Now that the Christmas season for 2010 has officially wound down, I wanted to share a few highlights:

  • When we landed in LAX to visit the Swanson side of the family, the attendants said, ‘Welcome to Seattle’. It was a joke due to all of the rain that was falling there — which was actually far more damaging than we realized.  Huntington Beach, our destination, was spared.
  • Katherine, at just over a year old actually responded enthusiastically to her gifts. The craziest was when she announced ‘I love it’, while opening a Fisher Price Little People toy. She really does love these toys of characters and people she can hold in her hand.
  • Southwest Airlines – Sometimes it is wonderful to have unassigned seating and this is true when having infants. It means for the most part that if someone sits with you, they know what they are getting in for. We met a wonderful woman on the way out who was a saint in the way she treated sitting next to Katherine who was not having a good flight for the most part. It made us feel a lot better. Also, on three of the four flights we made, we didn’t have to share our row with anyone.
  • Time with family. It really doesn’t matter how much or how little we get with one another, but that we cherish the time we have. I feel like I have always had this appreciation, but this year was much different. It was the first time seeing it through my daughter’s eyes and the way she lights up getting to see her family.  It was also the first time seeing it through the eyes of an expecting wife, making the effort to visit even though I know she is exhausted. We all do it because it is important.
  • Fortunate to get home.  With all of the bad weather, we are really glad we didn’t fly through Chicago.  Otherwise, we might still be there. We feel lucky.
  • Family Pictures. I made an effort this year to attempt to get group pictures of the families from both sides as we got together. They didn’t all turn out great visually, but content wise, I am happy. I have below the pics from the Swanson and Jacobs crew respectively.
  • Sometimes, bad pictures are great. I found a few pics that I took were just noisy, blurry or otherwise ‘wrong’, but still captured a great moment.  Therefore, in my mind, they are great pictures. A few are included below.

Swanson Crew - (Back to front) David, Monique, Chris, Rebecca, Ryan, Linnea, Katherine, Bea, Luke

Jacobs Crew - (Back to front) David, Katherine, Steve, Ryan, Rebecca, Jen, Mark, Allison, Diane, Abigail, Grandma Curler, Greg, Cindy

Content trumps photo quality example #1 - Motion is everywhere. This is the way it is on Christmas Eve with kids opening gifts.

Content trumps photo quality example #2 - There are so many technical problems with this photo. However, I love the way it captures Rebecca's contentment with Katherine's joy.