For us December, usually means busyness, with Mark’s school ending, our classes usually end or take a break for the holidays. And we are pretty good about keeping it to what we really want to do, so we can keep it fun and low stress. But this year, was very different. But I can’t imagine ever having such an amazing end of the year as this one.
December started by us being in Goa. We then arrived back in our home in Gwalior for Mark’s last 2 weeks of work at the school. I won’t go into details of all the things we did these 14 days before leaving, because it was busy, crazy, joyful, exciting, and mixed with emotions and living.
We had a beautiful day before leaving India, meeting a new family, new people, still surprised at beautiful and crazy sights, just as we did the day we arrived back in August.
I think in the last month, we’ve gone from one extreme to another, in many ways. With the weather by being really hot in Goa to arriving in Portland to freezing temperatures. Buildings over hundreds of years old in Delhi, to just few dozens of years old here in Portland. From wearing swimsuits to wearing long johns and coats and hats, all at once. From a very busy, and crowded city in Delhi, to a much more mellow town here in Portland. From small squirrels to very large squirrels (I know funny, we still find our squirrels here in the house so large!) From busy and crowded trains, to driving our own car. From a very dry city in Gwalior, to a rainny Portland. From complete sadness to see our new friends and our home of the last 4 months, say goodbye. To much happiness in seeing our old friends and our home again.
It is overwhelming, to say the least. It’s hard to move in one day from extreme to extreme. Two ten-hour (plus) flights, across oceans and seas and continents, it takes you half way around the world and you are in a completely new place. It is very hard no matter the age. The four of us have struggle in our own ways to adjust to what is now our normal. I am not sure I know or knew what this adjustment would be like. We are all going through it, and it seems it’s all at different speeds and in different ways.
Incredible is what comes to mind right now. Just incredible at what we were able to do.
The past three weeks have been full of fullness. I’m not sure that’s a real adjective, but I think that’s what best describes what I’m feeling right now. Full. Full of everything. Bombarded by new (but known) sights and emotions. So much happening, and a complete different day-to-day-ness right now. I know for us, each year has been different, homeschooling, and both Siena and Lucas being at different stages each year, that the return to our routines after the holiday breaks always brings something new.
But this year, we are adding the return from our long trip, and I feel that everything is coming full of emotions and feelings right now.
After our holidays, as always, we get to celebrate Mark. For him growing up, was always hard to have his birthday right after Christmas. For example he would get two presents for Christmas and were told to pick one for his birthday. Or got birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper. Small things, but I bet it was hard, especially as a kid. But for me, since we’ve lived together (20 years?), is a beautiful way to end the year. To celebrate the love of my life, we’ve always been together (so far). I just really love December and I can’t think of a better time to celebrate Mark.
This picture makes me want to do our own “Year in Review” book. Like the one I made for Siena for Christmas, of her and the Taj Mahal. I’ve been making these for a while, for each month with our photos online at the apple store. I think I’ll work on that as my next photo project. Our Year in Review. A year to remember fore sure.
And a beautiful gift was to have Glendie come from Idaho to celebrate with us on Mark’s birthday. This was a much closer trip than her last trip to come see us. (I still need to share with you our pictures from her visit to India. They are coming soon.)
We also celebrated Glendie’s birthday and exchange Christmas presents since we couldn’t be with her for her day (it is on Solstice).
Some other goodies, and Glendie also brought us our kitty, Runt, who was visiting her in Idaho while we were in India. We all got lots of traveling done this year and we are surely glad to see him back at home again. We are all back together.
And then New Years. Growing up we always celebrated the New Year with some kind of party. In Chile is summer, so we were always outside either watching the fireworks or dancing or at the lake celebrating with family and friends. Always something fun, loud, and festive.
This year we celebrated as we like it too. A much more quiet celebration than I had growing up. Winter seems to bring our bodies in and be more calm. With homemade foods and good friends, and not really making it until midnight it’s still OK. It’s always fun to gather and this year no different, a great way to end this beautiful 2011.
Some lentils for good luck and good fortune in the coming year. And this year, we didn’t walk around the house with a suitcase as we usually do. I think I’m done with travels, at least for a while. We’ll leave that tradition for next year. I’m looking forward to some quiet feet for a while.
We also shared the bests for 2011. We talked about our best foods, our best books, best movies, and what we liked the most or what we won’t forget of this past year. What a fun list!
And almost as a tradition, we go bowling on our winter break.
And I’m glad Glendie got to go with us this time.
I think we’ll add this in our list of joys. What was your best food, book, movie or moment of 2011? You are welcome to share it here in the comments section.
Peace * Health * Happiness