As long as Andy and I have been a couple, our Christmas has been split up into several days of celebration. He has a large family, we sometimes worked on Christmas (we met at a movie theater, after all), and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything into one day.
This year, Christmas came in four parts, and while that could seem exhausting, it was probably best for my emotional state.
This was (probably) our last Christmas in Peoria for at least two years. We had to do it up big, and it was amazing, but I was on the verge of tears for basically a week.
First up was Christmas at Grandpa Tim’s and Grandma Connie’s on the Sunday before Christmas.
The dress code was “pajamas” and the plan was breakfast and presents. I didn’t snap a lot of pictures because I was trying to be in the moment. We tried to get a family picture of Andy, G, and me in our pajamas, but G wasn’t interested. Oh, well.
I only cried once. When G opened this book.
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So I thought to myself, I'll just read this book so I don't cry when G asks me to read it to her. Through my tears on Sunday morning, I missed that this was a recordable book. My mission to not cry was DESTROYED. I will never not cry for this book, I wager. #switzerlandprep 📖📣😢😭
I teared up when I read the title. I lost it when I read Dannie’s inscription. “This isn’t goodbye. It’s see you later.”
(This present was a slow burn. After I started crying, G turned the page and the book started talking, but I didn’t register the voice. It was Chris’s. G’s aunts, uncles, grandparents, and great-grandparents all read different pages of the book. It’s so sweet. Anyway. On Christmas Eve, after all the presents were wrapped, I pulled this book out, hoping to desensitize myself for when G inevitably asks me to read this book. When I realized what was going on, new tears. GAH.)
We also got an awesome WiFi photo frame that everyone back here can send photos to, so we can see what’s going on back in Peoria, right in our Swiss living room. I love it.
I mean, we got a lot of other things, too, but our family thankfully listened to our requests that we not get a lot of stuff that we would have to pack and move with us. Tim and Connie got us Peoria sweatshirts, which is awesome. G got dress-up clothes, which she loves and will pack up nicely for the move.
It was a perfect introduction to Christmas 2014.
And in a move that proved to last through our Christmas season, we forgot to get a picture of the cousins all together until we were packing up and getting ready to head home.