Marshmallow Mondays


Christmas in Pennsylvania
01.04.16, 8:40 AM
Filed under: Holidays, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

I know this post is overdue, but right after our Christmas in Kentucky, we packed up the car and drove 586 miles to visit our family in Pennsylvania. It’s hard to believe this was the fourth Christmas road trip we’ve made since living in Kentucky. Those miles certainly don’t get any shorter with each trip we make, and this year we took our three month old puppy, Rosie, along with us, which made things even more interesting.

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Thankfully, she slept for most of the ride on my lap.

We left at 3:45am on the 26th and arrived at Nana and Pappy Buff’s at 12:45pm. The festivities and family visits began pretty much immediately with a gift exchange that evening with Nana, Pappy, Uncle Brad, Aunt Jill and Bryar.

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After opening gifts, we had a great time with the Pie Face game.

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On Sunday we ventured to Klingerstown for a second gift exchange with my mom’s side of the family. Lily especially looks forward to this visit because cousin Kip has historically gifted her with an oversized zoo animal for the past three years, so she’s been anticipating what he could possibly come up with for this year.

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The big reveal… a horse with wheels that Lily can actually ride.

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Lily was pretty excited about her new riding buddy. In her words, “Kip buys the best presents!”

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Rydan was excited about his stack of Xbox Live gift cards.

On Monday, it was a third exchange with Ryan’s extended family back at Nana and Pappy’s. There were lots of little ones running around, lots of laughter taking place, and lots of memories being made.

For me, a big highlight of the entire PA visit took place that afternoon. It was the time I got to spend with my mom, gram, pap and great-aunt Polly. Polly has been staying with my gram and pap while she recovers from her hip surgery. She uses a walker, needs help getting around, and doesn’t leave her chair much, but her mind is still very sharp. Nothing makes her happier than being surrounded by the ones she loves. She even told me that she’s had “the best week of her life” staying with my gram and pap. After complaining a bit about having to make the long trip to PA, I needed to hear that from her. At 90 years old, Polly has a lifetime of memories, many of them during days of better health. However, being with family during the holidays and feeling loved, even in a state of poor health, is what stands out to her as special and memorable. There is a lesson in that for all of us.

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On Tuesday, we enjoyed our favorite subs from Nino’s while exchanging gifts with “Papoose” (my dad), Grandma Wiest and my brothers.

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My dad used his wood-working skills to build Rydan and Lily a wooden box. Rydan is currently using his to store Taekwondo belts, and Lily is using hers for doll clothing. I love that they’ll have these boxes for years to come, and can store whatever treasures they like inside for safe keeping.

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Lily would not leave Grandma’s lap, which warmed my heart to see.

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Rosie had a great time running in my dad’s back yard.

On Wednesday we were treated to my dad and grandma’s homemade pot pie while visiting with more relatives on my dad’s side. It was a treat to finally meet baby MaKenna and see my cousin Laura after almost four years apart.

On Thursday, we made a trip with my mom and sister to Hershey’s Chocolate World, had lunch at The Chocolate Avenue Grill, and took Lily to the Disney Store.

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One of my favorite parts of this day was listening to these three belt out Taylor Swift on the drive back to Hegins.

That evening we attended a New Year’s Eve party at cousin Megan’s, where we got to see her new house and spend our last few waking hours with family.

On Friday at 3:40am, we were on the road back to the Bluegrass. We pulled into our driveway in record time at 12:07pm. Rosie handled the trip home even better than the trip to PA. At only 3 months old, she traveled extremely well. We took her with us to every single stop we made in PA, so she was just as exhausted as we were by the end of it.

By 7pm that evening, we had all of our Chirstmas loot unloaded and put away, our tree was down, Christmas decorations stored away, and Valentine’s decorations on display. By 8:30pm, we were all ready for bed.

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This sums up how we all felt after arriving back home.

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