Just a few tidbits I want to remember about our trip home for Christmas this year:
1) Making my black beans and rice and some mojitos for my parents. Also, Matt's frittas, my mom's cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, my mother-in-law's yummy fruit plate of New Year's Eve, and lots of cookies.
2) My grandma Terry remembered me right away when we went to get her for Christmas eve. A blessing because this isn't always the case anymore. My other grandma (a character indeed) told me that Sex in the City is her favorite show right now, and asked me if I liked it too. I also got a kick out of the look on her face when she got a new TV for Christmas from all of us. She's so frugal that I'm not sure she knew what to think about it. We also spent a couple nights with Matt's grandma, which we always enjoy. Whenever we drive her anywhere, she always jokes about how Matt, years ago when he first got his license, wouldn't drive until she put on her seatbelt. Seeing all the grandparents is a highlight of every trip home.
3) Ice skating with our nieces, which is something Matt's been really looking forward to. So much so, that I decided to get them outfits they could wear skating. I wasn't expecting them to really want to wear them (what child wants clothes for Christmas?), but luckily they did. It was a great activity for the day after opening presents, when they needed to get out of the house and burn off some energy. Both girls did a great job out on the ice.
4. Trips into Detroit are becoming a tradition. This year was our second year going to the Great Lakes Hockey Invitational. This year we were joined by my parents and Matt's family, including our nieces who saw their first hockey game. Kady kept sticking her fingers in her ears when a goal was scored (6 times total). Afterward we rode the People Mover (first time in my life!) to meet up with Matt's cousin, Mike and his wife Kari for dinner. We were glad to see them before their first little one arrives this spring. We and the girls loved the People Mover. We were also glad their dad swiftly grabbed Kady after she followed her older sister off the train at our first stop (not our stop!). It was a total Home Alone 2 moment, luckily averted. On our way back to the cars after dinner, three-year-old Kady declared "Downtown is delicious!"
5) Matt's mom reminded me on New Year's Eve that it was the anniversary of Matt's marriage proposal. When did that become so long ago (9 years - yoinks)! She also reminded me that Matt's grandpa gave us a lovely toast that night. Since all of this slipped from my memory, this truly was a reminder of why I scrapbook (and why I'm writing this post).
6) I got to do a quick oral history interview with Matt's mom and his grandma about their family history of game playing. We got to hear about fabled games such as "Bum bum bum, Here I Come". One of my gifts to my mother-in-law is a scrapbook we are going to put together over the next year about her family's love of games.
7) After a solid week of depressing grey skies (I learned my mom and I both get depressed by this most winters), Michigan was blessed with a lot of snow. It was glorious! The blue skies returned and the trees were decorated with white for most of last week. Matt and I even enjoyed shoveling the driveway, since we aren't burdened with this at our apartment complex.
8) My dad took an afternoon off work so we could go snowshoeing together in the Brighton Recreation Area. We made it about 4.5 miles we think. After all my pining for snowshoeing last winter, I'm glad my first time out was in Michigan with my dad. My friend Stephanie came up for dinner and she, Matt and I also strapped on the snowshoes for a quick trip out before dark. Fun stuff to try it out together.
9) On our last full day home, my mom, her friend and I went back to the D to visit the newly renovated Detroit Institute of Arts. Its amazing. Can't believe I've never gone. If you're in Detroit, it's a must. My favorite part was the Diego Rivera murals. So good. We went home and rented Frida.
10) As usual, we couldn't do everything we wanted, and this time, we gave up going up north, going to Chicago, and seeing some friends in order to enjoy a slower pace for a change. I also left many planned projects (knitting, sewing, & reading) uncompleted. I'm slowly learning the fine art of not overplanning every trip and just waiting to see where things land. Have to say, it was a nice change of pace.