It's the 31st of December, and I can't help but reflect on all of the blessings of this past year. Garrick graduated with his MLitt and began his PhD, I got a job at the University of St Andrews, we moved into our flat on the North Sea, we travelled to places near and far, and we are surrounded by a wonderful community of people. To conclude an adventurous year, our family and friends in the USA have welcomed us home with lots of love, laughs, and generosity.
Our travel day from St Andrews to Snohomish went off without a hitch and was mostly a pleasant experience. True to form, I was randomly selected for a security check in Iceland, but I'm getting used to being searched at airports. Then, after 18+ hours, two of my favorite people greeted us:
First things first: Chipotle! After arriving at my parents and settling in, these two came for a visit:
Exhausted, we fell asleep before our heads hit the pillow. Wide awake at 4am, we showered and drove down to Starbucks and Fred Meyer. Lattes in hand, we strolled up and down the massive aisles, filled our cart, and then had to leave our items at the check out. We forgot the pins to our US debit cards. Once back in the car, Garrick's number came to mind and he ran back in and purchased our goods. Success! My pin is still a mystery.
Then? Christmas Eve with the Stevens!
And Christmas Day with the Allens!
Garrick met up with his high school crew on the 26th for their annual gift exchange:
Uncle Don and Aunt Julie came for a visit from Spokane!
My grandparents had us over along with my cousins on Friday afternoon:
We spent the weekend with the Owings! Playing and laughing with our nephews was a major highlight, as was attending Stanwood Foursquare, and shopping with my mom and sister.
Last night, the Muchmores invited us over for food and Settlers. Two games of Settlers. Yes, Garrick won both games. And yes, we are still talking. :) Brian performed our wedding we hope to make time to catch up with them every year. We're trying out our culinary skills on my parents this evening and look forward to seeing our good friends, Andrew, Lauren, and baby Simon to ring in the New Year!
More to come.