Thanks to our close(r) proximity to Michigan and the fact that neither of us work retail anymore, Jake and I were able to go "home" for Thanksgiving this past year (for the first time in about three years). Once again, we played the Family Shuffle, wherein we try to see both sides of my family and also his in a short span of time. Fortunately we were also able to go home for Christmas (where we did the Shuffle all over again).
Earlier in the month at school, we did some preliminary stuff for IHSTF (meetings about assignments and later light hangs in a couple of the theatres, which was something I'd never done before). The semester ended with some study sessions and a final exam in Theatre History and then everyone dispersed. Closer to Christmas, I did have a really fun day in Chicago with one of my fellow stage management friends; we took the Greyhound bus up for the day (in my case; she stayed longer) and toured a couple of the Chicago theaters and got rush tickets for Cinderella. We also walked around downtown (a LOT) and took selfies in front of the giant Christmas tree at an outdoor market that smelled like delicious cinnamon almonds.
Jake and I went to my mom's for Christmas Eve; she hosted a little party with my youngest sister, my grandparents and Dave's parents. My uncle Lee (whom I hadn't seen in years) also made an appearance. We stayed the night at my mom's then went to Jake's family's in Holland for Christmas morning (though it ended up being closer to early afternoon by the time we had breakfast) then over to my other grandparents' in Charlotte, but by then we'd already missed my dad, stepmom, and sister. So we had dinner with my grandparents then went back to my mom's to spend the night. We played cards and on the day after Christmas my mom and I went shopping a bit for some of the half-off deals. I believe it was that evening we made it up to my dad's to have Christmas with him, my stepmom, and my other sister... We also made up to Saginaw, briefly, but it seems most of our MI friends have sort of dispersed (or were already busy with other plans). I guess after five years, it's to be expected, but there's one or two people (like our friend Dan) who always seem to come through for us.
It's still weird sometimes to think that we'll probably never all be in the same place again -- especially not in Michigan -- and every now and then I wonder what would have happened if I'd stayed, or been able to visit more, though I've never once regretted my decision to leave. I wish I'd been able to do a better job of convincing some of those friends to come and visit us, though.