Monday, January 26, 2009

Back from Beyond

Okay, I admit I've been away from blogging for awhile. It seems to happen every year that around the holidays my so called "normal" life stops while I enter the spinning, spiraling realm of buying, wrapping, writing, sending, baking, celebrating. Usually this lasts most of the month of December and by Epiphany, I'm back in full "normal" swing of life--whatever that may be.

This year I found the same chaotic craziness taking over my being, but with some extra bits of adventure thrown in. With gasoline prices being down and feelings of longing for familiarity taking over, we decided in late November to trek back to NJ to celebrate Christmas & New Years. Perhaps we just needed to feel the winter chill again to help us appreciate our mild winters here in TX or maybe it was just that we NEEDED to be around family this year. No matter the reason, we packed up 2 adults, 6 kids (3 the size of adults), & 2 dogs (1 large, 1 pup) into our minivan and left in the wee hours of the morning to drive back. To all you skeptics who laughed when I told you our plans, the drive actually went better than expected (except one small mishap with large dog--I'm sparing you the stinky, ahem, very memorable details. We made it into Virginia the first day--how's that for some good "pedal to the medal" driving!

Our visit was very nice. Unfortunately, having two major holidays fall during our stay left only small bits of open time for visits with friends & extended family. In other words, we didn't get to see everyone as I'd hoped, and that was a bit of a bummer. But, we did enjoy those we saw and are glad we made the trek.

The cold weather seemed to upset our "tropical natures" and Andrew came down with bronchitis while we were visiting. That has been the beginning of the sickest winter on our family record. Since the New Year, we've had 7 sick visits to the doctor in less than 3 weeks. After bronchitis, the kids have been treated for high fever/sore throat viruses (Michelle, Kyle), mono (Reid), untreated fever/virus (Brian-sorry he had to start school that way, but he got out just in time to avoid....) flu (Kyle, Kaitlyn) & strep (Kyle, Kaitlyn). Mike also had a week of sore throat symptoms that he bullied thru.

So, on top of the usual holiday business of taking down and storing the decorations, we've been running a mini hospital clinic. All I can say is.....

I DIDN'T GET SICK!!!!! (of course not, mom's can't get sick!)

January is almost over and I'm finally feeling like we can get back to a routine and do what I love to do every new year--reorganize my house & my life. So, the new adventure in the new year has begun.....

Stay posted, more to come!