Saturday, April 25, 2015

Christmas with Grandpa Bob and Grandma Sally...

Flashback to December 21, 2014

For as long as I can remember, I have spent part of my Christmas with my Grandpa.  Growing up, it was the whole family going to my Nana's and Grandpa's house for Christmas Eve with lots of food, lots of presents and of course, lots of love.  After those years, they started to come to our house for the same family celebration on Christmas Eve.  Things have changed quite a bit in the past several years, but there's still that twinkle of Christmas spirit left in my Grandpa's eyes and it's just enough to keep a glimpse of our family tradition alive.  It may not be with the whole family and it may not be Christmas Eve, but every year...sometime in the week of December Christmas with Grandpa.

This Christmas, I went with David, Ginger, Bri, Brady and Brysen to spend a special holiday night with Grandpa and Sally.  They made dinner and dessert, we opened gifts and trimmed the tree.  It was a great night and the kids certainly livened it up.  Sally is always so sweet and my Grandpa just lights up when he's telling his stories of his childhood and family.  We had a great time and made memories of yet another...Christmas with Grandpa. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Forget all our troubles, in these moments so few...

Flashback to the week of December 14, 2014

For the past 4 years, I have had to use my “vacation time” at work for David’s doctor’s appointments, hospital stays and surgeries.  It has been over 4 years since we have actually taken a vacation for leisure.  I hardly ever have any vacation hours left at the end of each month, but I’m FINALLY happy to say that this year, I was actually able to save enough for one week off!

We couldn’t afford much for a vacation…but to me a “stay-cation” was exactly what we needed!  I love taking time off in the month of December.  It allows me to re-group and get ready for the craziness of the holidays.  David and I were excited to have a few days of relaxation and fun.  We ended up going to Oro Valley, Arizona.  (North Tucson).  We stayed at the Fairfield Inn and it was super nice, very accommodating and was nestled right at the foot of the beautiful Catalina Mountains.  We knew we just wanted to sleep in, eat delicious food, do some Christmas shopping and maybe go to a couple movies.  We also wanted to go to the Reid Park Zoo, which neither of us had been to for over 2 decades!   So we did!  We did it all!  It was absolutely wonderful!  It was a vacation to free our minds and lives, temporarily, of doctor’s appointments, bill collectors and stress.  It was truly the type of vacation we needed. 

We stayed in the hotel for 4 nights.  Every morning, I let David sleep in and I drove into Tucson for some “me time” and Christmas shopping.  I found myself, almost every morning, at Panera Bread with a steaming cup of hot cocoa and a pastry or bagel for breakfast.  It was divine.  Life really is all about the simple things for me. It was a time for me to reflect, be alone and enjoy some peace and quiet.

After my refreshing mornings alone, I would head back to the hotel to meet up with David.  He was always well-rested and excited for our day.  One thing we have always wanted to do is go on the Winterhaven Christmas lights tour in Tucson.  We finally got to go!  It was so fun to be able to finally experience it, especially with David.  It was beautiful and festive! 

It may have been short, and not far from home…but it was exactly what we needed.  If it’s all we can do these days, we’ll take it!  It was perfect and we’ll never forget our little holiday in Oro Valley.

When we came home, I still had a few days off before I had to return to work.  We just wrapped presents, relaxed with hot cocoa and cheesy Christmas movies and enjoyed the rest of our vacation!