Ending a Hard Year On a High Note, Part I: Christmas on the Farm

2016 was, in a word, hard. We lost our beloved Mollie, saw dear friends lose their father and brother, and watched strangers face so much devastation all over the world. The U.S. presidential election was a blow and the impending leadership of our country frightens and saddens me every day. So much more has gone wrong this year, but because I am generally opposed to complaining, I'll leave it at that. This is life. There are ups and downs, good and bad. And while we endured a lot of bad this year, we also experienced a lot of good. 

After a year of highs and lows, I was especially looking forward to spending time with family over the holidays. The first stop on our trip away from San Francisco was my sister's farm in South Carolina, where Garrett and I would spend Christmas with my siblings and their significant others, our nieces and nephew, and my father. It was the first time all of us would be together for Christmas in five years. A lot has happened in those five years, and it was especially important for me to be with my family on Christmas Day. After South Carolina, we would travel to Chicago to celebrate a late Christmas and New Year with Garrett's parents, siblings, and sisters-in-law. This trip was equally as important to us; when family members are spread across three states, it can be increasingly hard to get everyone together. 

So when Garrett was admitted to the hospital with appendicitis on Wednesday afternoon, just about 30 hours before we were supposed to fly to South Carolina, it felt like everything was falling to pieces. I was worried for his well-being and convinced that we wouldn't make it to our families for the holidays.

But Garrett promised me we'd make it. He pulled through, and for once American Airlines was helpful, and on Christmas Eve, we boarded a plane to South Carolina. We spent a few peaceful days in the company of family on my sister's farm, something we needed so much after the chaos of 2016 and the last few days. 

My family is still healing over my parent's divorce, so there was that. Every minute of every moment over Christmas was not perfect, but we tried our best, and for now, that's all I can ask for. I wouldn't trade anything for being woken up by my husband on Christmas morning (after his third attempt; he woke up way before anyone, even the kids), slipping boots and a coat over my pajamas, and visiting my sister's new horse. We sipped our coffee, took in the golden light that spread over the farm, and were thankful to be there together, in the middle of nowhere, with some of the people that matter the most.

Below are photos from our short, but sweet time spent on the farm. I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday!

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