11 January 2012

Family Time in California

December has always been my favorite month of the year, but it has become even more special since I moved permanently to South Africa.  That's because most of the time, it's the only month that I get to go home to visit family and friends.  Normally from about September {when I frantically start scouring the internet for plane tickets} up until the time that December finally rolls around, California is just about all I have on my mind, and I spend lots of my free time making plans with friends, looking for Christmas gifts to take back for people, and talking with my Mom about how we are going to squeeze as much fun as possible into that tiny two week period. 

In South Africa, December also happens to be in the peak of summer, which spells a very warm and sun-shiny Christmas.  This makes it hard for someone like me, who grew up knowing a cozy, wintery Christmas, to embrace the holiday season to its fullest.  I so look forward getting to spend a couple of weeks during the holiday in California each year, wearing mittens and peacoats, drinking peppermint mochas, cozying up under blankets, and getting to take in all of the wonderful Christmas decorations everywhere you look.  Truth be told, it's pure American bliss.

This year I had such a great time at home, and spent just about every possible second soaking up time with family and friends.  And I did a lot of shopping... and by a lot of shopping, I mean a LOT of shopping.  I forgot how amazing all of the sales are in the states around this time of the year!

Here are some pictures my Mom forwarded me from my time in California this year - I was so distracted by all the fun and festivities that I maybe took 2 pictures throughout the entire trip #epicfail.  

The Fam {from shortest to tallest}
Josi thinks that as long as she's lying on top of someone, it doesn't really qualify as being on the couch ;)
Classic brother and sister bonding
My Grandma and Grandpa Finch {who came all the way from Colorado to visit!}
Mom and Dad
Dad, Mom, Me, Future Sister-in-Law :), Brother
My brother takes the buzz lightyear ride at disneyland very seriously
The only one missing is Jurg! :(
One of the highlights was getting to celebrate my Grandpa's 80th birthday :)
Happy Birthday Grandpa!
Looking through his memory book

Now I'm already dreaming of what this December will hold, and crossing my fingers that Jurg will be able to make the trip out with me this year.  Only fun times ahead!


  1. Awww such special times. I'm so jealous that you get to go home EVERY December. So glad you had a bit of American Christmas, I just can't get enough of the over the top(ness) of it all.

  2. Noting better than family time!!! Especially when your home!!!

  3. OMG, I can't remember the last time I had a peppermint mocha. I can't remember that last time I even thought about a peppermint mocha. Now I want one so bad! I don't even care how hot it is here.

  4. looks and sounds like you had the best time ever. so funny how you dont get into the summer christmas-ness. i love it, but totally understand when people who have grown up with cold winters dont haha. xx

  5. you have a BEAUTIFUL family jenna! i loved seeing the american side of the group! looks like you fit a lot of fun in...love the pic of josi ;) haha

  6. you have such a nice looking family!! especially that josi :) :) it is so nice to be able to gather everyone together for the holidays...i really cant recall the last time my sisters and parents and i were all together for christmas!

    glad you enjoyed the holidays and happy 80th to your grandfather!

  7. You and your family look sooo cute together! Loved the snap of you and your brother in the ride! :)
    I'll definitely let you know if we end up honeymooning in SA! :)

    x L

  8. aww cute pics...nothing beats a bit of family time :)

    ps i'm hosting a little giveaway if you fancy taking a look...


  9. wow you moved from California to South Africa?! What an adventure.

  10. Looks like a great time!! So jealous you went to Disneyland! ;)

  11. jenna looks like you had a great time with your fam and can i just say that you have the BEST hair??

  12. Hi Jenna-

    I'm American too, and I'm moving to SA next year with my handsome SA boyfriend! I'm desparate to talk to someone in the same boat. Can I contact you by email?

  13. Hi Crooksie,

    Yes you can definitely contact me via email - it's homeawayfromhomeblog@gmail.com

    Looking forward to hearing from you!



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