Happy New Year!

I am ever so glad to be home!

Our trip was….interesting. I witnessed some next level codependent and dysfunctional family relationships real up close and personal. With bonus manipulation, gaslighting, and all out lying as well.

Needless to say, it was a bit exhausting. It caused a bit of a family split, leaving Mr. Ink and I with his mom for our vacation while the younger brother (who was the one doing the gaslighting, manipulation, and lying) took off with his fiancee to a hotel for the remainder of our time together. All because he felt “disrespected” because no one was willing to ignore his behavior and he was being called out on all his lies. Once they left, Mr. Ink and I did breathe a sigh of relief. It’s pretty tough to relax in a house that’s gone toxic. Though, I admit that I slightly and secretly enjoyed being able to walk into a room and clear it of one person just by being there. Pretty powerful.

Thankfully, Miss Butterfly was staying with Mr. Ink’s older brother and sister in law at a different house full of other children her age, and thus was MOSTLY kept out of the fray.

We ended up leaving the rental house early, Mr. Ink and I were invited to then stay with sister in law’s family. And that’s when the vacation got better. Sister in law is romanian with a huge family. The home we stayed in was about the size of 4 or 5 homes. Every room was packed full of family members. For instance, There was a bunk bed in one room, double bed on bottom where brother and sister in law slept. Top bunk, single, that their 20 year old son slept. Above THAT, was yet another bed in an attic like space, wide open, in the room. That’s where Miss Butterfly slept. We slept in a playroom that was like part of a hallway, but immense. Every space was full to the brim of people.

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There were children of all ages all over the place, and they were all just happy to be together. We took them ice skating, they played games together, they’d be off in the hot tub. What they weren’t doing was bothering adults. It was as if I’d created this space for Miss Butterfly by posting about my similar memories of cousins growing up. These new “cousins” absorbed her into their tribe so quickly. It was slightly overwhelming for her, from time to time. But it seemed quite natural for them.

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There also seemed no limit to animals as well. The neighbor brought over a baby pug, which Miss Butterfly loved holding but quite literally had to fight for.

There was food, SO MUCH FOOD, and tons of voluntary chipping in to make a new years eve party happen. For that, I really haven’t a CLUE how many people were there. We did stay up to ring in the new year for the first time in ages. Sister in law sweetly told Mr. Ink the best thing he’d ever done for her was bring me and Miss Butterfly into her life. So, TRULY, a lovely end to a very stressful “vacation.”

We’d put Mr. Ink’s mom in the room with Sister in law’s mom in a huge king sized bed. They’ve known each other now for years, thankfully, and seemed quite pleased with the arrangement. And, considering how they both are constantly asking for the thermostat to be turned up, the room with a space heater and heated tiles

seemed to suit them just fine. The next morning the family had a christening to go to, so Sister in law and I did some house clean up, got food out for guests to eat breakfast and lunch, and made sure everyone had what they needed while visiting with guests. Once Mr. Ink’s mother was picked up by the contingent that refused to participate, we headed back home. I was so happy to be home in my familiar, quiet house with familiar food made by Mr. Ink. But, we sure did enjoy the time with Sister in law’s family. And, I believe I may have ate my weight in baklava. Always a bonus!

I finished the pair of wollmeise socks for Mr. Ink.

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And I got to begin Miss Marja’s cowl out of her handspun. I enjoyed this pattern so much when I made it for me!

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And so now, just a couple more pictures from the vacation. The first night, Miss Butterfly, still a bit in recovery mode and it being quite late at night, received a gift of another onesie and some matching pink slippers. She put them on, and then wandered up to the loft, put the futon into mattress mode, and feel fast asleep. When I went up to go to bed, this is what I found.

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So cute!

One of the things we did while in KCMO was go to my favorite restaurant, the Korma Sutra. It was lunchtime, and the place was packed. And it was just as always, with the owner wandering around and giving us all freebies while saying “No Angry, Be Happy!” repeatedly. He gave Miss Butterfly a bunch of balloons, which she took back to the rental house, and hung up using static electricity.

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While the overwhelming tone of the vacation was….negative, there were still quite a lot of lovely moments to be had. So, I will attempt to dwell on those things and move on. Though I do feel like I need another week off to recover from it all!