04 January 2013

Happy Holidays!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Well, I survived the holidays away from home thanks to a festive roomie, adopted family and lots of Skype.
Opening gifts via Skype

Anna and I decorated the tree together (shown in the last post), then I left her to her own creativity to decorate the rest of the house. As promised, a taste of the holidays in our home: 

Handmade decorations and lots of cards from friends!

The YAV bunch celebrated Christmas together with a sleepover in East Belfast. As always, it was nice to have the opportunity to all get together for some fun. 

...because we are so normal.
I actually did something this holiday season I haven't done in over a decade: sing in front of other people. It was fun to learn the traditional songs that are so different from what we would learn at home as I sang at both the Carol services at the Vine and Fortwilliam and Macrory. 

On Christmas Eve, we went to the midnight service led by the youth at Anna's church. It was fun to meet the people she's talked so much about, and to see all the progress they made on the play they wrote themselves. I came home and skyped with the whole McClan for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner at Grandmother's house... what was 1 am for me was just after dinner for them so I got to participate in (/ take) the annual family photo from 3750 miles away! 

Anna and I woke up and did Christmas together before heading to our respective churches for the Christmas morning services. I skyped with my mom as she prepared for her Christmas feast (it was still too early back home for anyone else to be awake), and then made my way over to the home of the family that hosted me for dinner. 


They made me feel right at home as we hung out, exchanged gifts and ate WAY too much food together just like I would have been doing at home. It made being away from my family a whole lot easier.

My friend Steph and I rang in the new year in Paris, standing in the rain at the Arc de Triomphe as the Eiffel Tower sparkled behind us!


Now I'm resting up, working on getting over the cold that inevitably follows a NYE spent standing in the rain... and getting ready for whatever 2013 sends my way!

Lots of love,