Early Christmas in Detroit, Part 2

Sunday morning, and everyone is up and having breakfast. The kitchen is going full steam, and lots of things happening at once. Kirt is making eggs, Liz is watching the bacon cooking in the oven, Anne and Tricia are prepping the monkeybread, and the kids are eating at the table.

Fast forward to mid-morning, and we all settle in the living room for some early Christmas gift-opening.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Sebastian liked his gift.

Tricia watching, as Paige opens her present (slowly, with her arm cast).

Isabelle and Audrey.

Kirt, opening a custom gift that Isabelle made by hand.

Audrey and Tricia, checking out Paige’s new purse.

It’s simply awesome to watch the expression on kids’ faces, when they open presents for the holidays.

Jackson and Audrey help Anne open her gift.

Kids gathering around Sebastian and his new skateboard.

A big bottle of Ephemere! This was one of my gifts, not for the kids FYI.

For me and Liz, we were given an incredibly generous present from Kirt and Anne. It took both of us by surprise and… suffice it to say that it was a tremendously kind gift.

It’s a few days later as I write this, and it’s still difficult to put into words. The gift from Kirt and Anne will be a tremendous help for us, as we continue our efforts on the house.

Paige, looking remarkably festive and remarkably calm at the same time.

Audrey, opening up the “Disney’s Sofia the First Time to Shine Sing ALong Boombox.”

It’s worth mentioning that this toy is extremely sensitive. The slightest bump can set it off. Proof:

Also, as I was packing up the car yesterday… I was putting this gift in the back seat, and accidentally bumped it. When the voice went off, it scared the crap out of me, as I thought some small child had materialized behind me and started talking.

We were nervous about the gift getting bumped, but luckily it stayed quiet until Audrey opened it up.

Another one of Audrey’s presents: a pair of roller skates (with some elbow, knee, and arm pads that she put on later).

I spent some time hovering around Audrey, worried she would fall over. She practiced a lot on the first floor… and also in the basement area.

Sandy, looking pretty for the camera.

The ladies, checking out some family photos on Tricia’s laptop. For some reason, my iPhone added this extra blur/gauze to things and this looks like a ridiculous stock photo.

The kids, getting ready to go outside to play in the snow.

Paige’s cast, wrapped in a plastic bag, and taped down. I’m adding this for no other reason that this embarrassed her a lot, and I wanted to document this for future Paige.

The kids in the yard and snow.

Sebastian, looking back in the house.

Audrey, moments before getting a big face full of snow…

Later on in the afternoon, I was down in the basement. I helped Audrey roller skate a bit more, and also threw a football around with Sebastian for a bit.

On the TV by the bar was a real football game…

And in a room nearby, Jackson was playing with Madden 2017. Which is a pretty real looking football game.

Looking down from the upstairs balcony, as Liz and Tricia are talking and Audrey is communing with Sandy.

We had a lovely meal around 3PM, but the day went back too quickly. We had to say our goodbyes soon after, and were on the road by about 5:30 EST. Again, despite a bit of weather, we made decent time and got back to Chicago after about four hours.

It was lovely to see everyone again, even it if was just for a brief visit. Liz and I were both remarking that even though they had moved to a new city and a new house… visiting still felt very much the same, in a comfortable and familiar way.

Early Christmas in Detroit, Part 1
Meeting Sandy
Kirt’s Surprise 60th Birthday Party
Sunday in Atlanta

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