We woke up at 4 a.m. on December 16th and headed for the airport. After 3 connections (Juneau, Seattle, Portland) and a 2 hour drive, we finally arrived at Jon’s parents home. The next day was Jon’s birthday and we woke to hear news that his great uncle passed away. This was not the way we anticipated our trip to start. Later we drove to Albany and spent a little time with Jon’s Grandmother. We met up with Nick and Katelyn followed by dinner at Carino’s. I can still taste the Scallopini, Yum!
The rest of the weekend was spent wrapping up Christmas shopping, kicking back with family, and preparing for the week ahead. Jon, Nick, and several of their cousins had continual Airsoft battles. Monday we attended services for Jon’s great uncle. After the burial we had scheduled family pictures. We drove back to Albany and were notified Jon’s grandmother was not going to make the pictures. She was feeling very ill. Tragically she passed away that evening. We spent most of our trip tending to family, and ensuring Grandma’s things were taken care of.
We were able to spend Christmas Eve with all of Jon’s siblings, their children, and his parents. Our children were spoiled and had a great time. Christmas day was more mellow and calm. The kids were thrilled to find what treasures Santa left for them.
All too soon it was time to head home. Tuesday we began our drive to Portland. We left a few hours early, allowing time to hit Deseret Book before our flight. The weather took a turn for the worst and we were crawling bumper to bumper on slick roads. The typical 2 hour drive took 5 hours. Luckily we made our flight with time to spare. After a long 4 hour flight we arrived in Anchorage. We had a little trouble locating our car but made it home safe and sound.
Despite all the challenges and tragedies, Christmas was still one we will treasure. We were able to see loved ones, reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, and lean on each other through this difficult time. We hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!