Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Blessing of Family

(The gender of our baby is announced in this post!!)
This year Christmas was different. We celebrated in the DR.
AND, we had the awesome blessing of getting to share it with my family. My dad, mom, brother, 2 aunts, uncle, cousin, grandmother, and my aunts mom came down to celebrate with us (there were 11 of us total). Right before we moved here, we threw out the idea that my family come down for Christmas and that we go to the beach for a week....thinking that it was a lofty request....but that it was worth throwing it out there. Everybody immediatly responded...WE ARE IN!! My mom went to work and researched just
 about every hotel on the island. She found us an awesome brand new hotel in Punta Cana (on the east coast).

We had the BEST week together. The beach was one of the most beautiful beaches any of us had ever seen. We took lots of walks...ate too much food...played Apples to Apples, Rummikub, and worked a puzzle...played lots of tennis...had our own Christmas Eve service on our balcony...had a gift exchange...and just enjoyed being together as family. And then, on Christmas morning, we had everyone guess what they thought baby Drake was...8 guessed boy, and my grandmother Hap guessed girl. HAP WON!!! We are having a baby girl!!!

On Saturday we checked out of the hotel, and loaded a bus to Santo Domingo. When we arrived at our home, Rosario and Javier had prepared an enormous Dominican lunch for all of us. We then took them up to Cielo to meet some of our friends and show them around Mission Emanuel's property. We had a great last dinner in the Colonial Zone....and then had to say our goodbyes.

I don't know if Elliott and I were ever able to express to them how much it meant to have them all here with us. We can't imagine what our Christmas would have been like had they not come. It is also so wonderful because now they all have seen where we live and got a glimpse of our lives. I know I am biased...but I think I have the best family in the world.