The last week has been wonderful. In Doha as I was packing and getting ready to come home for a very fast two week vacation with my family I was starting to worry that the trip would be too short, or too long – or too boring (if everyone else had plans and I was stuck at home.) Week one of my trip home has now come and gone, and I can tell you this trip will be too busy, and too short! It started off on the best foot possible. My flight from Doha arrived on time and I had a pleasant layover between flights. I was not worried about my flight to Columbus until I realized there were a lot of people waiting standby for my flight and many were commenting about the flight getting out before the storm. Thankfully I was oblivious to the winter storm that was about to hit the DC area – and was just happy my flight left on time! I landed and was surprised to see not only my mom, but also Sarah and Augie, waiting for me. Augie of course was as cute as can be, but a little fussy. The only snag in the trip home was that my luggage did not arrive in Columbus until the next day.
The next several days consisted of family time with a lot of Augie. He is the best nephew ever! He did a really good job of sleeping, eating, and looking at things. I was also impressed that at 2.5 months he is waving! It is true, if you wave at him and say “Hi Augie”- then wait a little bit, he will wave back. I love it!!!!! I am so glad I was able to spend this time with him, he is going to grow so quickly and be so big the next time I see him.
Christmas was packed with activity. The day before Uncle Mark and I made the homemade lasagna that we would serve on Christmas day. The next day I finished last minute Christmas prep (not gift buying, but clothing essentials for Christmas Eve outfit) and came home to start the celebrations. I love my family Christmas traditions. While we do not do everything the same every year, there are some staples, like a nice dinner, church, and family time. This year because of dialysis schedules and logistical needs, we decided to go to the 5 pm family service at church. Oh my goodness! It was a great service, but it was loud and most of the kids stopped paying attention about five minutes into the service. When they called all the kids up to hear a story, some of them took the opportunity to explore the front of the church and to catch up with their other 4-7 year old friends who they had not seen in a while. It was very cute to watch, but also painfully long and disjointed. The highlight of the service was the sermon, which as always was beautiful, and the candlelight portion of the service when we get to sing Silent Night.
Following church we headed home for a wonderful dinner of pork tenderloin, veggies and rice. (I ate a lot of pork this vacation – at least once a day… I don’t even like pork, but since I can’t have it in Doha, I have been getting as much as I can here). While eating dinner Uncle Mark and I were talking about how we needed some excitement this Christmas. Oh how we wished we had never spoken. Within seconds of Uncle Mark saying he could bring some excitement, Papa started choking. Mom started the Heimlich, but could not get whatever it was out. Thankfully Josh was quick thinking, and jumped in and saved Papa! We got our Christmas excitement and I am glad it all ended up ok. We finished the evening with Mike, Sarah and Augie opening gifts since they would have to spend the next day with Mike’s family (boo – I am going to try and find an orphan to marry). Augie kind of loved his camel – he did not look too happy in the picture, but I think on the inside he was dancing with joy. Christmas day was relaxing and wonderful. We woke up late, enjoyed some time together, had a great meal (yeah Uncle Mark!), then everyone opened their gift.
I have a little less than one week left at home, and I am hoping it is relaxing. I would love to spend more time with Augie, and possibly go shopping for some books to bring back to Doha. (Half Price Books here I come!). This break will be just what I need to go back to Doha refreshed and ready for work.