Turns out I’ve not been keeping this poor blog up-to-date on current news and issues. To save space and time, let me summarize the past 6-7 weeks.
I had a delicious birthday week. This was the year of fine restaurants, for I was taken out to IHOP, P.F.Chang’s, J. Alexander’s (my personal favorite), Saltgrass Steakhouse, and a delicious Mexican meal at a family’s home in Mexico City. Ever since that week Logan has been randomly talking up the virtues of yoga, running, and spinning classes. (Just kidding. He likes me for my body…)
We spent Thanksgiving Day in Memphis with Scott, Suzanne, Nick, Rachel, Coco, and Owen the Destroyer. It was a quiet and intimate day. I remember being especially grateful to God that day for His redemption. He can take any situation, no matter how bad or unpleasant, and redeem it for our good and His glory.
We drove to Bedford, TX and spent a day and a half with my Grandaddy and Grandmama, along with aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was a blast. We played lots of Killer Uno and watched “Nacho Libre.” Logan chuckled the whole way through.
Logan and I flew to Mexico City in order to help Logan’s brother and sister-in-law move back to the States for furlough. We were met at the airport by Logan’s brother LT and our ridiculously cute neice Bella. I remember that she was drinking a fruit flavored soda and her mouth had a berry red ring around it. Logan and I had the joy of meeting our new neice, Olivia, for the first time as well. We spent the next couple of days packing, eating, and talking. Then everything was loaded up and we flew back to Dallas.
I went Christmas shopping. A lot.
Harvester Christian Church put together “Journey to Bethlehem,” a sort of grandiose living nativity that they do every year. Logan and I were Mary and Joseph, so we spent many hours in a stable, holding a very real looking doll and looking tenderly at each other. While it was extremely cold at times, and often very boring, I was grateful to have the chance to think about what it must have been like that first nativity and marvel at the wonder of God in a baby.
We loaded up all our stuff, said some sad farewells, and drove to Memphis. All of Logan’s family was together for the first time in two years and it was just so wonderful to be all under one roof. The neices and nephew were a riot– Owen making faces at the camera, Coco talking about the mice in The Nutcracker, Bella twirling in her Christmas dress and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, and Livi just lying there and looking perfect. One night just the couples (minus Scott and Suzanne to look after the kids) went to see The Nutcracker at The Orpheum. I found it extremely fun to get dressed up with my husband and see the performance in such an old, interesting place. The rest of the week the boys played video games, the girls watched “Joan of Arcadia,” and we all just really, authentically enjoyed each other’s company.
We drove to Cassville, MO and visited First Christian Church where Jay and Caitlin Greer serve. I played the keyboard in their youth service “Third Race,” and Logan was able to just sit back and not worry about anything for the first time in a long time. That night we went out to Applebee’s with Jay, Caitlin, Levi and our good friends Vince and Joy. I sipped my mango lemonade and basked in the warmth of so many good friends.
Logan and I drove up to Grinnell to surprise my mom on her birthday. She burst into tears (of happiness) when she saw us, so we felt recompensed. The next couple of days were full of catching up, playing hockey, watching “Lost,” and just enjoying time alone as a family. We opened presents together on Christmas morning, something that hasn’t happened in years, and then went over to my grandma and grandpa’s for dinner. I tried to make a birthday cake for Jesus, but by the time Logan and I were through with it, it looked like we’d tried to decorate it in a car, on a gravel road, in a blizzard, and we were 4 years old.
On Tuesday people started arriving in preparation for my sister Ellie’s wedding to Michael Soderstrom. The rest of the week was pretty crazy with lots of people and wedding preparations, but in the end, the wedding came off beautifully. Ellie did a great job of planning, Michael and Ellie’s relationship is pure and loving, and the Lord was honored at every turn. The whole ceremony was just fun. Ellie and Michael had saved their first kiss for their wedding day, so once they got started, they couldn’t stop. We just pushed them out the door as soon as we could…
We had a couple more “Cousin Christmas’ ” with the Lang and the Carlile sides. I was able to have some good conversations with people, just re-establishing a connection and a friendship. I really love my family.
Logan started his first day of work today. He was looking forward to it. I helped a little in cleaning up the post-wedding/Christmas/company aftermath.
Well, looks like I’m up to date.