We finished up our final exams and headed for Incheon airport with enough stuff to last a few months. We were nervous about James' first flight and made cute little "care packages" for all the people around us (thanks, Pinterest) that included a pair of earplugs. Fortunately, they were not needed because James was a angel traveler. We flew to San Francisco for a long layover and then to Boise, ID to spend a few days with Jamie and Brian and the kids. It had been awhile since we were together so it was awesome to hang out and be with them again. Oh and I was stubborn and stood an a 2 hour line so that James could get his picture with Santa... the frostbite was worth it for the incredible picture. This Santa was amazing.
We rented a car and drove from Missouri to Kansas to visit my Grandpa Howard, aunt Elaine and uncle Martin. When we got there, I saw my uncle Lindell through the window and was so excited to see everyone that it didn't quite sink in for a second when my dad walked out from around the corner too! He had flown up to surprise us and also so we could get a 4 generation picture.
We flew from Kansas to Florida to spend the bulk of our trip at home with both our families. Both families had left their Christmas decorations up so that we could have a big Christmas together. Our activities while home were:
- Eating at all the restaurants we were homesick for
- James' first time at the beach (he wasn't a fan)
- Flying with my dad (James fell asleep)
- James' dedication service at church (He got to wear a 100 year old family heirloom)
- Drew's beach baptism
- Robert and my birthday party with family and friends
- Special Family dinners
- Pool days
- Tea time with Grandma Great
- Art Festival
- James' first sleep over with grandparents (mommy and daddy got 2 dates!)
- Seeing friends from Korea
- An awesome Girl's Night with college friends
- Cousin time with Drew
- Finally cleaned and stored my wedding dress (after four years)
- Morikama Japanese Gardens
- and a whole lot of just hanging out and spending time with friends and family...
(Jason came to the service after working all night and had already left to go to bed)
While we were in Florida, we took a weekend to drive up to North Carolina to visit Robert's grandparents and for James to also meet his Great Great Grandma Kenyon. We got to see all the uncles and get a 5 generation picture which was so special!
Though we were sad to bid farewells to our family and friends, we were excited for a vacation from vacation... in Hawaii! I had always wanted to go and Robert was able to route our trip home through Oahu. We spent a week with our friends Tim and Tina who were incredible hosts and we just had a week of relaxing and family time. It was such a fun trip!
When we returned to Korea, it was time to get back into a routine of school and schedules and some form of normalcy. Looking back, this was a tough few months. There were so many changes taking place with adjusting to life as a part time teacher/SAHM. We got over jetlag, we said goodbye to our first group of seniors from the English department, we started daycare, I received my diploma for my Master's degree, and James stood up for the first time. It was an exciting and full month...
The semester was in full swing and everything was pretty normal for the time being. We enjoyed beautiful weather as Spring was on its way and we took Buddha's birthday holiday as a mini-family vacation to Daegu. Robert bought me an hour and half massage while he babysat James... just what this tired mama needed! We celebrated St. Patrick's day with friends and enjoyed the English department MT.
Spring. That's all I really need to say. Spring is my favorite time of year here in Korea. It's when the cherry blossoms are out and the weather is gorgeous and the days are filled with picnics, visits to the temple, and Easter Sunday which we always spend in Seoul with our church family. James enjoyed his first Easter basket and we got to see a good friend from our days in Seoul. James went on his first field trip with daycare :) They were kind enough to send me pictures.
James had his first "real" doctor visit for something other than shots or routine checkup. He wasn't feeling well and being that we're first time parents and all, we headed for the hospital. We celebrated James' first Children's day which is a pretty big deal here in Korea. We headed to Toys-r-us and braved the crowds for some fun toys. Just after Children's day is Parent's day so James "made" his first craft at daycare. I had my first Mother's day (with a child outside the womb) and my boys spoiled me rotten. For mother's day, Robert sent me on a shopping daytrip ALONE. It was amazing! I shopped, had my nails done, drank coffee, pumped :) (the glories of a nursing mom), and enjoyed the quiet time... and came home to a daddy and son that were very ready for me to be home! We got to see an old friend from our Hobe Sound days and James had his first pool day on the roof since the weather was heating up... ready for Summer time!