But let me back up. Christmas 2013 was the BEST Christmas E V E R! We stayed home and had our own little Christmas. We cut down our own tree, played in the snow, relaxed the whole season. The kids actually got to play with their toys on Christmas day, and we had a nice dinner with friends. Since we were married 11 1/2 years ago Christmas has consisted of waking up, opening our own presents then immediately getting ready and going to my in-laws’, eat brunch talk a bit, open presents there, immediately go to my family and talk while everyone showed up, open presents, eat dinner, go home and put kids to bed.
My family hasn’t always been the easiest to get along with. And they have had a hard time understanding my different personality. But over the last year or so it has been a better relationship. Instead of going out at Christmas 2013 we opted to go in Feb instead. And it was great! It broke up the craziness of visiting family and the craziness of Christmas. Like I said, best Christmas ever, but also (at least then) that was the best visit ever. Before we moved across the country, we would all get together when my brothers and families came out to visit. So it has been a similar situation for most of our marriage, though now we are some of the ones coming into town.
Then this year (well technically last year) both of my brothers were going out for Christmas, and we knew that it would be the right thing for us to do as well. I was nervous about how it would all go down, including all our kids there are a lot of us. I feared I wouldn’t be able to escape the feel of bedlam and retreat for my introverted side. But we hadn’t seen my oldest brother and his family since we moved 2 1/2 years ago, and I knew it would mean a lot to my mom to have everyone there. (and as a bonus we could update the fam photo- the last one has an ex-wife, and my almost 6 yr old was about 18 months. So it was definitely time)
In the end it was great, even with the boys and me going out a few days before DrH (ugh flight prices). There were a few times I was feeling homesick, and a few of wanting to retreat, but we were able to retreat when we needed. And my family was so much more understanding of that. We all got along great (on both sides of our families) and had a lot of fun together. My family was also extremely supportive and sensitive to us in a difficult circumstance on our last day there. And they have since been a great support in this particular struggle.
And I am so grateful for this support and love. It is one of the few times I have felt truly loved by my family in my life. I’ve always known they love me, but since my personality is so different from all of theirs it has been a life long struggle to actually feel that love from them. I am grateful to know (and be reminded) that they are truly there for us. And I am again feeling like I want to move back closer at the end of Med School. (not the same state, but one close by so it’s easier and cheaper to visit)