Why Lola and Oatmeal may spend Christmas overseas next year.

Happy holidays everyone… I genuinely hope that all of you had a very happy, low key, loving Christmas with your families and loved ones.  We certainly did.

When I started dating Oatmeal, it was the week of Halloween.  After a few weeks, I asked him what his plans were for Christmas.  I was really just asking out of curiosity, but boy did he surprise me when he said, “Well, I guess I’m coming home with you to meet your family!”  I hadn’t even intended on inviting him, simply because we had just started dating.

The story behind that comment is pretty simple.  Oatmeal is one of 4 kids, and at the time he was the only one who was still single.  Because his family had to balance the holidays with 3 sets of in-laws, they came up with a rotation.  Every other year they celebrate Christmas as a family, and every other year they celebrate Thanksgiving as a family.  It just so happened that the year Oatmeal and I started dating was the “off year” for Christmas, so he was free to do as he chose on December 25, and that did end up meaning he accompanied me home!

This year it worked out that it was Christmas with his family.  We still took a few days prior to Christmas to go home and see my folks and siblings, which was wonderful as usual.  Then we came back to Texas and spent Christmas Eve and Day with his family.

This is all of us at Oatmeal’s parents’ home in Sealy. 

It was great!  We got to see our families and that is really what the holidays are all about for us.  But, we each missed out on seeing our older sisters.  Oatmeal and I each have big sisters, Beverly and Kelley.  What’s cool is that our big sisters are really good friends. They happened to meet at an Aggie Muster about ten years ago.  It just so happened they were both Aggies, both married to US Marines, and both stationed at the same base in California. After that it was common for my sister to mention her friend Kelley, who I felt like I knew after so many years, but had never actually met.  It was those two who eventually set Oatmeal and I up on our blind date.  So, it’s pretty neat that they went from being such close friends to having siblings actually get married, especially since they each lived over a thousand miles away when they set us up.

This is Kelley and Beverly.  This picture was taken at my wedding, where they were certainly acting quite pleased with themselves.

Anyway, shortly after we became engaged, Oatmeal’s sister Kelley moved to Okinawa, Japan with her husband and 4 kids.  They had received orders to move there for 3 years.  Shortly after, my brother-in-law received the same orders.  So, now my sister, her husband, and their three kids live in Okinawa as well… literally across the street from Kelley!  It’s pretty neat because every time I call my sister, she also knows what’s going on with Oatmeal’s sister.  It’s not uncommon for Kelley and Beverly to trade kids, and we often get emails of all the kids together.  This year they even had a picture taken with Santa Claus – all 7 kids in one picture!

Yep, those 7 kids are (in order of increasing age) William (2), Walker (5), Eva (6), Grace (8), Micah (10), Sydney (10), and Caleb (12). 

I laugh every time I think about my sister babysitting all 7 kids, or vice versa.  My friends sometimes complain about going to Target with 1, 2, or 3 kids.  Meanwhile… one of my sisters (or SILs) could very well be at the market in Japan with SEVEN kids… trying to read labels on products that aren’t even in English.

Yeah, that just sounds crazy.


These three belong to my sister Beverly…Sydney is holding William, and then there’s Walker.

These 4 belong to Kelley…Caleb, Micah, Grace and Eva.

So… moral of the story?  I miss my sister!  And I miss those 7 snuggly, giggly, sweet kids.  So next year…. we may just take 8 month old Baby Poppyseed and take off to Japan for a Hassell-Kruzel aka Finley-Griffin Japanese Christmas.  Because really, I miss my sister.  And I miss those kids.  And babies fly for free.

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