This Christmas was a world of new for Athena and I. We decided to spend it with my partner’s family in Wisconsin. (I still haven’t found the “boyfriend” term that fits for me but I’m working on it.) It was the first time Athena and I weren’t in our own home, opening gifts from Santa and family that were placed under our Christmas tree with loving care; but home isn’t your own tree or a familiar room. It’s the people who surround you that make it home. Cord’s family has shown us an abundance of love in the last few months. They opened their homes and their hearts to Athena and I. Even though we spent Christmas day, and the two days following Christmas, at The Landing in Door County, Wisconsin, it was the most at home I felt in almost a decade.
The entire vibe at The Landing is homey and welcoming. When we walked in the front entrance, a fire was lit and the mantle was decorated with holiday decor. Several Christmas trees filled the open spaces and there was plenty of room to enjoy common areas.
There were very few other guests staying at the property during the holidays so we booked rooms close together and left the doors open to come and go freely. It was nice to have some private space yet the freedom to mingle in everyone’s room.
We were 14 people strong. Cord’s parents and his two sisters along with their spouses and children shared their holidays with us as if we’d always been part of the family. We played games in the pool and had chicken fights with his sister and her husband. We soaked in the hot tub and I drank Fireball with his mother. We did puzzles and played games and filled the empty spaces with love and laughter.
The view from our room was like a movie set and the common areas were open and large enough for the entire family. It was like being in a home, but we had multiple kitchens, living rooms, ample bedrooms, and an indoor pool and hot tub.
Athena felt comfortable roaming freely. She enjoyed spending time with all of the girls, both young and old, and woke up each morning with an excitement for the day. Carol, Cord’s mom, is a natural with children. She exudes love and her positivity is contagious. Athena happily woke up each morning and spent a little extra time with Carol.
Carol’s kind, loving way is reassuring and she makes it seem like we are giving her a gift when she spends time with us. Her remarkable goodness, which is evident in Cord, is what drew me to her son in the first place. There is a feeling of home with the entire family.
They spend a lot of time in Door County and know the area well. We went for a walk to a marina and played in the snow. Cord’s nieces made a video from the trip and it was fun to watch them create scenes and sing along with the music. It’s easy to see the goodness of Cord’s parents has trickled down through the generations. They are the wholesome, loving, Midwest family that you think only exists in the movies yet they all do it so effortlessly that you know it’s genuine.
It’s difficult for me to write about my new relationship with confidence when I couldn’t even manage to make a marriage last. I struggled with the idea of introducing Cord and his family into my blogging life with a fear that if things go wrong I have to share my failures again. I’ve come to the conclusion, though, that this is my life and who I am. New people have come into it and bring me so much happiness, joy, love, and gratitude that it would be a shame not to share it with you, especially the ones who have seen me through sadness and tears.
Happy holidays. I hope you spent them with people that brought so much joy into your life that you feel grateful for everything that you have.