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Monday Update: 12/8/08

November…where did you go!?!?

I just can’t believe we are well into December now…the time is really just flying by. I know I’ve been really bad about posting updates, but things have just been so hectic. The holiday rush is in full swing and just tonight I finally feel a little calmer about things.

We had a great Thanksgiving at Mom and Dad’s in Texas…oh, it was just the best time. We flew down on the 24th with Hope, Chad, and the kids…YIKES! Both kids traveled pretty darn well though, and we arrived in warm, sunny Texas all in one piece. It was so great to pull out the flip flops and sandals for one more hoorah! We spent most of the next few days just hanging out…quality time as a family and it was SORELY overdue! I wanted to soak as much of it up as possible. We celebrated Thanksgiving with a wonderful meal together, followed by a birthday celebration for Dad and Meghan. (They both loved the Barbie cake!)

We spent time playing with the kids outside, running around the yard, writing in chalk on the porch, watching Dad and Meghan ride around on the 4 wheeler, and just plain being together. It just could not have been a better way to celebrate Thanksgiving, as I am always so very, very thankful for my family. Matt and I stayed a few days after the Kepler’s left and it was nice to have some time to visit with Mom and Dad alone. We went to church with them and met some of the wonderful folks who have often held us up in their prayers over these past few years. There were many warm smiles, hearty handshakes, and knowing, empathetic looks in their eyes. It was so nice to be able to meet some of them in person. Mom, Matt, and I ventured out on Monday to lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the river there in San Marcos. It was a bit chilly for the locals…a brisk 68…but we sat on their covered deck with the heaters on and soaked up the beautiful weather and scenery together while enjoying the yummy lunch. Matt and I refused to say it was cold out…knowing full well what waited for us back home!

Matt and I headed back home in the wee hours of December 2nd…we were back in Des Moines (where the temps were in the TWENTIES and the ground was snow covered – the Texans would DIE) by about 10:30 in the morning. I was sure I’d be pooped and ready to crash when we got home…but instead I got my second wind and turned into a Christmas decorating fool. We put up the big Christmas tree in the living room as well as a smaller one in the office. I ran out to get more lights and Matt helped me put out all the little Christmas/winter décor. I don’t think I stopped and sat down until about 9:00 that night…and then, yeah, I crashed! It seems like things have been nuts every night since! We’ve been finishing the outside decorations with white pine garland and blue lights…Matt’s favorite. He’s always loved all blue Christmas lights and this year I told him we could do them on the little tree in the front office window and outside – so he was pretty tickled…and they do look nice, I have to admit.

Last Thursday I had dinner with some dear girlfriends, on Friday I went shopping with another, on Saturday we went up to Boone to decorate Matt’s parents’ Christmas tree, and Sunday I cleaned and finished up the lights outside. Tonight…I am ready to sit back, relax, and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas! While things have been nuts, we’ve enjoyed all the good times with family and friends…and during the holiday season it really makes you thankful. We had a good time with Matt’s family, trimming their Christmas tree like we always used to, indulging in a special family dinner together – something we haven’t done in over 3 years. It was special for us all.

This week is bound to fill up with all kinds of last minute things, but I hope to take some time out of the busyness and just pause to really, really be thankful. It’s easy (for a type A personality like me especially) to get so super busy planning and preparing to neglect to just take a deep breath and remember the many, many blessings I have.

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