We had a wonderful Christmas, which we spent in Formby at my in-laws house. Sadly Carl's granddad passed away last Christmas, so his Nana (who is adorable and looks JUST like Queen Elizabeth) spent the holiday season with us as well. We laughed so hard we were crying, ate more food in 3 days than we do in a month, and enjoyed each others company. I'm so thankful that I have such an amazing husband and in-laws who I love more than words can say.
As much as I loved this Christmas, it was bittersweet knowing that this will be our last in Liverpool before moving back to Vermont in July. And please don't get me wrong, I've loved spending the last 4 Christmas here, with Carl's friends and family who I adore, but I've always felt a sense of emptiness. I've always missed home. And although my family and I have always talked via Skype or the phone; I've always cried, I've always felt a little left out, and I've always prayed they wouldn't forget about me. Over the past 4 years I've not been able to hug and kiss Mom, Dad or Sonya. I never got to see their faces when they unwrapped their presents, or laugh at Grandma's hilarious jokes over Christmas dinner. I always missed cutting down the family Christmas tree and our annual Christmas Eve party at Aunt Annette's. I missed the silly Christmas traditions from my childhood, the snow and ribbon candy, my loved ones and the feel-good tingly feeling in my tummy. I feel selfish and insensitive for thinking, let along saying this, but I'm so excited that next year I'll be celebrating Christmas back home with my husband, my friends and my family. I know that it will be hard for Carl though, just as it was hard for me, and I can't get rid of the paranoia that his friends and family here will feel as though I'm taking him away. Like I'm stealing him. My mother-in-law often comments about how she doesn't want him to go and how she'll never get to see her grandchildren. It makes me feel unbelievably guilty. I know that it was Carl's decision to move back to Vermont, he was the one who suggested we settle down there (for various reasons concerning the cost of living, schools, a better place to raise our children etc) but I also know that Carl and I won't be able to afford to fly back and forth to England very often, nor will his parents. It scares me and I pray that I can do a good job of supporting him and being a shoulder to cry on when he's missing his home, just as he's always been for me. I pray that his family and friends understand why we're leaving and how hard it is to say goodbye. I'm so appreciative that we live in a world where technology helps to ease the distance, and we'll always be able to talk on a regular basis. I'll always do my best to make Carl's Christmas's full of love and joy, as he and his family have for me here. I know that everything happens for a reason, Carl and I are strong, and I'm optimistic that our future will be bright and positive. We have so much to look forward to.
Well, with all of that sentimental mushiness aside...they say that pictures are worth 1,000 words, and I agree. So, instead of writing a long-winded rant about every single thing that happened over Christmas (which would inevitably put both you and I asleep...and I'm too lazy to do) I'd rather just show you.
So, without further adieu, sit back and enjoy an Anderson Christmas!
THE FOLLOWING POST HAS AN ABSURD AMOUNT OF PICTURES.
PLEASE PROCEED WITH EXTREME CARE.
|Mine and Carl's Christmas tree|
|My 'Vermont' ornament.|
|We had this ornament made. It's the picture we had on our engagement cake.|
|My Cinderella shoe. LOVE!|
|A family friend made this for Carl and I. It's gorgeous!|
|Grandma sent me this.|
|My 'Sprinkes' ornament. One of my favs.|
|The first teddy bear Carl got me was a Starbucks Bearista Owl teddy bear which I named Henry. This is our Henry ornament|
|Mama Lynne got this for us as our first ornament as Mr. and Mrs.|
|My teachers apple ornament! :)|
|Everyone who knows me, knows I have an obsession with polka dots.|
|Our 2011 ornament. Hand blown, hand painted Liverpool Skyline ornament. Very beautiful and special to us.|
|Mama Lynne and Papa Garry's Christmas tree Christmas Eve!|
|Our other treasured teddy bear, Philippe Mario, who is also a Starbucks Bearista bear that I got in Paris :)|
|Our first husband and wife Christmas Cards. Awwwe!|
|Nana opening her gifts|
|Papa Garry digging in!|
|Me with my fluffy/fuzzy slippers from Mama Lynne|
|Carl with his new fancy headphones.|
|Mama Lynne about to unwrap her new Macy's handbag|
|I was well and truly spoilt rotten.|
|My Pandora sleigh bead from my mother and father -in-law|
|My most FAVORITE perfume on the planet.|
|Fancy new Ted Baker bag I've been drooling over.|
|Carl's cousins Sarah and Nicole unwrapping their books we bought them for Christmas|
|Lynne, Nicola, Sarah and I.|
|Carl playing Sarah's Hannah Montana guitar.|
|My first time ever trying mulled wine. Mmmmm!|
|Carl's Uncle Martin and his mulled wine.|
|Lynne and I pulled my Christmas cracker...the bouncy ball gift catapulted into my Cava. Laughed so hard we nearly peed our pants.|
|Christmas Cracker jokes.|
|Boxing day game of Disney Monopoly|
Lots of new memories were made, which I'll cherish forever. I love my English family oodles and I'm so thankful to have them in my life. Without them, Christmas wouldn't have been the same.
I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas as well.
Thanks for reading, guys!
Take good care,