This year Sebastiaan and his family joined me in the States for the holidays. While cultural differences and a crowded house caused a bit of stress along the way, it was absolutely wonderful to celebrate all together. Sebastiaan’s parents hadn’t been to the States in nearly 30 years so we spent much of the time showing them around my home town and visiting the capital for the first time. Of course, we also had to expose them to all things ultra-American (big cars, big portions and even bigger people…). They joined our annual family Christmas party, meeting most of my extended family, took day trips to different cities in the area and got a glimpse into the life I left behind. Driving Sebastiaan’s family around my hometown, visiting my high school and having them meet many of my closets friends was an almost surreal experience. These two lives that for so long have seemed so separate were for a few days one. As usual, it was really tough leaving home, leaving that life behind and transitioning back into the one I’ve moved into.
As a Christmas present to Sebastiaan’s family, my parents asked a photographer and close friend of mine to come over and take some portraits at the house. Not only did we have a blast taking the pictures, but they came out beautifully and are memories we’re sure to cherish for a lifetime. While I think I’ll need a bit more time before I’m ready for another group vacation, looking back, I feel pretty lucky have 2 amazing families to call my own. 🙂