Christmas is officially over. The daily grind has begun. Our vacation – 2 weeks of living a relaxed, fantasy life – is over. In a way, it feels like it was so long ago…
For Christmas, the kids and I spent 2+ weeks away from home with friends and family. Racer stayed home longer for work and to take care of pets. He joined us about 5 days into our trip. While the driving was long (7-9 hours, 2 days in a row, 5 kids, 1 adult, lots of snacks) it was totally worth it. We got to see some great friends in our “old town” and both my family and Racer’s family.
During out trip, we were totally spoiled. Good food, generous gifts, great conversation. We got the chance to hear the Christmas Cantata that our “old church” choir sang. That was a hard morning. We were all so happy to see our friends, and they were happy to see us. Tears flowed from many, especially me and Blue. Neither one of us are huge criers, but that day, the emotion of it all was overwhelming. At one point, I had just about dried up all my tears, and then the choir sang a song titled “Sometimes Christmas Makes me Cry.” You guessed it – I started crying again! Right after chuckling at the irony of the song. Leaving that morning was hard, but we knew we were going on to my parents house, so it was okay.
As an adult, I’ve come to appreciate time with my parents more and more. They are at the point in their life when they are enjoying their kid free time together, the fruit of their hard work and the good choices they made as younger adults. I watch them and hope that someday, Racer and I will be able to enjoy similar things. I know that it’s not about things – and I don’t really mean objects. What I mean is that I would like to be able to enjoy giving in a more generous way to others. I would like to be able to enjoy “self pampering” on occasion. I would like for Racer and I to be able to have time together, just the two of us, in a relaxed, new way. But then I think about how quiet the house will be… Maybe having 5 kids means we’ll have lots of grandchildren!
Spending time with Racer’s family always helps me understand him better. While we had some cramped living for a few days, it gave me the opportunity to observe and get to know his mother better. By understanding her better, I better understand why Racer is the way he is. I did get the chance to cook for them one day – beef stew and braided cheese bread. It was all yummy. I also found this really fun little book that I’ll be blogging about several times in this year. It has history, romance, food and a little silliness too – I’m looking forward to this adventure!
During our “Christmas holidays” we also celebrated a marriage. My brother finally got hitched! The ceremony was small and beautiful. The church was still decorated for Christmas and light just radiated. Girlie was the flower girl and loved every minute of the attention. Some of my aunts came for the wedding – I haven’t seen them in over a year and a half – and it was nice to visit with them. We got an extended family photo of everyone all dressed up. Our “little” family of 7 got a photo of just us too! I’ve realized that for the next, oh, 10 years or so, we will NOT have a family picture that doesn’t have someone doing something weird. Oh well, that just makes the memories even fonder right?
Then it was time to come home. We made another overnight stop in our “old town” and I had a lovely, but late, evening with some girlfriends. Racer and Blue went straight home to join life a day earlier than the rest of us. I got to be a fresh perspective to some life challenges (I enjoy doing that). I cried when it was time to leave. Thank you friends for your prayers.
So what did I learn? I learned that good friends are so, so precious. I learned that prayers for travelling mercies are soooo important. I learned that there are people in my family that I need to pray for (why I haven’t been, I’m not really sure). I’ve learned that I enjoy being around people who just pitch in and help as needed, without really being asked. I’ve learned that Chex cereal SHOULD NOT be taken in the car as a snack! I’ve learned that I am on the road to contentment.
So now that “real life” has started back up again, I’ll post more regularly. I’ll do something next about goals/plans/hopes for this year. I have some cooking things I’d like to be more regular about. Of course, there will always be random stuff thrown in – glimpses into our life at the moment and how God is writing our story. But can I just bask in the quiet of Christmas just a little bit longer…