But first, Thanksgiving. I was not in a Thanksgiving frame of mind. To be honest, it was just making me tired. But last night we had a family time that kind of changed it for me. Charged my mental batteries. Not that I'm not still physically tired - I went to bed last night so tired and achey I was afraid I might have the flu. But an Advil/Excedrin cocktail does not cure the flu in 30 minutes so I think I was just on my feet and running more than I'd been used to. Rheumatoid arthritis sucks. But I digress.
My oldest son Rex and his wife and family are in town this week from Denver - an unexpected surprise. And they came over yesterday to have dinner and spend some time. Scott and Ashley came over after work too. We decided to break out the panini press and make grilled sandwiches, so 5 year old Lexi and I went to the store for provisions. We took the Miata. I don't think Lexi had ever been in such a tiny car before. When I told her we could drive it with the top down in the summer, her brown eyes got big. We picked up roast beef, turkey, ham, cheeses of every kind, and a couple of different loaves of artisan bread. Oh - and a toy for her and a toy for Matthew. I'm a sucker for cute kids, what can I say?
At the height of the evening it was pandemonium in our little house. So much conversation, so many grilled sandwiches, numerous cups of milk to be filled, hungry Skylee to be fed, and freshly baked pumpkin bread to be eaten.
After dinner, the big kids sat and visited while L plied the little ones with leftover Halloween candy (I wish I had a picture of L and Matthew sharing a box of Nerds and conversation... priceless.) Lexi and I broke out the fairy castle and carriage, and got out other toys for Matt. I was just getting Matthew and Lexi settled down watching The Little Mermaid - one on my little couch with his blankie and the other snuggled in the big bean bag chair - when Rex came in to tell them it was time to go. Too soon!
The whole evening was hectic, loud, and in a constant state of movement. It was joyous and lovely. Without going into detail, it was the first evening in a long, long time that brought back memories of how much fun we all used to have together when the kids were younger. Even L was in the thick of it. It was the best Christmas gift I could ever have received. The only thing missing was Katie and her family - and that's a big thing, but some things can't be helped. Maybe one of these years...
I'd purchased a new camera lens from Katie while we were in Massachusetts last month. I broke it out yesterday and gave it a test drive. I've got a lot to learn about using it, but I had some fun.
So in the spirit of the holiday season, may I wish you all a safe, joyous and blessed holiday season.
May your souls be filled with heaven's light
May your days be blessed with life's bounty
And some sparkly things that glitter and shine
Quiet reflection of beauty and blessings received
And a sure knowledge of, and gratitude for,
the love our Heavenly Father has for us that shines in the darkest night.
And may we all witness the true spirit of love and hope shining in the eyes of a child.