Sarah + Tim

a canadian, american and calico living in perfect harmony

Stranded in Portland on Christmas Eve December 24, 2008

It’s Christmas Eve and instead of being in roasting chestnuts on an open fire with the Wards in Vancouver, we are at a Howard Johnson hotel in Portland.  Yep.  Thanks to three feet of snow in Vancouver, we joined the ranks of troubled travelers as our connecting flight from Portland to Vancouver was canceled at the last minute, leaving us stranded in Portland on Christmas Eve.  After reaming out the poor customer service agents at the counter, we explored our options.

  1. Fly out on the next flight to Vancouver at 10am Christmas morning
  2. Take a flight to Seattle at 9pm Christmas Eve
  3. Cancel the flight and drive six (or eight or ten or twelve, weather pending) hours to Vancouver

We opted with the first.  Thankfully Air Canada was able to get us on a 6am flight to Vancouver first thing tomorrow.

As we were on the phone working out the details for a hotel room, the thought crossed my mind – what if there aren’t any rooms for us to stay in?  As frightening a thought as it was, immediately I thought of Mary and Joseph, finding no room in the inn and settling for the humble stable instead on that first Christmas night.  We were not the first with frustrated travel agendas.  This certainly put things into perspective for us.

So whereever you are, Merry Christmas.  We hope you made it home for the holidays.

PS: word to the wise – always fly direct, especially on Christmas Eve


Christmas December 31, 2007

Filed under: Canada,family,video — Sarah @ 3:01 am

Earlier this year, we were hoping to be home for Christmas and after evaluating our finances, began to rethink the whole idea and decided not to go. After feeling like we should really be there, Tim and I began looking into flights into Seattle and decided to make our trip a surprise and kept up the facade with the family. We brought Stephanie and Dad into our secret circle because we needed someone to pick us up and drive us back to Seattle. Stephanie, trying her best to keep the surprise a secret, came up with really creative reasons why she was going to be going to Seattle on December 20th, but Mom didn’t buy any of it — this was a source of controversy and arguments for a week before we arrived. Dad assured her that all would be forgiven once we arrived.

When Mom, Joe and Saundra walked through the front door, Tim, Dad and I were sitting on the couch watching the Office. Mom’s first reaction was, “That sure looks a lot like Tim.” He turned and said, “hey!” at which point she says, “That IS Tim! That must be Sarah!” They stood in the doorway in complete shock and awe — it was better than we imagined! Joe felt like he was going to pass out 🙂 Dad got, “You KNEW about this?!” several times. They couldn’t believe that so many people in the ward and neighborhood knew and kept it a secret.

christmas07-121.jpgFor Christmas Eve at the Choo’s in Vancouver, all the aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews, and grandparents came together. The running tradition for the last few years has been to bring a white elephant gift. Tim and I hadn’t brought anything with us, so Joe and Tim went downstairs to rummage up something for the Yankee swap. They found a monkey head that made terrible screeching sounds when you pulled the string and a singing bass mounted on a plaque. Embarrassed by our last minute gifts, we could have never anticipated the singing bass would be the most popular gift of the evening — it went across the room six times! There were some GREAT laughs! Adults stealing gifts from previously elated children, adults stealing from grandparents after putting their gifts away, adults stealing from other adults who had already begun to consume their edible gifts… good times.recent-097.jpg

For the first time since we’ve been married, I finally experienced a Funk Christmas (thanks to immigration). The majority of the Funks now reside in Utah, with the exception of Jon and Lauren who live in DC. They flew into town (after their flight was delayed for hours in Denver) and the entire family (all seven children, their spouses, children and Grandpa) were united at last.

We had our family pictures taken on Saturday in Eagle Mountain with Carma Gray ( in matching red, blue and black — Jean was extremely touched to see all her children in front of the camera for the first time in ten years! That evening, we all gathered around the tree and passed out gifts and went around the room from youngest to oldest, opening gifts. We got Apples to Apples from the Bruecks — we had ALMOST bought it when we were in Vancouver, to which Jennie replied, “I’m glad you didn’t — you asked me to get it for you!” Jean has also made many of her delectable desserts and we have been eating like kings.

We’re warming up to New Years for the famous Funk New Years party on January 1st.

Wishing you the best for 2008!