Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I love the lights, the Christmas tree, gift giving and receiving, the joy that seems to fill the air...

This is the first year I have spent Christmas in Ecuador and it was very different from the Christmas I am used to back in the States. In the US we wake up early, open stockings, have breakfast, open presents, then relax in the morning and have Christmas dinner in the afternoon.

Here, we headed to dinner around 8:39 and ate at 9:30 with Aida and her family and some of our expat friends. It was a wonderful turkey dinner with potatoes, salad, avocado, and a bit of champagne. Aida made a delicious fruit cake for dessert. We talked with friends and Arturo, Kesha and I crashed around 10:30 and were home by 11:00 and in bed by 11:30. We did nothing on Christmas day, and that was the extent of our Christmas.

Very different from what I'm used to, but it was nice to be close to family and friends here in Cuenca.

Two Weeks With Family and Friends

Our two weeks in the US flew by! We had a wonderful time!

We visited friends
Aunt Lisa and Aunt Kelsey with Kesha

 Kesha meeting Caleb (my friend Carolyn's little boy)

Spent time with family
Auntie Kayla with Kesha

Nana and Kesha playing the piano

Nana and Kesha looking at Christmas lights

Kesha and Grandpa playing with Frosty

And went on adventures
On the Amtrak train to Bellingham

 The view from the train window on the way to Bellingham
Our winter walk looking at leaves
Bellevue Botanical Gardens Christmas lights

Visiting Santa

We miss our friends and family back in Seattle and had a wonderful time, but we are happy to be home. Merry Christmas everyone and wishing you the best in 2011!

Back in the USA

On December 9th Kesha and I hopped on a plane back to Seattle for a visit.

Visiting where you come from is always bittersweet. There are so many things about the States (specifically the Seattle area) that I miss... the specialty shops selling fancy olive oils, vinegars, spices, wines, pastries, amazing coffee shops around every corner, the seasons, the rain (even though I whined the entire time I was home about it), and, of COURSE my friends and family are at top the list!

But there are so many things I love about Ecuador and it is hard to be away from my family there. It was Kesha and my first time away from Arturo since she was born, and it was hard (although I had lots of help from my mom and dad which was wonderful!).

Kesh slept 8 out of the 12 hours we spent in an airplane, and zoomed through the airports with me in Miami and St. Paul like a champ! And while mom almost had a nervous breakdown because there was so much turbulence on our flight from Guayaquil to Miami (everyone, including cabin staff, was seated for 3 out of the 4 hours we were flying due to strong turbulence... darn Tungurahua and its eruptions!), she napped away... She is really quite the little traveler! I'm such a proud mama!

We arrived in Seattle late at night and my dad met us at Sea-Tac. He was waiting for us outside of the elevator in baggage claim. When he saw her he said "hi" and she smiled SO big! It was wonderful! I couldn't think of a better way for the two of them to meet.

It took us a short while to get home then it was time to surprise mom...

We arrived in the house, sat on the couch, and dad work mom up. She was beside herself to see us sitting there. It was so much fun to see her and for her to see us!

Should be a fun two weeks!

Monday, December 6, 2010

More Videos Starring Ms. Kesha Lee

Now Playing: Chatting With Daddy

Now Playing: I Can Hold on to my Butterfly, but Can't Quite Get it in my Mouth (so I Put my Hand in my Mouth Instead)

Now Playing: Christmas Decorations Excite me to the Point Where I Choke