Christmas Maryland Trip

Whew! We are back in Florida. After a long 16 hour drive with two dogs in the back we finally made it home. We had such an amazing time in Maryland spending time with family and friends. Matt's parents and siblings cooked outstanding dinners and we got to spend quality time with our nephew Logan, and our niece Elena. His parents were so hospitable and really made every moment warm and very 'holiday.'

Logan is all boy and so much fun to be around. He's at a constant state of "fighting the bad guys" and he has such a big heart. Elena is walking and talking! Wow she can now say "dog" and "nana, papa, mama, dada, and screams AUNT DIANA." She is a sassy little thing and has the best personality. When she smiles her entire face lights up.

The first day we arrived in Maryland Matt's mom had a surprise planned for the entire family. We arrived at the target in Annapolis and Matt's mom gave us all envelopes with a set of rules and a gift card. Here were the rules:

Matt ended up winning and we all had such a great time racing around Target! What a great idea this game was it really put us all in the Christmas spirit. After this we headed to downtown Annapolis and got some dinner.

 Matt and I also were able to meet up with a bunch of my high school and college friends. It's amazing after all these years how when we get together it's like we never left. Cara has embarked on a new journey and got herself the most adorable apartment in Canton, Baltimore. I couldn't be more excited for her. Being around her really makes me miss our college days. Court's doing great in LA and is loving California life. She is still just as attentive and sweet as ever. Lauren is officially a CPA and I am stoked for her! Rachel is doing great living in Baltimore, working as a nurse and I feel so lucky to still have her as such a great friend. Mindi lives with her boyfriend in Elkton, MD and is simultaneously working at a bank while getting her degree. I got to meet her adorable boyfriend and the way they look at one another makes me so incredibly happy. I've known Mindi ever since we were in diapers and it's nice to catch up. My sister and her husband had us over one evening and cooked us an amazing dinner and we got to relax with them and celebrate Dan's birthday. Dan is busy busy of course. Her and Timmy are looking forward to the next chapter of their lives. She will soon know where she "matched" for her residency program and they will be moving! On the way home to Florida we spent the night in North Carolina with Meridith and Gary and were able to celebrate her birthday. I was thrilled to finally meet her puppy Shady, she where she works as a nurse, and to see where she lives. I can't wait for her wedding in April and being so far from your best friend is so hard. It's wonderful to pick up right where you left off and that's what we always seem to do! :)

This Christmas we weren't able to squeeze in both families. But my parents had a great time visiting my grandparents in Florida and my Dad had very successful art shows in Key West. This was the first year I wasn't able to see my parents and it was certainly weird. I miss them so much and being without them on Christmas morning felt like something HUGE was missing. I sure wish we could have ALL been together. And hey who knows maybe next  year ;-). Matt's family is always so incredibly welcoming and I always feel right at home with them but can't help but miss my own mom and dad!

This year we were rather lame on New Years but that was quite alright with me. We stayed at home and got to spend time with Matt's two best friends Billy and Mike. Overall the trip was so wonderful and now its time for Matt to buckle down and start Helo training this week.

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