This was taken Christmas morning, the tree was lit, the house was quiet and so was I for the first time since we arrived -- no cooking to do -- hadn't started grading the 50+ semester essays I brought with me - -just time to sit and reflect.
This year I said all I want for Christmas was to be with my family in Denver. When the budget got pretty tight -- my man said -- Denver is still a "go". Our holidays began with great start when Bethany came in Friday the 18th of Dec. for the weekend. Something about her always brings light to the moment.
We took off Tuesday morning the 22nd, at a relaxed slow pace -- weather caused the 10-hour trip to become a 13-hour drive through snow (Terry was elated!) -- so slept in Wed. morning -- (Marshall had to be at work at some horrible hour -- 4:30) -- went to Wal-Mart to stock his cabinets for the holiday "feed-out"-- how does one guy make it on dry noodles, a can of cream of celery soup --and only 2 eggs and jars of half-eaten pasta and picante sauce? I didn't see much of anything to cook WITH, either except three small sauce pans-- so stocked up on aluminum pans and lots of paper goods.
Marshall had planned all along to host Christmas Eve for the Bell / Good Clan -- When I'd ask him what he wanted to serve -- all I could get out of him was: sausage balls, green bean bundles and pies.
He did, however, have all the decorating covered -- I was impressed -- the tree was decorated nicely --he'd bought stockings for each of us and a strand of lights was up his little patio. Every time we talked on the phone he'd mention the holidays.
The snow continued Tuesday night and all day Wednesday with Terry loving every minute of it -- remembering all his days growing up in Colorado Springs and Denver. Manuvering our little PSSAT through the snow, I wishing for something a little sturdier with a four-wheel drive and that he'd toss that crazy GPS tracking application he'd just downloaded to his phone in order to help us navigate. (another memory of this holiday will be Bethany and I wandering through the Wal-mart parking lot with him using the "find my car" feature that came with his new download. Both of us were fuming and frustrated that he purposefully did not note where he'd left the car. The application was way off and had us 450 feet from our car when we could see it.) -- it'll go down in our family stories and I'm sure be embelished somewhat.
Marshall's Christmas Eve party came off very well -- he got home from working the trauma unit at Denver General in good time to enjoy it, opened his fridge and said --it's so good to have food in here -- makes this place less depressing.
Jim and Jan brought the most delicious stone crab and we all pounded away to get to those delicious tidbits. Jim's sauce was out of sight!!
We had a great day with our kids at Mat's parents with lots of time for loving, laughing and trying to top each other's stories. Marshall was able to get off by 11:00 Christmas morning and we had a tree, stockings and lots of scrumptious food Jim and Jan had so carefully planned and prepared.
Bethany and Terry prepared their traditional Chocolate Pecan Fudge Pie mid-afternoon. 'Not sure which of them enjoys this tradition the most!
Sitting around the dining table Christmas night sharing spiritual insights of Jesus life was a moment I believe we will all cherish.
Bethany and Mat had to leave for KC on Sunday before noon - Marshall had a long 30 hour shift so we didn't get to see him between Friday night and Sunday noon. Of course, holiday shifts at the hospital are short staffed and he was on his feet with five pagers buzzing the whole time. (I think he thrives on the excitement.)
Marshall's laundry caught up, it was time to tackle the remodel he was doing upstairs in his condo. He kept saying, "Mom, if you're bored you can sand on the wall" (partially teasing -- but needing the help) Hand sanding is one of those things I put on par with a root canal... necessary but AWFUL -- so I chose to grade those 50+ semester exam essays, instead. Tuesday the 29th was the first of Marshall's holiday so we ran errands, went out to eat Mexican food, made numerous trips to Lowe's and finished sanding, texturing and painting two walls so he could move back upstairs. (All this to remove wall to wall mirrors in his bedroom) We hung the blinds about 9 pm that night -- called the project complete and dropped into bed exhausted -- with him very excited to now be able to move back upstairs.
Wednesday morning bright and early we headed for home . . . It's the longest we've been away from home in some time and I found myself not wanting to totally unpack that night because it would mean the end to a great family time together. I just wanted to live in the glow of it all. . . Yes, I got what I asked for . . . time with my family all together! Thank you, Lord.