Our Christmas vacation began on Saturday, December 15, when Ryan, Avery, and I flew from NJ to SC in the afternoon. The trip was an interesting one, as Ryan had hurt his knee on Wednesday night and couldn't walk at all on Saturday. On top of that, we had only brought one small suitcase and one carry-on suitcase up with us when we moved. So we filled up the carry on with as much (heavy) stuff as possible and sent it back with my parents who were up visiting that weekend. We brought as many carry on bags on the plane with us as possible. So we were quite a sight getting through the airport. Ryan was in a wheelchair holding several bags and I was pushing Avery in the stroller while carrying a couple bags as well. Thankfully, we had a direct flight to Greenville, so once we were on the plane, the trip was pretty easy. Avery ate as we were taking off, and slept the rest of the flight. What a blessing to have an easy, adaptable baby!
We enjoyed a wonderful evening with my family our first night home as we caught up with each other over delicious sandwiches and soup. The next morning at church, we had so much fun seeing our church family again. Avery loved getting to meet so many new people and was quite happy to let anyone hold her.
After the evening service, mom invited my extended family to come over and celebrate Ryan's birthday (which was coming up the following weekend). We had meatball subs and Ryan's favorite dessert - carrot cake. Every time we get together with our family, I am so thankful to have so many aunts, uncles, and cousins living in town and for the fun we all have together.
Our first week home was full of Christmas parties, shopping, and lots of good eating! Mom, Avery, and I spent an afternoon at the mall together, and Avery loved her first shopping trip with Grandma. I'm sure there will be many more of those in the future.
On Saturday, we headed over to my cousin's house to celebrate his daughter's first birthday. Her party was A Very Hungry Caterpillar-themed, and the table looked so pretty! We loved watching Halle open and enjoy her presents, and laughed as she debated about whether or not she should get her fingers into the cake. Avery slept for most of the party in Halle's crib, but before she left, the cousins had a great time playing in Halle's new bouncy castle together.
Later that evening, my parents took us to our favorite Chinese restaurant for Ryan's birthday dinner. And we had another of Ryan's favorite desserts when we got back home - chocolate cake with a coffee-cinnamon buttercream - while he opened his gifts. I love this picture of Ryan and Avery from that afternoon.
Our first week at home went by too quickly, but we thoroughly enjoyed spending time with family and preparing for Christmas.