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Sunday, January 10, 2010

busy times are happy times...

oh the glory of the holidays.





each year we have been blessed to have my sister's family fly across the continent for Christmas.  this is awesome for several reasons, but namely, the fact that we get to see them at least once a year and also that we never really have to travel (beyond tons of local area traveling) over the annually chaotic national holiday.  i'm immeasurably appreciative that my sister and her family is willing to do that and am amazed every year when they tell us they've found tickets.    it is not something any of us take for granted.

we were finally able to frolic in the snow with my two nieces this year.  ten years and we finally had a white Christmas.  perfect.  and if i'm not mistaken, this was the first these Los Angeles born kiddos have met the real stuff.  there was, of course, lots of sledding down our mediocre, yet fully suitable hill.  seeing all of the kids play so well together after going 12 months since the last visit was a beautiful thing.  i credit this to iChat.  thank you Apple.

uncle shinny was convinced to partake in the fun.
the sweet voice of a 6 year old can do that.


on the other side of the family we met our perfectly adorable new little nephew.  boy......... i want another boy.  it's no secret.  but, alas, we are meant for three.  i can't bare to risk one more girl.  no offense to the women out there, but *yeesh*... it's tough to raise you.  :)

little charlie.  i hate to brag, but we bonded.


ethan with charlie's big brother, jack.

we went to ICE! at the National Harbor.  it was a little on the freezing side, but that was the point.  it's hard existing as such a bulky being when carrying a purse.  and a screaming three year old.  it was a very nice experience to have with my entire family.  even though 4 of the kids couldn't last more than 15 mins in there, and not because of the cold.  more because they were three and under.

but here are my 2 survivors... they were 100% hooked on the cold.


 but our little family?  our little family's Christmas was everything the little Hamakos could have ever dreamed of... the beauty salon they dreamed of... the motorized scooters that they thought they would never get... and to top it all... the PS3.

christmas eve.  2009.


sophie even got her very own baby sophie. 

does it get any better?
i can't imagine.

the perfect ending to this wonderful holiday was spent in a car --- destined to spend just a few short hours with my baby brother.  deployments effect us all.  if we can see him, by jeebus, we're gonna see him.  so we packed 14 of us up in a caravan and hit the road.  it was two days before his shipped sailed.  literally.

the trip down was quite sad, i have to say.  we were the unfortunate passerby to a double fatality highway accident that day.  it was such a strike to your soul - i can't really describe the pain inflicted to my body after driving by the accident.  it really hits home that you never know when it's your time. 

live life to it's fullest.  it could all be gone in a flash. 

on our way to dinner that night we walked past a pedestrian hit by a car laying motionless in the middle of the street.  it definitely made me worry about what else might happen that night.  it was all so scary.... it just takes a second and your life can change forever. {don't worry, there were firemen at the scene waiting on the ambulance -- we didn't pull a Seinfeld}.

but that visit to norfolk was something of a blessing.  all five siblings, six with our step-brother,  all together to wish our littlest guy a safe and quick deployment.  It was the first time in over a decade that we felt compelled enough to gather at the same place, at the same time. 

i love this little boy.
he's a man.
i get that.
but always the little boy i'll forever remember him as.
one of the loves of my life.
{i have many, i know.  how blessed am i?}

uncle cliffy, emma, ethan, miya, & teagan.

and the 6 of us monkeys.   the hotel concierge was probably
ready to kill us.  150 pictures, 7 kids running around the lobby...
boy was it worth the looks we got.

i even got to meet some new nieces.

gabi and olivia.  some new apples for my eyes.

the holidays.


what a wonderful life.

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