Monday, January 17, 2011

The new year comes

Time flies. I can't believe it is already 2011 and we have been in California for 9 months. It is so weird to look back at where we were at this time last year and see how far we have come. So much has changed in our lives and I want to thank all our friends and family who have encouraged us through this time.

The holidays were different from any others we have experienced through our marriage. For the first time we were living in an area without any family, also an area that had 80 degree weather the first week of December. So we decided to change that. Due to extenuating circumstances, I decided to quit my job at Nordstrom. Because of this we were able to fly out and be with our families for Christmas. Jordan had to work a bit longer than I did so I flew out to Utah a few days before him and he drove up 5 days later. On the 23rd of December we were off to Michigan for our first official Christmas with the Pack clan! Who knew you could fit so many people around a kitchen table? It was so much fun to have everyone together and see how much the family is growing. And in March we will be able to see them again because Jordan's sister Shaunee is getting married!

We flew into Utah on New Year's Eve and spend exactly one day there before driving to California with my family to enjoy our Christmas present - A cruise to Baja Mexico. Little did we know the adventure that would find us as we set off for the 10 hour drive. We failed to realize as we left on January 2nd that it was the last weekend day of the holiday season and that everyone else was trying to get home too. Just outside of Las Vegas we were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for 2 hours. During that time we moved about 20 miles. When we finally started moving again we were so excited! Finally a regular speed! WRONG! To get into the Orange County / L.A. area you have to pass by Barstow, Victorsville, and through what I think is called Lone Pine Canyon. So now we were about 2 hours away from our destination. So close we could feel it. Then we saw all the brake lights. Then we about lost our minds. Right outside Victorsville we again hit bumper to bumper traffic. Google maps was telling us that this traffic continued all the way through the canyon a mere 28 miles away. At this point we were all frustrated so I decided to go to sleep. I awoke about 1 1/2 hours later to find we had barely moved. Only about 5 miles. At this point we were all trying to figure out what to do. Tensions were high to say the least. About 17 hours into the drive and still 5 miles to get INTO the canyon we found out that the canyon had been officially closed down for the night because a snow fall and an accident.

We had pulled off the road and were trying to figure out what to do. By talking to other stranded drivers we found that all other roads required chains, which neither of our cars had. So we were stuck in Victorville. On top of that my brother's and 2 sisters-in-law had been calling every hotel in the area to try to find us a place to stay. They were all full. So after about an hour of standing around having no clue what to do, we made a decision. We had to get down the canyon, we were boarding the cruise ship the next day! We were going to have to get back onto the freeway and wait in line to get down the canyon, at that time they were doing police escorts 20 cars at a time. Luckily for us by the time we got near the canyon they officially opened it back up. Not that it went fast after that - roads were still very slick and a slow pace was needed. So 21 hours after we initially left Utah, we FINALLY at 4:20 am arrived at our destination.

So we made it. We got on the ship and everyone had a wonderful time. You forget sometimes how much you miss your family until you are back with them. I miss them and love them all so much. My brothers have grown in the exceptional young men. I hope they know how highly I think of them. I loved spending more time with Jordan's family. The more I time I spend with them, the more I love them. The are wonderful people. And I love my parents. More than I could ever say really. I know they are always there for me and support me no matter what.

Most of all, I love my husband. This year has only strengthened our relationship for the better. He has been my rock this year and I hope he know how much it means to me that I could always tell him how I was feeling, for good or for bad. This move has been so amazing for us and as hard as it is to be away from my family and friends, I always have him.

I hope everyone had an awesome holiday and I hope that going into the new year we can all strive to better our lives and appreciate the people we have around us. I love you all!