what we did for Christmas break, part 2

Thursday, also known as the best day of my life, our anniversary and New Year's Eve, Ian and I got up at 4:15 in the morning. Because we are such morning people had an 8:10 a.m. flight to Kansas City via Minneapolis. Avid blog readers may notice this is the third time in six months I've been through this airport. So if you need directions or food suggestions, I'm your girl.

Our friends and family very generously took care of our transportation. Jeremy picked us up at the airport on his way back to Manhattan, and we had a lovely, nerdy conversation the whole way there. Nathan took us the rest of the way to to the farm, where the rest of our family already was.

We played a rousing game of Apples to Apples, which is becoming a family tradition.

kris takes a while to decide

My favorite moment this year (last year was when Dad put in "my love life" for the prompt "disturbing" which Mom drew) is when Mom started singing "tiny bubbles in the wine" and doing a hula after reading the song lyrics on one of the cards. She then explained when she was little they performed that song at a school program. Ian and I turned in at 11:15 after deciding it was already midnight on the east coast, which should count for us.

The next day we stuffed ourselves with potato sausage and homemade pie before Nathan drove us back to Manhattan — we needed to see Ian's family and get to Karen and Jeremy's wedding rehearsal. After our full day, Britni and Joe were so generous letting us crash at their house that night, and we got to meet their new kittens, Oliver and Nigel. This did not help me any in dealing with our current lack of kitty — they are so adorable and playful!

The next morning I was up early again to help decorate for the reception. Karen left Micki and I in charge of the columns and finishing things up, as they had hair appointments. Micki is amazing at decorating and whipped out this detailing for the tops of the columns.

column detail

I don't think I had a spare moment between decorating, lunch with Jordan, getting ready, photos, doing my program and gifts job, the wedding and the reception, but it was so worth it to be a part of Karemy's big day — thanks for letting us help!

The wedding was gorgeous and the reception memorable.

feeding each other cake

They had one of the most interesting groom's cakes I've ever seen.

a sweet groom's cake

And we had a blast!

jeremy, karen, anna and ian

Click here for more photos.

The next morning we left right on time at 7 a.m. It's a good thing too, because it was snowy and a couple cars were in the ditch — there was no way we could have hurried.

We arrived at the check-in counter behind a large line that only doubled in size behind us. Fox informed us that with less than 45 minutes to departure, over half of our flight was behind him in line. Fortunately for them, a mechanical issue forced United to switch planes, getting us into Chicago two hours later than scheduled. Unfortunately for us we missed our connecting flight to D.C. by an hour.

United rebooked the three of us onto a direct flight to Boston at 9:18 p.m. and put us on standby for all the flights to Boston in between, along with over 50 other people. We ate a late lunch then went to wait at the gate for the next Boston flight.

When flying standby, your name gets put on a list United conveniently displays on the monitor at the gate. The higher up on the list, the better your chances. Fox was 12, and we around 28. If there are open seats, they call your name and give you a boarding pass. If the flight is full, you wait at the gate until they finish boarding. If someone doesn't make it, they start going down the list. If you're there and they call your name, you get on the plane. Anyone on standby who doesn't make the flight automatically is transferred to standby for the next flight.

That is what we got to do for our next six hours at O'Hare. To make things more interesting, the flights were alternately in B and C terminals. Which meant once they closed the gate for the first flight, we got to walk through the tunnel to the other terminal to wait for the next one. We probably walked through this tunnel about eight times. At least it's pretty!

took this hall approx. 8 times...

Fox made it on the third flight and we made it on the fourth. With all the delays, we got into Boston at about midnight. The MBTA closes at 12:40 a.m. God is good, because we caught everything, including the absolutely last green line train home, where we promptly collapsed in bed without unpacking.

As you can see, the last few days of Christmas break were considerably more hectic than the first. And we still didn't get to spend as much time with people as we wanted or as much as they deserved (especially our families and Britni and Joe). We also missed people we wanted to see (John and Erin, Scott and Bekah, our UCC peeps, the list goes on). You all mean so much to us and that's the one regret of the weekend. But we look forward to the next chance we have to see you, and you are ALWAYS welcome in Boston!