I know I haven't been around for quite a while. We got to go to Missouri for Christmas, for the first time since I moved away. While I was there I didn't spend much time at all online, and chose to spend time with my family instead. I meant to write a post before I left, but things were a little bit crazy. In the last week and a half before I left for Missouri I ended up working on the scrapbook for my mom for over 50 hours. That was in addition to the time I spent crying and trying to get myself back under control so I could work on it without the fear that my tears would ruin all my hard work. Haha. It ended up being 30 pages long, because I was fairly certain I couldn't possibly fit any more pages in there and still have it close. :) I was pretty pleased with it, though. I'm a bit of a perfectionist (ok, maybe more than a bit), and since this was such a big deal, I was even more picky than usual. My mom loved it, though, and didn't even mind the minor things that I thought were wrong with it.
We had a really nice time in Missouri. I got to see most of my Mom's family, and even a few members from my dad's family (I've never been as close to my dad's side as my mom's, and his side's Christmas dinner happened before I went home). We got to take Elliott to some places that do a lot of decorating for Christmas, and he LOVED it. We have a few places up here that decorate for Christmas, but nothing like back home. We even got to watch the tree lighting at Silver Dollar City, which was one of his highlights from the whole trip. :)
Santa had no problem finding my mom's house, and he brought Elliott more stuff than he should have. Haha. Then by the time he got presents from Grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, and great aunts and uncles, we weren't sure we were going to be able to fit them all in the van! After some careful arranging by my tetris loving sister, we got everything in, though. :)
It felt so weird being somewhere relatively warm for Christmas. A lot of people were complaining about the cold, but it honestly felt warm much of the time to us. We had negative temperatures as highs shortly before we left, though.
We came home on Friday, and it was a warm 35 degrees, but a little bit windy. We were hit with the cold snap Saturday, though, and hit hard. Yesterday the wind chill stayed below -60 all day. Our heater worked hard but couldn't get our house above 62 or 63 degrees all day, so we spent most of the time wrapped up together on the couch. Elliott had his first ever "too cold for school day" today since it was still really cold, with a windchill in the -50s this morning, so we got another family day, until Carl had to go to work. Elliott and I spent a pleasant day together reading some of his new books he got for Christmas, as well as doing some school stuff to get him back into the learning mind set. :) He told me today that I'm a "funner" teacher than his teachers at school and maybe we should home school all the time now.
We were sad a lot, but it honestly wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Elliott only cried twice that I saw. Once when he was sitting in Grumpy's chair, talking about him, and the other time when we went to the cemetery to see his headstone. He was concerned because Nama's name was on there. In hindsight I realize I should have prepared him for that, but it was honestly something I hadn't even considered from his point of view.