Celebrating Christmas over the last week with immediate and extended family has been just the type of rest I needed. It’s been different this year; quiet, with both Alex and Patrick and their respective fiancées absent, and with the abnormally warm weather (on the 22nd I ran outside in shorts and a t-shirt!). But it’s been a nice kind of quiet, slow, with time to meditate and reflect.

We got to have dinner with Mom and Dad Hermelin in Chardon Square on Wednesday night, the perfect kickoff to the celebrations– it was also a belated celebration of Michael’s birthday.

The big Adamek family celebration was on Christmas Eve, this year with a special treat: a traditional Polish Wigilia dinner. After reading the Wikipedia article, I realized just how Polish Michael’s extended family is– right down to the cheek kisses! So many things I thought were Adamek things, it turns out are just Polish things. (That doesn’t make them any less wonderful, though.) The party was a little smaller this year, and it was kind of a last hurrah for the Heiseys, who are moving to Florida in a couple days. It’s bittersweet for everyone, and becoming much too normal for me– having parents, grandparents, sisters, and brothers-in-law spread out across six states all over the country (not to mention aunts, uncles, cousins). And who knows where Michael and I will be in six months? I’ve had a harder time thinking about these things now, at Christmas, than any other time this year. But Uncle Derrick reminded me in his prayer before dinner that distance does not affect family bond, and we pray to be kept close in spirit even through so many changes.

We spent Christmas morning at Mom and Dad Hermelin’s, exchanging gifts and eating. (After twelve courses the night before, we all thought we’d never eat again. Turns out we were hungry, who’d have thought?) We made these cinnamon rolls for breakfast, which I highly recommend. Later in the day, Michael and I packed up and headed home to have a quiet Christmas evening just the two of us, playing with gifts and watching movies.

Our gift to each other this year was to get Michael’s nice camera fixed– we woke up on the first day of our honeymoon trip to Maine to find it broken (perfect timing) and have been without a quality camera ever since. There aren’t really camera repair shops around here, so we had to send it off to Canon for a pricey repair, something we’d been putting off because it just wasn’t a priority. But now! We got to pick it up from FedEx yesterday just before the Adamek family bowling party, Grandpa’s gift to his eleven children and 26 grandchildren, plus sons- and daughters-in-law, spouses of grandchildren (me!), step-grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. That’s a lot of family to buy gifts for, so we get a party instead. SO, we got to test out our newly-fixed camera at the bowling alley, a great place to try out the low-light settings (ha).


Picking out bowling names. Most were Star-Wars themed. 😉


Cousins chatting.


Me, Eden, and Anchor. They’re just the best.


Ja-nia, Lauren, and Evelyn


Olive and Aunt Catherine



Eden with Krystina and her son Caleb– the youngest of the clan

The John Adameks didn’t get in to town until yesterday, so there were more gifts to be opened too!



Look at this goober. The little dragon is from Anchor.



Lillian loves Olive.

There’s a lot of room for improvement with using this camera, but I’m pretty excited about learning, and having a better way to capture these memories.

Christmas 2016: Over and out! Until next year.



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