Wrapping up the holidays

I can be such a grinch about Christmas. I am self aware about this so I try to keep it in check. On some level, I think the holidays are what you make of them. You know, fake it until you make it. Last year I think I did a really good job of keeping the grinch in me in check. (Having low expectations really helps with this).

No matter what I did this year, I couldn't get into the holidays. I love getting gifts for people if the gifts are meaningful and well thought out. But this year, it mostly just felt like the exchanging of goods. It's exhausting.

I think my new job actually zapped out a lot of my Christmas cheer. I kept telling people I was ready for Christmas to be over, at least professionally. I also wanted to go on vacation but I was feeling nervous about the logistics of getting from point A to point B to point C and back.

But actually, Christmas vacation turned out to be really nice and not as stressful as I had thought it might be.

Levent and I went to Ohio first. I love spending time during the holidays in the Miller's old house in the heart of Columbus. There are good coffee shops around, lots of twinkling lights, late night puzzling. and great snacks. Levent finally was able to meet Jille and Lucas (which was a big deal because Jille is my BFFFF).

After Columbus, we headed to Illinois to be with my whole family at my brother's house. Levent had also never met the twins yet so it was good to spend a few days with the kids and getting Abram to say "rhinoceros." (Other highlights included making individual pizzas, playing mole rats in space, late night chats and multiple trips to Eli's coffee shop).
To end our trip, Levent and I had to drive down to St Louis before flying home. Before we went to the airport however we had a delicious, relaxing dinner at a Turkish restaurant called Aya Sofia. In the finial hour, Levent decided to order us kadayif for dessert and it forever changed my life. So good!
This was magic 
Now I am back home with a very cuddly cat in my lap. (It's very cold this weekend). It's great to be back home in my own bed but I am grateful for my travels with Levent and for the time spent with the Millers and the Yoders. Until next year, Merry Christmas!