Opportunities to write have seemingly disappeared over the last 6 weeks. Life has brought tons to write about, but somewhere close to zero moments to actually record and share them. So, just in case the Mayans were actually on to something, I feel the need to document my weekend and post it on the internet so the government can store it in one of its data farms in the desert. You know, just in case.
My family is a circus. And that circus came to town this weekend and descended upon our home with all their stuff. I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a while, and it was so cool to come home from our college-age ministry’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Party to the ginormous pile of shoes at the front door. The following 40 hours was been complete chaos. Beautiful chaos. We are a loud family and there are a lot of us, but since moving 3 ½ hours away, we have to make the most of the time we have…and so we did.
We stayed up late watching Duck Dynasty and got up early to eat monkey bread with (unfortunately) little sleep in between. We all sat around the tree to open presents, attempted some order but with Calla as our “elf,” it proved a bit of a challenge…turns out she can’t read yet. So I had to help her decipher gift tags while fending off all the other cousins from swiping presents from under the tree. It was intense. The party moved to the basement where we built a pretty incredible tent that spanned nearly the entire surface area of our basement. (It was also in tents….get it?) It was fun to build a tent with Jonathan again…we got to relive a piece of our childhood while watching our children not help.
The kids all decorated cookies with icing and an inordinate amount of sprinkles. Really, the ugliest Christmas cookies you’ve ever seen, but they still tasted good. And then for the first time in a long time, I just got to go to church with my family…all of them, to hear my cousin preach and worship together. Then everybody came back to our house for Christmas supper and more gift-giving chaos with my aunt & uncle and cousins. Ezra and I scored some sweet remote control helicopters (already practicing our flight skills), and Calla paraded around in her new Dorothy costume, complete with wig, red slippers and even Toto in a basket. The minute she put it on, she started quoting the movie (which she’s never seen), “There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home.” We ended the night sipping Orange Julius and watching super 8mm home videos with a sheet and a projector because that’s how you did it in the 80’s. The next morning we relaxed, ate and the men of our family commenced with our annual tradition…beard shaving.
This was a weekend I’ve been waiting for for a long time…and it was a good one. Good to hug my mom, and tickle my nephews, shave absurd things on my face with my brother and my dad, laugh with my sister…and just be together. And in the midst of a national tragedy, my heart and mind just keep thinking of and praying for families in Connecticut. You never have any idea how much time you have or don’t have with your family…with the the people you love. I’m reminded again that every moment matters. and to find a way to celebrate what I do have and who I have for as long as I have them.
And now I get to go to bed thankful and actually get some sleep.