You know how I blog and blog and blah blah blah about what a stress case I am over Christmas? And how I try to come up with all these strategies for keeping my cool? Well this year, I was crazy enough to plan a trip out of town to take place only a few hours after Christmas Day was over. Those of you who are mothers, particularly with several children, will understand what a deep, personal, sacrifice this was for me. Taking any trip whatsoever requires ridiculous amounts of preparation and planning when you are moving 6 people. Add in the fact that the car had to be packed by the time we went to bed on Christmas night and it was a recipe for disaster.
Why would I be so foolish, you might ask? This decision laughs in the face of reason. But you see, my baby brother Stuart and his adorable wife Malia were visiting the mainland from Hawaii. And my little family of 6 hadn't seen them since they got married 2 1/2 years ago. Shameful, I tell you.
Thank goodness for blogging, or I would hardly know Malia. I don't think that meeting a bride on the week of her wedding is the best way to get to know someone whom you will call "sister." Don't get me wrong--I do not remember Malia being a Bridezilla in any way (not like I was, at least,) but she was still somewhat distracted and lovesick, which doesn't lend itself well to bonding with anyone but your soon-to-be-husband. Fortunately, Malia does keep a blog (a couple of them, actually,) and through that medium I have fallen in love with her and have no doubts why my brother did the same. Her photography is exquisite (you simply have to see her best of 2008 pictures. The word stunning comes to mind.) and always makes me wish that I could pull a Samantha Stevens and wiggle my nose right over to their island paradise.
Anyhow, by some miracle (but not without a Christmas Day breakdown on my part) we did leave town at 5:30 am on December 26th. We had a wonderful time hanging with many members of the Johnson family, singing songs to the guitar, playing card games, and attempting to visit Griffith Park Observatory along with half of the greater LA area (one of our vans made it to the top. The one with my family in it, however, did not). And the afternoon that we arrived there, Malia and I took my kids to the park, where she captured a few photos. Go here to see them. My favorites are the one of Ian and the one of Bronwen and Henry laughing together.
And guess what? The trip was completely worth it. Even if I did have to do a few loads of laundry on Christmas Day.