Friday, December 30, 2005

Whew! What a whirlwind visit. In some respects it seemed to fly by and in others it feels as if we were home for months. I don't think I've ever willingly packed that many visits and activities into less than a two week span in my entire life. But what fun we had.
Our trip up on 15 December marked a rocky start to the vacation. While we prayed for good weather, an ice storm rolled into the mid-Atlantic region and we debated pushing our departure back a day. We decided that it would be in our best interests to move out anyway and get ahead of a worse storm scheduled to hit the next day. A layover in Breezewood, Pennsylvania and a zany, problem-filled ride up eventually landed us in Michigan late on Friday the 16th.
And boy did we hit the ground running. The next few days brought a spattering of drives to family parties, visits, lunches, church services and even a baptism. I've been slacking on working out since Ethan was born so I had to work on that during the trip and with the help of a temporary membership they worked up for me at Gold's in Howell, I somehow managed to make it to the gym everyday too.
To say we were busy would be an understatement. Look at the table below. I made that as a guide to plan our trip and it filled up fast. And there's lots of other stuff we did that I never bothered to put on there. Likewise, one of the hardest things about the trip was turning invites down because of prior engagements. This was made harder by the fact that we are leaving for maybe three years and coming visits home are currently tentative at best. We were very sad to do it, and that illustrates why we were so gung ho to see as many people as we could.
It was definitely good to see a lot of faces we haven't seen in a while. And in some cases, like with little Caleb Giera, for the first time. We covered a lot of ground, too. From Howell to Brighton, Sterling Heights to Beverly Hills, Mary's House to Kim & Rich's, from a bridal shower to several family Christmas parties, from a bunch of restaurants to Saint Jospeh Mercy hospital. Believe it or not, we ran around so much we put almost 500 miles on our car from the time we arrived in Michigan until we left!
We had a lot of great times, though. Thanks to everyone for their hospitality and generousity, and thanks especially to Mary for letting us take over her house with a baby, dog, luggage and two adults for almost two weeks.
I arrived home late on the 28th, Abbey & Ethan followed by a few days on 31 December. Great to see you all!

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