I've never been so happy to leave Gainesville.
The other day, I was telling my friends how all these people were getting packages and gifts from their parents, as a "good luck" wish on their finals - and my parents had sent nothing.
I was all bummed.
and then my mom called, literally the same day, as if she heard me - saying,
"Did you get my Finals Survival Kit?"
even though I picked it up after my last of five finals, it was much appreciated -
it really is the thought that counts.
Knowing that they did actually care, is a nice feeling.
As planned, after leaving Gainesville - I stopped at my second home - the Sniders
and together we awaited Aleksi's arrival.
Except that my random, hopefully stress related sickness was attacking me - and I mostly just laid in bed.
I really will die if they get sick for Christmas.
Stay healthy Sniders.
Though I was bedridden most of the day, I really wanted to be at the airport to pick up Aleksi
I felt fine, just a little dizzy.
It's the second best Christmas.
[Christmas 2013 is number one]
[Poirier sibling reunion]
Up to this point I wasn't feeling well enough - so I couldn't take photos.
It really is sad because it was so beautiful outside.
Aleksi is back.
It feels like no time has even passed.
[I hope this is what it feel's like when I see Mitchell in three years]
But we're not thinking about that.
Lots to do on Friday.
Rett's School had as Christmas slash Hanukkah performance.
Kids are so funny.
Psycho parents of kids are even funnier.
As Eva pointed out, being in the Elementary School brought back memories of how easy those days were,
When everything was so simple.
You're most stressful worry was wondering what was for lunch.
You still had recess.
and the days felt long and full.
Oh to be a kid again.
Rett did a great job singing.
He's so tall.
Great Job Rett!
Rye's Christmas treat exchange.
Lot's of good food.
So I was told - I still didn't feel like eating much.
Fat kids have to eat too.
Rye showed us around his class room and wanted Aleksi to join him on the playground.
"Come on, just step up here."
Little Rita had her first candy cane.
She liked it, as you can see.
I hate spending money.
Top Three Things I hate:
1. History of American Religion Class
1[1/2] The Trunchbull
2. Being Sick
3. Spending money.
Okay, I don't hate it that much.
I actually find it really easy to spend money.
But it's in my blood to be addicted to buying and shopping.
So I don't let myself do it.
unless it's for other people.
Then I buy, buy, buy.
I think Christmas shopping is fun.
But I can see how it could be stressful.
Like maybe with four kids.
I knocked out most of the people I had left on my list.
Just a few more now.
My parents had requested Aleksi's arrival home no later than Saturday lunch time.
And Eva suggested we just surprise them and come home Friday night.
so we did.
I asked Aleksi to drive home - because I wanted someone to drive me home for once.
It was beautiful.
I got to sleep and dance and sing.
We pulled in the driveway - lights off - carefully and quietly got out of the car - and rang the doorbell to the front door.
"Surprise! We're home"
Hugs and kisses all around.
Minus one, we're all together.
Cassie: "Can I tell you guys something"
Me and Aleksi: "Yeah?"
Cassie: "I told mom and dad you were coming"
Aleksi: "NO! Why??"
Cassie: "I had to! They were telling me I was going to have to wake up early tomorrow and clean"
[Earlier conversation - as described by Cassie]
Dad: "Tomorrow we're all going to wake up early and clean - so don't stay up late tonight"
Cassie: "What? No."
Mom: "Aleksi is going to be here by lunch time and I want the house clean for her"
Cassie: [sarcastically - if you can imagine Cassie being sarcastic]: "Yeah, she's definitely going to be here by lunch time.
[Mom and Dad turn and look at Cassie]
Dad: "What do you know?"
Mom: "How much time do we have?"
Cassie: "They're going to be here by ten, tonight"
Fantastically, the house got vacuumed, mopped, kitchen cleaned, and dogs bathed.
It's good to be home,
I love my family,
and I especially love that my house is Christmas.
It finally feels like Christmas!
All the dogs were very happy to see Aleksi again.
McGraw said he almost didn't recognize her.
Our Christmas lights are all up outside.
It reminds me of when we were little asking and begging our dad to put them up.
and now we're those people with the blow-up nativity in the front yard and lumpy Santa in the back.
The weather has been perfect since we've been home.
Stormy, cold, and windy.
Church today was interesting.
I was asked how I like BYU,
where I go when I'm not there - like where do I live,
and how I like college - which I always avoided answering - because the truth stings.
Christmas time is here.
Nana tried to take a photo of us - but we couldn't stop laughing because she kept pointing it at just Aleksi.
Little did we know, she was trying to compose it with the tree.
She's so funny.
Best dog ever.
Ecstatic to be home.