We just got back today from a trip to Illinois to spend Christmas with my in-laws. I also grew up in Illinois (about 40 minutes away from Luke but we met in Virginia). My parents now live in South Carolina and so it is nice for me that I still get to go “back home”. We planned our yearly summer trip to Illinois for July 2005 after having been there a year earlier. Nathan relapsed in June 2005 and so we had to cancel our trip while he underwent intensive therapy. Fast-forward to July 2006 and another planned trip. Nathan once again relapses in June and we are unable to travel. This past June we tried to go to Illinois one last time but Nathan was too unstable to go. So that is how it happened that it had been over three years since we got to go to Illinois. It was very good to be back.
We ate so much food that I don’t think we have been hungry since we left on our trip. There are two foods I can’t get here and so I twice had to have Monical’s pizza and Steak and Shake. Add in Luke’s mother’s homemade fried chicken, chicken and noodles, fabulous pies, peanut brittle and much, much more and it seems like all we did was eat! It was great! We will now commence with LIGHT eating though.
Luke’s sister and her boyfriend were also there and it made for a wonderful family Christmas. Julia and Lauren had so much fun playing and being read to. Santa was good (though he failed to bring Julia the $250 4 foot high animatronic pony she wanted).
We drove out (about 15 hours each way) and it was really good. Lauren had never been on a long car trip so we didn’t know what to expect. We did it in 2 days each time. We spent last night with good friends in Kansas City and that was a bonus!
We missed Nathan like crazy and at the same time managed to have a decent Christmas. How can we not when we still have two beautiful daughters. I imagine Nathan had a fantastic Christmas in Heaven and I hope he was able to “pop in” and see us in Illinois.
I am being lazy and so you will see accompanying pictures on New Years Day when I publish the December photos.