I were able to go home for Christmas, thanks to the generosity of his parents. Emotions were high leading up to our departure and during every second of our time there. I think I cried almost every time I hugged someone hello or goodbye. Hugs. So many hugs. Hugs with tears, squeals, laughs, silence. Hugs that squeezed the breath out of me, hugs that left me wondering if I was missed at all.

I was lucky enough to have one of my dearest friends pick the hubster and I up from the airport, and I got to meet a boy she likes very much (And I think he might like her too! đŸ˜‰ ). We drank tinto and talked about friendship, and community, and her boy informed us that we both talk the same way. Kindred spirits I guess.

Kindred spirit and hubster

Scaring the boy with our silliness

In the early hours of the morning we made a necessary Dunkins pit stop on our way to NH. We were obnoxious in the drive through, an as usual they messed up our order. Good to be back. đŸ™‚ Our first day home was pretty low key. I was able to unexpectedly see another dear friend and her family. We drank tea at her kitchen table and talked squeaked with her mom and sister. These are moments I was homesick for in Texas. Her home was like my home throughout high school and college breaks. There are so many people I have missed.

Christmas eve was spent with my mom’s side of the family, where one too many glasses of scotch is usually consumed. My cousin regaled stories to us in his finest Boston accents, and 5 year-old Olivia informed the adults that we were on the naughty list.

Miss Olivia

Home for Christmas in NH

Grandparents

Offbeat Christmas gifts

Moustache Bottle Opener

Christmas in New England

Pretty sister

Christmas Eve in New Hampshire

Waiting for presents

Christmas craziness

Typical.

Awkward family photo #1

Christmas fun

Awkward family photo #2

By the afternoon of our first day home (Christmas Eve day) I had lost my voice. And by Christmas eve I was reduced to squeaks. I had been fighting what I thought were allergies for over a week, and it progressed into a cold that left me voiceless for the entirety of our time home. I was angry that even in those few precious hours I had with people, I couldn’t talk.  I couldn’t joke, or be myself. I couldn’t tell stories, or fill in the silence. I manged to squeak and use hand gestures as much as possible, and would often slap the hubster on the arm as prompt to translate.

Christmas morning I went to my mom’s for a short visit before heading to Chris’ extended family celebration. It was peaceful and quiet. His family is so sweet, and his Aunt Dee Dee kept my cup full of hot tea.

Gently falling snow

Grazing

Peaceful Christmas morning

Sitting by the fire

Father-son

Sweetly sleeping

Felt goat ornament

Goat ornament

For the extended family’s Christmas presents we bought a goat through World Vision to give in the family name. We have done this before with smaller animals, but unlike past years, I didn’t just want to give the printed off card with a picture of a smiling kid and a goat. So I made up a pattern for these darling little felt goat ornaments (his horns are hard to see in the picture). I wanted to keep my little tribe of goats, but I think they look pretty cute hanging on the trees.

Christmas night we were with Chris’ immediate family and we got to see our NEPHEW! Some of my favorite moments were the time spent with my sweet nephew. I was afraid that he’d be scared of me and that we wouldn’t connect before our time was up. But I got so many smiles and belly laughs out of that little boy. The last time I saw him he was only eight months old! He just turned two in November. He is very much a little boy.

Little feet

Getting my newphew all wound up!

Belly laughing

Bright eyes. Love this kid.

I could listen to that little laugh all day long.

More to come still, on my time at home.

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