I started worrying about our trip to Ohio in May when I booked the red-eye flight from Seattle to Columbus via Washington D.C. Despite some inclement weather the weekend before, all our prayers paid off and we arrived safely at CMH on Christmas Eve morning.
After brief naps and a remote work day, we celebrated the birth of Jesus at Lord of Life Lutheran Church. It was the first time we had been back since the wedding ceremony and the sanctuary was as beautiful as ever. It was strange to miss Pastor Jim, who is on a five month-long sabbatical, but we enjoyed seeing long-time family friends and worshiping as a family.
I knew that Christmas with the Zaengers would be very different from Dominic's experiences in the Monley family, but we had a wonderful Christmas day. We took my grandparents to Catholic Mass and then spent quality time visiting with family, exchanging gifts and eating. Exhausted, we collapsed into bed relatively early.
Bright and early on the 26th we got to celebrate another birthday -- Dominic's! Starting at 9 a.m., he was able to open a birthday card from a friend or family member every 30 minutes. The cards helped remind him just how special his day is and how, despite being away from others, he's remembered.
My Mom and Dad received a lobster gram for Christmas and generously shared with us for Dominic's birthday. Here he is reading a card and protecting his OSU t-shirt from clam chowder.
Dominic liked to tease: "Don't do anything special for my birthday. Knowing you, I'll end up with a petting zoo and a bouncy house." To prove him right, we took him to the Columbus Zoo. The animals were out and about, the carousel was spinning and the new LED lights were shinning bright. It was a fun visit.
Jill and Rachel generously hosted a pizza party and bowling night for Dominic. We aren't the best bowlers, but it was a great time.
Next year... bouncy house...