So, I'm sorry to my family for all the lying that I've done for the last month and a half. I did actually get to go home for Christmas and I've known since November 1st-ish!!! It was the best Christmas Eve ever and close to my favorite Christmas; it's hard to pick a favorite Christmas...
Christmas Eve was fantastic!! I got off the airplane and was picked up by my wonderful little brother. He had never been to the BWI airport before so he got to have a small little adventure of his own. First thing he said to me is "Sorry I forgot to get you a gift." To which I laughed at him and told him it was fine. He was so focused on not spoiling the surprise of me coming home that it sort of slipped his mind to get me a gift. So he took me shopping and I'm now watching my Christmas gift; Gilmore Girls with the line of "Do I have to watch it?" When I answered no he told me that I was allowed to get it. My lovely little brother ladies and gentlemen...
Anyways, back to Christmas Eve. So, John and I get to church and we're just slightly late because my flight was delayed by a small little bit. We walked in and I made sure to hide behind John so that my Dad couldn't see me fully until I wanted him to. The coming home was for him (Mom and I orchestrated the whole plot). He was very depressed that I wouldn't be coming home. I'm glad that I got to make his year better. I came into the sanctuary and the first thing I see is Sofie, my 15 year old cousin, holding her hands over her mouth and nose with eyes as wide as could be; obviously she was glad that I came home. I then stood in the aisle with what my dad describes as a "cheshire cat grin" spread across my face. I waited until my dad's face told me that he had processed that it was actually his daughter standing there in the back of the sanctuary. He cried but managed to keep his voice level through all of liturgy for the whole service.
After Dad processed it was me I turned and saw my grandmother coming towards me with open arms, a huge smile and tears in her eyes. She told me "I thought you weren't coming home! What are doing here?! Does your mother know!?" I told her mom paid for the ticket. So Gramma cried into my shoulder for a few minutes. I felt very loved.
As soon as there was a moment when everyone stood up and Sofie practically flew towards me to hug me. She was crying too and told me "I'm so glad that you're home! Is my makeup ok?" Typical Sofie. Love her forever.
When my mom was able to come over and hug me she literally shoved Sofie out of the way so that she could hug me. I laughed. I love my mother.
Once communion was being served and Grandpa came down I went over to hug him. I've never seen my grandfather sulk in 22 years but when I went over to him he said "Someone sent us a text that implied they were staying in Florida." There was so much sulking in that tone I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing at him.
At the end of service there was candle lighting and my dad was diligently lighting everyone's candle that he could. I found out later that my mom somewhat yelled at him "Go light Ashley's candle!" He pretty much ran over to me at that point. Sofie saw him coming and told me "Give me your candle!!" I did and hugged my dad for a solid 5 minutes. I remember telling him "You said that people should be at home with family on Christmas." I think I made him cry more with that.
The rest of Christmas was floating on a cloud. Samantha was just as happy to see me as the rest of my family. It was a perfect weekend and went off just as I've been picturing since November. I have a picture of Mantha's face when she saw me. It was pretty much the same as everyone else's so it should give you an idea of my weekend.
I also got to see my little boys over the weekend. That was my cherry on top of a fantastic weekend. Enjoy the pictures! Byes!!