Holidays… in Review

The holidays in our home are officially over. Sure, there are a few pine needles left on the floor… but hopefully I’m not alone in that. With my due date being in less than 3 weeks, I was (as you might expect) eager to take down the decorations and start nesting. Some might say “Grinch”… and I get it! But I’m taking so much joy out of nesting and preparing for baby #3 that I really don’t believe that the “Grinch” title fits.

But, before we move on! (Babies! Snuggles! Ignoring house work!) I wanted to simply check-in and say that we had a lovely set of holidays this year. We went to Dublin, Ireland for Thanksgiving with some of my husband’s family and then we snuggled in on the home front for a cozy and low-activity (ahem: 8 months pregnant) Christmas season.

Trinity College

Thanksgiving in Dublin was exactly what it needed to be. I was actually quite happy to leave my own home for Thanksgiving this year, passing on the detail-oriented preparations for the feast… which was my big task for last year’s Thanksgiving when we hosted the Board of our school (for their first ever American Thanksgiving–no pressure!). This year, I waddled onto the airplane with a basic understanding that we would eat turkey and maybe some green bean casserole if we were lucky. And I was juuuust fine with that.

I did learn on this flight that while not a single person cared if I had the required doctor’s note approving my ability to travel so late in the pregnancy, it was basically impossible for me to get anything from under the seat in front of me… I mean this body simply wasn’t capable of bending at the waist in a seated position… for headphones, book, or any desired snacks. Just forget it. I will say, though, that we have officially figured out how to school Ryan Air flights. Sure, they’re a pain, and yes, you feel like a cow being herded, but you paid so little… and our luggage was within ounces of being the required weight, and no one asked us any questions. It felt like winning.

We stayed in a spacious Airbnb, fully aware that we’d want to watch movies and stick to home base quite a bit. And the space worked really well for that. The kitchen was the farthest from outfitted and reminded me of trying to cook in our home before our containers arrived from the US and the shower was… well, I’ll just say, “What pressure?” and that the conditioner probably never really rinsed out for the entire week… BUT! we were all comfortable and the less-than-outfitted kitchen meant less work as we opted for easier dinners (chicken ready to roast) and simply buying dessert for Thanksgiving. And who doesn’t want an excuse to visit a few more pubs while in Ireland? Bring on the (sips only for me) beer, warm stews, and fish & chips. It was lovely.

Brian & Mary

Thanks to our family who sent us out on a date! We got to meet up with an old friend and walk the streets of Dublin at night. A perfect little pocket of time for which we are so grateful.

But mostly? It was walks to parks, movies, and napping. And you know what? It was lovely. I especially loved St. Stephen’s Green. It was gorgeous. Even off-season. And reminded me so much of Boston Commons–a place so near and dear to my heart.

St. Stephen's Green

I couldn’t not share with you in summary, that our Thanksgiving meal was lovely. It was more than enough to go around and we had what we needed to make the meal happen. And yes, we even had 3 surprise guests (our cousin who’s studying in Dublin and two friends) that made the meal all the more fun and enjoyable! (What’s Thanksgiving without some surprise guests?!) I’d also be remiss if I didn’t tell you that the turkey we received from the butcher was not at all… prepped. Brian wins the “would survive on the farm” contest while I walked away uninterested in discussing the killing of animals with my 5 year old before our Thanksgiving feast. LOL.

Weihnachtsmarkt

Moving on to Christmas… It’s hard to believe that this was our third holiday season here in Germany. We’ve settled in on the best place for the Christmas tree in our living room, enjoyed the Weihnachtsmarkt without any drama, and even bought a traditional German red Christmas star to hang from our balcony.

While it doesn’t feel like there’s much to share, the bootcamp that was December at work for both Brian and me made our 2 weeks of holiday were exactly what the doctor ordered. We were all more than happy to learn some new games, decorate cookies, assemble a gingerbread house, and watch all the Christmas movies.

We are all beyond grateful for our many blessings… including you! Wishing each of you a blessed new year and we look forward to seeing you next when we welcome our newest member to the family–maybe a redhead??

Tschüss!