We arrived in Grand Rapids late Friday night after driving through some serious fog and rain. Saturday morning the girls woke up SO EXCITED to see their cousins Ellen and Abigail. Clara LOVED helping to feed “the baby cousins” and Kyle took these fist two pictures with his fancy new camera.
We woke up the next morning to the beautiful sight of everything outside covered in a layer of ice. Then we realized the ice storm had knocked out the power at Ryan’s parents house. It was really beautiful… and a little bit chilly, but we survived a couple of days living pioneer style. (pioneers got to go out for pizza, right?) Thankfully, we were all ready for the adventure and had friendly neighbors who used their camping stove to make a pot of coffee for Ryan, Chris and Dad. Sarah fed the babies over candlelight.
The ice storm didn’t stop us from venturing downtown to get some MadCap coffee with Chris and his friend Josh who had flown home from Malawi to surprise his parents. So fun.
Isn’t East Grand Rapids so lovely? Look at the way those trees are holding hands over the street. Love it.
One day we went to Breton Village Mall to see the train set. The girls were mostly interested in these goldfish. Can you tell by Ruby’s hand that she was calling them to her?
Our friends Bryant and Becky were in town visiting Becky’s family and had a couple of hours to meet us for lunch at Cherry Deli. It’s always so fun to catch up with our Hope College friends. If you’ve ever heard Bryant or Ryan laugh, you’ll know it’s quite a treat to be there when they are cracking up about something.
We saw our friends Lana and Hans from Columbus at the Christmas Eve service. My friend Lacey’s in-laws live in Grand Rapids. So fun to see her over break.
After the Christmas Eve services at church we drove down the “Woods” streets that are always lined with paper lanterns on the night before Christmas. It’s so beautiful. I keep thinking the kids will be old enough to love it, but mostly Ruby just continually asked from the backseat why were were on the wrong road and “this isn’t the way to Nana’s house!” and “But we are going the wrong way!” Ha.
Christmas day included a delicious ham which Ryan carved for us and custom mugs Ryan gave to his dad and brothers.
Everyone thinks Charlie looks like his Papa Cox. I can’t disagree. Genes are crazy.
Nana gave Ruby a lovely little tea set. Ryan was happy to oblige her request to join her for tea. One of my favorite, most heart melting parts of my life is watching Ryan as a dad. Our kids truly adore him and it’s not a wonder why.
Chris and Ryan took the girls sledding. It was SO COLD that all of their cheeks were rosy and frozen when they got home, but they had a good time. Ruby loves taking it to the hills. She seems to be quite adventurous and is becoming more confident and fearless with every passing month.
My wonderful Mother-In-Law is amazing at wrangling children. I was so thankful to have her help for a few days. Such a great Christmas. It was wonderful to be in Michigan and we were so excited that Ryan had so many days off in a row. So thankful that we would get to see both sides of our family in one vacation. We love our family.