Posted in Exploration and travel, Thoughts

“Holi-day-i! Cele-brate!”

I know all of you are on pins and needles wanting the update from me on how my Christmas went. You just can’t handle that you had to wait, I’m sure. Well, never fear, your post-holiday update is here!

After working on the 22nd, the hubs and our housemate picked me up and we drove through the night to arrive in Cincinnati, Ohio for a long weekend of family time. We stayed with my too-wonderful-to-deserve in-laws. They are just so hospitable and showed us the kindness & love that true hospitality means over and over again during our short time there.

Almost upon immediate arrival, I had the joy of getting a mother-daughter date with my Mum. She took me to see the Nutcracker performed by the Dayton Ballet! Such a treat and MAN, that Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra is super professional. I was duly impressed. The costumes were also stunning. (As was one of the lead dancer’s massive thighs, but we won’t go there.) 😉

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Sorry for the blurriness! I think we took it from the “selfie” side. 😦

Other favorite parts of the time with family include*:

  • Laughing so hard with my parents that my abs hurt afterwards and my throat was wheezing
  • That awesome conversation about evangelism with my Dad
  • Seeing my parents ongoing reaction to their Christmas present (a trip together next Fall), the excitement is high & I am glad it is catching!
  • So many real and deep conversations with my favorite in-laws EVER
  • A hug that went where words could not with Traci in her kitchen
  • Donn freaking out over the drone he got for Christmas from Lauren & Chris, and then generously sharing his toy with his kids
  • Countless moments where people intentionally included our housemate, Abdullah, in the Christmas celebrations
  • Lego (a 25 pound cat) choosing to sit on my lap
  • Seeing Meagan & Dave’s home, the peace they both have in being themselves there, and the conversation in the kitchen while Meg baked a pie.
  • Cutting to the deep in the kitchen with Meg & Lou, revealing a bit of my emotional state and the understanding & recognition in their eyes.
  • And most certainly not last: so many hugs from Nayt throughout the days in Ohio, his unswerving devotion to understand his strange extroverted wife and the space he gifted me with to be me, even at his own expense.
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I’m not crying, I’m so happy cause Dave (my secret Santa) chose to replace my sentimental & much loved/used teapot that I broke earlier this year. In this moment, I might have been retelling the epic tragedy: “Breaking The Most Glorious of Teapots”.

We could stop right there and just say I had a good Christmas. BUT WAIT, there’s more!

There were moments with friends that were so good, it seemed like I was just reaping a ridiculous amount of heartfelt joy**:

  • Hugging my friend Bekka and meeting her amazing boyfriend who totally gets that he got the sweet end of that deal (but seeing that my friend is happy and at true peace with him and in general, which is NO SMALL FEAT!)
  • Celebrating 20+ years of friendship with my two best friends from high school by sneaking in a long overdue coffee date, getting updates on their worlds and feeling their sweetness & acceptance of who I have been and am trying to be now. I am so lucky.
  • Unexpectedly getting to connect with my brilliant friend, Amanda, who will change the lives of so many people by being a light in the medical program at UC (not to mention “and beyond!”).
  • Random texts from friends out of the state at just the right low moments, as if they knew they were being used by God to step in and see me.

And then, we came home and the cats stole all the attention & love I had leftover to give them. 🙂 (Alright, I may have done other things besides pet my cats over the past 4 days…maybe…)

So, while it could be easy to dwell on the busy-ness and the craziness and the emotional stress that I think most people feel around the December holidays, I am choosing to opt out of remembering them. Instead, I am recording for posterity’s sake, that the good moments FAR outweighed any bad. That God is so good, and blesses us with so many things that it sometimes takes even extroverted, externally processing, quick-thinking me a few extra days to really absorb all that was really given me.

I am beyond blessed. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

*this list is by no means exhaustive

**this list is also, by no means, exhaustive

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