U.S. Visit! | January 2014

January–our final few weeks in the States. We rang in the New Year with an annual Norris family tradition–watching The Crimson Pirate–a classic film. After the kids were in bed, the rest of us enjoyed bonding over a lively game of Apples-to-Apples, while consuming large quantities of delicious leftover holiday food. David (brother) and Shannon were visiting, so we were also able to celebrate David’s birthday with him a few days later. The kids and I then had several play dates with some of my closest friends, and a few last “adult” dates with dear girlfriends. I was thrilled to participate in my sister’s baby shower, especially since I had missed her first one. The highlight of the month, however, was an amazing snow trip, a loving and generous gift from my parents. We drove several hours from the Bay Area, to a spacious, warm cabin, and spent nearly a week of quality family time with my parents, my sister and her family, and my youngest brother, Johnny. It was the first time for our kids to experience snow, and they were ecstatic. It was such a wonderful way to conclude our time in the States.

The countdown to the end is always emotionally difficult, but instead of focusing on the inevitable heart-wrenching goodbyes, we try to savor each precious moment, truly grateful for the opportunity to make such incredible memories with loved ones! This had been a unique home assignment, since it was our first time to experience fall and the holiday season with our families since leaving for Cambodia, four years prior. It was particularly delightful to watch our children interact with the traditions and festivities that had shaped our own childhoods, and we know that this very special time will be fondly remembered for many, many years to come.

{We know that some of our friends prefer internet privacy, so if there are any pictures that you’d like us to remove from our blog, please let us know and we will happily do so!}

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