I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and made some unforgettable memories with your loved ones. I took a break from the cyber world this past week (I only checked my email periodically) and spent every waking moment with family. The days felt so much longer, which I truly appreciated. While last year my in-laws were out of the country, this year, it was the other way around. My parents and my brother are still in Korea so my sister and I had an intimate celebration. I am officially the worst auntie as I passed down my cold to my almost 2 yr old nephew. However, if it weren’t for the runny nose and his exaggerated “ewww” after each nose blow, nobody would’ve known the boy was sick. He’s quite the trooper and always has a happy-go-lucky spirit. And I love him so dearly.
After the quiet morning with my sister and her family, we headed over to my in-laws’ house. Christmas Day started out in typical fashion with the usual dumpling making (a Kwon family tradition). There are people who make them and then there are those who eat them as soon as they are done cooking. Ahem, my Italian brother-in-law, a.k.a the bottomless pit.
Then came time for the presents. The kids could barely contain themselves…
This was the first time in years that Tim’s family has been able to gather under one roof to celebrate Christmas. With my father-in-law’s condition worsening, there was a sense of urgency which compelled everyone to make this happen. Tim has 3 older sisters, and when they get together it’s something else. To the outsider their interactions could be confused for arguments, but when you get to know the family, you realize that it’s just a lot of loving bickering and lighthearted ribbing. And somehow the chaos was just what my father-in-law needed – Tim and I found him grinning ear to ear as he gazed upon the table surrounded by his children.
Tim’s family dynamic is so different from my own as the Koos are a lot more reserved (except me…I do enough talking for everyone) and a lot “mushier,” as Tim would say, with each other. I was shocked at first when I heard that his family doesn’t write Christmas cards to each other! For us, even if there are no presents, sentimental words written on a cheesy card is a must.
This day was also momentous in that the youngest member of the family, Matthew, was introduced to solid food. The boy was DEF ready. At the sight of the spoon, he naturally opened his tiny mouth and proceeded to go after the bowl as if his life depended on it.
The day after Christmas was the family photo shoot. There was no dress code but apparently my father-in-law and I were on the same wavelength. Unfortunately, as a result, we had to stand far away from each other in pictures so we wouldn’t look like twins. Although there was rain in the forecast, God blessed us with cool weather and just enough light for awesome pictures to come. Can’t wait to see the finished product!!
My last day in Houston was spent mostly with my sister and Noah. He had his very first dumplings, and it soon became clear that he only liked the filling. And just try to ignore the belly that’s larger than life ;). It’s impressive how much he can pack away in that tiny body. Since we were both sick, we also shared some Goldfish..mouth to mouth. He makes my heart melt.
Tim and I have returned home and are quickly adjusting back to life. It was such a blessing to be surrounded by the ones we love. As different as our families are, we wouldn’t have it any other way.