Christmas in the Northwest

Happy New Year! I know I’m a few days late…but I’ve been busy unpacking and recovering from our “vacation.” Anyone who has ever lived away from family will understand what I mean when I say that a trip home is never a “vacation,” it’s “visiting.” But, as hectic and event-filled as our time in Washington was, I don’t regret a minute of it. Well, my only regret is that I didn’t get to see everyone that I wanted to. No matter how long we plan on being in town there never seems to be enough time to fit it all in.

This year we decided to spend the week of Christmas and the week of New Years in Washington. We hadn’t been up to visit since I was pregnant with Ezra and we had never been back for Christmas since we moved in 2006. We also decided to drive to save money and to guarantee a vehicle that would work for our family of five once we arrived. I know, driving 1500 miles with three small children seems like torture…let me tell you, it is.

Our time home was wonderful though and we made some great memories for ourselves and the kids. Here are a few of the highlights:

1. My little brother got engaged on December 23rd! He and his fiance will be getting married in July, which guarantees another visit from the Brotherton family (this time there will be 6 of us) this summer! We’re so happy for them!

2. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were not as crazy as we anticipated them being. We felt like we were really able to spend some quality time with family and fully participate in the celebrations! We had a couple of unexpected treats: my Grandma Bev was able to join us at my mom’s on Christmas Eve and Josh’s sister, brother-in-law and nephew were able to join us at the on Christmas Day!

3. My sister has the misfortune to be born the day after Christmas. This means that for the majority of her life she has had joint Christmas/birthday presents and that she usually doesn’t get to celebrate with a party on her actual birthday. This year was different! On December 26th our immediate family all got together at her house for dinner and cake! It was so fun to be there for this because this is something we definitely miss out on living in California. Happy Birthday, Nellie Bell! We love you!!

4. Whenever we go to Washington for a visit we are assured of seeing family, but friends are not always guaranteed. This time we got to spend an evening out at the Ram with a few of them. It was a night filled with laughing, reminiscing and yummy food. Also, we got to meet the 3-week-old Baby Zimmerman and the 5-month-old Baby Watt.

5. We got to spend two days at my Grandpa’s cabin with my in-laws. It was a couple of fun-filled days of sledding, hot cocoa and s’mores! It was amazing to me that the eight cousins all got along as wonderfully as they did; there were no fights, injuries or meltdowns! Eli was looking at pictures today and says he really misses his cousins.

6. My dad’s house is in Washington, but he works in California. So, he took advantage of our return trip home by caravanning with us part way. It was great being able to spend a few days on the road with him…and to get a break from our kids by sending them to his truck! Eli & Cora were very bummed when he separated from us and we continued on home because that meant they had to ride with us the rest of the way! :) Thanks, Dad!

So those are just a few of the highlights from our Christmas in the Northwest. We appreciate all that everyone did to make it such a wonderful time and we look forward to coming back in July! I’ve posted pictures from the trip on Facebook.