a late christmas surprise.

This weekend is Christmas with Gabriel's family, who he hasn't seen in a year, since he spent his last three-week leave with me in Ireland. (Which is where we met and fell in love. So, it was all worth it to us.) His fam lives in the country, with sprawling land, a whole bunch of pygmy goats, a gaggle of pups and a few donkeys. Get this: The pygmy goats just had babies. And I get to name one. You know you'll be seeing photos of that next week. :) (Edit: No babies as we thought. Bummer! Maybe next time.)

Gabriel's parents have always wanted to visit Alaska. But, they had five children, so Alaska went back on their dreamshelf, and they focused on providing for their little ones. What they don't know is that Gabriel and his four siblings have purchased a ten day Alaskan cruise for them. Have I told you how sweet Gabriel is? (I have. But this next part is just incase you're not convinced.) He planned the entire thing. Flights, hotels, the cruise itself, spending hours debating over which room would best suit them and which ports of call they'd enjoy most. We wanted to tell them in a semi-special way, and wrapping up six gifts that hinted at their trip seemed just the thing. A new camera, warm coats, a tour guide book, a few gift cards to pick up mittens and needed items, all packaged with one letter from the word "Alaska". We cannot wait to see their faces. 

As for me, I'm a bit nervous about meeting the fam for the first time. I've quizzed myself on all twenty names, drawn a family tree in my mind countless times. TWENTY. But, I have a deep fear that they'll dislike me, I'll say something awkward or just be a hot mess. But, with ten nieces and nephews...all adorable, I must say...I'm certain we'll have a fun time.

Regardless of my nerves, we're on our way. Wish me luck. :)


  1. I find it hard to believe they or anyone could dislike you.

    Have fun!

  2. Which cruise line did he go through??? I LOVED the Alaskan cruise I went on a few summers back! I love Alaska anyways, but it was without a doubt one of the best trips I've even been on! (It was actually my second trip to Alaska -- everyone needs to visit that place before they die!!) I'm sure they will enjoy it....remind them to plan on rain because it rains A LOT in the spring/summer!

  3. That is the absolute sweetest gift in the world, and the way of telling them is quite possibly even sweeter!
    Can't wait to see the photos, and I hope you have a great time!
    <3 Kiersten

  4. I've no doubt they will LOVE you! :)
    And what an amazing gift! I would cherish the thoughtfulness and planning of such an extraordinary gift as much as the gift itself!
    The packages are almost too beautiful to open!
    No luck needed, dear girl. Just be your wonderful self and you can't go wrong!
    Have fun and enjoy every minute of your holiday with the in-laws! :)
    PS Your sweet comments blessed my little heart!

  5. Oh Bethany they will love you! Although I do remember that first meeting of parents well - my husbands Mum stood at the kitchen window with this wide smile across her face!

    I will keep you in my thoughts for the weekend ahead but I am sure it will go amazingly and you won't want to leave what sounds like a beautiful place.


    PS: Thank you for your sweet birthday wishes dear girl x

  6. It's only normal to feel nervous about meeting Gabe's familly, since you obviously care for him a great deal. But let me just chime in with the others & say that I'm sure they'll love you.

    Also, those presents? Gorgeous? And the baby goat photos? Can't wait!

  7. You don't need luck. They will LOVE you!

    I love the wonderful gift you've all planned. So thoughtful and so completely awesome!

  8. You'll have a great time! You're too thoughtful and considerate for them to not fall instantly in love with you.

    and you're right, Gabriel is sweet (along with his siblings!). That's an amazing idea.

  9. uh, duh, they will love you. i mean, i love you and i don't even know you!

  10. Oh good luck with meeting the parents and family. They are going to adore you...you're are a gem and you make their son happy :o)
    You know I'm sure you've mentioned it somewhere...but I'm curious to know how you and Gabriel met...was it in Ireland?
    And Alaska? AMAZING!!!! The Yukon (where I love) is right next to Alaska. I've been to Skagway once (they will most likely stop there on their cruise)....I;m sure they are going to go crazy when they find out. How exciting!

  11. I tagged you on my blog today—come find out why! http://beautyinthedetails.blogspot.com/2011/01/sweet-little-surprise.html



    ps. the chloe is on sale like you said!!!! going tomorrow to buy it. can't wait.

  13. oh my gosh!!! that is the sweetest gift. and so well executed. love the 6 letter tags. wow. incredible.

    super jealous of their trip! i've heard that cruises are the best way to "do" alaska. i bet it's so beautiful. definitely a place on my list as well.

    good luck with the fam. if they have a lick of sense, they will fall head over heels in love, just like mr. gabriel did.

  14. i agree with liv-- they will ADORE you! as kind as you are, you have found your match.

    i can not wait to hear about his parents' reaction! how so very special.

    i'm so excited for you to meet his family! :) i remember how nervous i was, meeting my husband's family... and now they're completely my family. I know it'll be the same for you! :)

  15. I'm sure you had a wonderful time with the family. Plus how could they not love you. I'm sure you charmed them!

    And what an amazing gift Gabriel and his siblings gave. Now that is love and appreciation in it's finest form :) x

  16. I adore this to bits! How amazing of them to do that for their parents! A dream shelf.. So many good things there. Love this.

  17. that is amazing! so special. my sister lives in alaska and it's the greatest place.

  18. What a special, special gift! We've been to Alaska twice and love it! Kelly


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