Oh, hey, look! I have a face.
Look at that.
(Have we discussed how much I am not ready for wrinkles?)
In any case, I am livin' it up in Illinois right now; if 'living it up' means 'going to bed at like 9 pm because my brain thinks it's past my bedtime and waking up at 4:30 am because in South Carolina Jason and I would be waking up for work now...'
It's like living it up. I'm a party animal, clearly.
Christmas Eve I took two plane rides - one from Greenville to Atlanta, and then from Atlanta to Bloomington, Illinois. The first ride was mostly uneventful; it's the shortest plane ride, you're really only in the air for about half an hour, other than takeoff and landing.
I always warn my seatmates prior to takeoff that I am, shall we say, a "bad flier". My seatmate, who looked about five years younger than me, turned wide eyes at me upon hearing my warning and said, in a soft timid voice, "... this is only my second time flying."
I looked her in the eye and said, "Well, then I'm really sorry for this."
Then takeoff started.
It was a fine ride, and I really only made her a little bit nervous. The second plane was... a touch more interesting. There were lots of interesting smells from people who just don't feel like taking care of their personal hygiene, bless their hearts, and a baby who cried about 75% of the trip... only falling into blissful, silent sleep three and a half minutes before we landed.
My seatmate for the second flight had her phone out through most of landing, even though you're not really supposed to do that. However, when the plane was coming in I looked outside and I had just about enough time to think, "Woah, usually we're farther back on the runway where that big silo looks like we're BEHIND it before we touch down - " before our wheels hit the runway and the pilot slammed on the brakes.
We all jerked forwards, and my seatmate hit herself in the face with her iPhone. It was a supremely satisfying moment.
Then we were off the plane, and the most important thing happened:
I saw this little girl in person.
Well, and also my sister and father and mother. But also my little niece, who is rapidly turning into my not-so-little niece as she insists on getting older while I'm away.
We killed some time running last-minute errands (and lunch at Steak n Shake! Because there is no post-airline food quite like chili and cheese fries, and that's not a joke) before we came back to pick up my brother and finally, the VanHoorn family was in one single location. It's been awhile. Bryan and I both do this crazy thing where we decide to live whole states away. It's madness.
Christmas was its usual flurry of excitement, mostly because I get to watch my little niece discover presents from Santa (and the crumbs of the cookies they put out the night before, the empty chocolate milk glass, the evidence that the reindeer had a carrot-y snack...) and watching her open our presents is always awesome. I think I did pretty well on the gifts I got my family this year... I was pretty proud of myself.
I received some awesome gifts, too. Actually, that first photo up there is me wearing a present from my Mom and Dad (the shirt, from Boden, my favorite brand in the whole world right now) and the necklace was a present from my friend Sarah, who knows my intense love of hamsas.
So, the quiet mornings waiting for other people to be awake give me plenty of time to blog, although obviously I kind of wussed out on that by just posting a photo yesterday (as my cousin Beth reminded me, ha), so... here you go.
I'm in Illinois.
It's very flat.
It's very cold.
There are still dregs of snow.
There's my parents, and my sister and brother and brother-in-law, my family in general and my little niece in particular in all her wild glory.
Wouldn't trade it for the world.
Although it would be nice to rediscover the ability to sleep in.