Craig’s parents arrived today for Christmas. They welcomed J with open and loving arms. Again, as she was with us at first, she was quiet and subdued. I think it worried my in-laws a bit, but we assured them that she would warm up.

In the early afternoon, J and I headed to the mall. On the Saturday before Christmas. There were approximately 8 gazillion people there. We were there to find her a swimsuit, since we have access to the pool at the hotel where my in-laws are staying. Normally, I detest the mall at Christmas, but today was different. I found a fantastic shopping partner. My mom and I used to shop together, and we’d get distracted by many things, and today that happened with us. We ended up buying some new pants, and three tops before we found the bathing suits. I tried on some things too and made her laugh with my ridiculous model poses. As we combed through the limited selection of bathing suits, I grabbed some options, trying to guess her size. As I contemplated, I said aloud, “Hmmm, well, you have big boobs..”, and out of all the things she understood me say in English, THAT was one. She busted a gut laughing and there we were standing in amongst the bathing suits laughing our heads off. And did I mention that soon after, I accidentally grabbed a female mannequin by the chest? More hysterical laughter. The rest of our trip was so sweet, as we strolled through the mall fighting the crowds and enjoying each other.

When we got home, my father-in-law had us laughing at his Latvian pronunciation. He was a great sport, and I’m sure it was his strategy to break down some walls. When they left to return to their hotel, he said, “Stand up! I’m going to give you a hug!”. Good job, Dad.

But the best part of the day, was getting our first official “I love you”. I think I need to frame it.

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