On Thursday, Jordan and I left Oklahoma to drive to Illinois. We met up with my parents in St. Louis and caravan(ed) it up to my grandparents' house. Christmas Eve was spent with my mom's side of the family, and then we woke up early the next morning and headed off to my other grandparents' house for Christmas with my dad's side.
Jordan met a lot of family this weekend and was a trooper. They all loved him (of course), and I loved getting to show Jordan where I grew up and having him put faces with all the names I've been throwing at him for the past year and a half.
On Sunday--the day after Christmas--my parents, brothers, sister, Jordan, and my grandparents (mom's side) drove into Chicago and spent the day walking around, hitting all the hot spots and showing Jordan the sights and sounds of the big city.
It went by quickly, and I can't believe we're already back. I had more fun than I thought I would, which is saying a lot, since I've been looking forward to this weekend for months. Mostly, though, it was a weekend full of little moments--pieces of time where I found myself taking a second just to stop, wishing I could freeze that moment forever, knowing that the next second it would be gone.
Moments like the face Jordan made when he opened up the box with the blanket I'd made him--the one I'd been working on since September.
Moments like seeing one of my best friends the day before Christmas and giving her a big hug.
Moments like my grandma (mom's mom--we call her Nonnie) sitting by the tree, handing out the presents she'd so carefully chosen for her grandchildren.
Moments like sitting next to my beautiful 87-year-old grandmother (Grandma Lee--my dad's mom). When I hugged her good-bye, I didn't want to let go.
Moments like my brothers, dad, and boyfriend sitting around a table playing marble baseball--a game my grandpa has had for 70 years.
And then the moment my grandpa joined in the fun, pulling an old, worn box full of marbles off a shelf and saying in his gravelly voice, "Let me see what these old boys can do." At that moment, I could picture him as a young boy, playing this game with his friends on a lazy Saturday afternoon. I don't think I've ever seen him so giddy. He was being hilarious, and at one point I was laughing so hard I was crying.
Moments like Jordan seeing the city I love so much for the first time and saying, "Wow. Chicago is awesome."
Then the moment it got really cold, and my die-hard Packers fan pulled on the new Bears beanie my grandparents had given him for Christmas and gave me that adorable, dimpled smile of his.
The 25 minutes Justine and I got to spend together when we met up at a McDonald's off the interstate for a breakfast smoothie and a familiar hug.
All those little moments and so many more made up a weekend to remember; and I stopped along the way and made a point to freeze them in my mind, if only for a second. But there was one moment in particular that stopped time all on its own. However, it deserves its own post with its own pictures, and I still need to wrap my head around what actually happened--so you'll just have to wait for that story.
I promise it's a good one.