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Holiday musings and treading water

Breathing… breathing… breathing….

I may actually get it all done.

I had a great day o’productivity yesterday. I went to seven different places in about 3 hours (most of the time bringing Gretchen along with me on my cell phone), and I felt like I really accomplished something. The shopping is done, the Christmas cards have been sent, all the presents are wrapped and those that need to be mailed are on their way.

Deep breath. I may actually enjoy this stinkin’ holiday.

So now I have a moment to sit and verbally vomit share with my bloggy friends some of the random thoughts stirring in my little brain.

Let’s talk about cold weather.

My friend, Lisa, who I met in Iowa, now lives in Fargo, North Dakota. The wind chill yesterday in Fargo? -30. That’s NEGATIVE THIRTY DEGREES. That is cold. That is bone-chilling, don’t-inhale-through-your-nose, icicles-hanging-off-your-face kind of cold.

(My full-blooded Norwegian great-grandparents settled in North Dakota, so maybe thick blood runs in the gene pool.)

Our first year living in Iowa was the coldest winter they had there in twenty five years. It snowed before Christmas and melted at the end of March, I think. Temps were subzero or single digits on a daily basis. Windchills often hovered around -20. That year for Christmas, all of our gifts came from L.L. Bean and Land’s End because we finally lived in a place where such clothes were not only practical but absolutely necessary. I remember walking outside one day in January to check the mail, and it was noticeably warmer. It was 15 degrees that day.

Today in Texas, it dipped down into the 20s. It was a little chilly. We had a wee bit of ice and snow. Texans are freaking out.

I’m really not judging. I’m cold, too. (Actually, I went into the attic and dug out my rated to -20 degrees Land’s End coat, so it’s not too bad. I look ridiculous, but at least I’m warm!) Here’s a lesson I picked up in the Midwest: add a scarf and a hat, and you’ll be amazed at how much warmer your entire body will feel! Now you can’t just fashionably drape the scarf behind your neck and over your shoulders, as I saw one darlin’ little preschool mom doing this afternoon. You need to wrap it around your neck and let it fulfill its God-given purpose.

OK, enough about the weather.

Let’s talk music.

I bought this CD last week as an impulse buy (don’t tell Alyssa), and I LOVE it. If you are an AI watcher, you may know that David Cook’s brother was suffering from cancer during the AI season, and David Cook always has “AC” on his guitar in honor of his brother, Adam. This is my new very-favorite song, which DC wrote for AC. It gives me chills every time I hear it. Ladies and …well, ladies, I present to you “Permanent”:

Now a recap of the last month, as told in pictures.

Spent Thanksgiving in Paris (no, not THAT Paris. The one in Texas. You know, “PARSE”). We finally got to meet Cole, Nephew #1. Michael’s dad was able to come home during the day from the Memory Care center where he now lives, and that actually went really well. Fun week.

Meghan came home with a nasty case of poison ivy. It spread all over her face and neck and was moving to her arms when we finally got her in to see a pediatric dermatologist. I felt so bad for Meg. She told me, “Mom, you have no idea how much importance 4th graders put on appearance.” My gracious response? “Just wait until 7th grade.” Open mouth, insert foot.

Thankfully it cleared up before her piano recital. She played beautifully! Her teacher bragged on her in front of everyone that she was one of the only students who memorized her music because she practices so much. Meghan really loves to play, and although I’m admittedly biased, she is very, very talented. We were hoping piano would be something really difficult that would challenge her. Blasted gifted kids.

The next day, Griffin got baptized! And yes, that is Michael in there with him. It was such a sweet moment. Griffin was bouncing off the walls all weekend because he was so excited. Griffin had prayed to invite Jesus to come into his heart and (as he puts it) “be the leader of my life” back in August, so this was a beautiful picture of that decision. And Michael made it through the whole thing without choking up once! (he was worried.) Griffin’s good friend, Seth, was also baptized that morning. Seth’s parents are good friends of ours and on our “team” (small group), so we had a big celebration party after church. At Griffin’s request, I made my Sweet & Sassy Chili (Michael calls it “I Lak Mah Chili Lak I Lak My Woman”) and fudge. Seth’s mom, Lara, made a tortilla soup – YUM! It was such a fun day! My mom, brother, and nephew came over (dad had the stomach flu), as well as most of our team, their kids, Seth’s family, and some of their friends.

Went to a Christmas party last week for the staff & families of the children’s hospital. We go every year, and it’s so much fun. Kids have their own buffet and get to meet Santa. Grown-ups get a grown-up buffet and time to sit and talk while the kids watch Christmas movies and eat and play. This was our second year to not need a stroller and our first year without a sippy cup or diapers. Woo-hoo!!!

Oh, yes. I almost forgot. We signed a contract last week with a builder to start our new house. He’s working his tail off to try and get permits by the end of the year (long story), but we’re hoping to break ground in February-March and move in by Thanksgiving. Which means, of course, that after the holidays, we have a lot of work to do around here to get our house ready to sell in the spring!

Alright, that’s enough for now. Hopefully this holiday won’t drag me into the depths of its evil lair and I can find more time to comment on life as I know it before the new year.

Ho ho ho!

4 thoughts on “Holiday musings and treading water

  1. Great song – I haven’t heard it before. It’s haunting.Sounds like you’re surviving, and maybe even enjoying, Christmas. Lots of fun stuff going on in the Hunt home.I’m Canadian and lived the first 21 years of my life with LONG, COLD winters but I can justify complaining about Texas winters becuase it’s the contrast that really kills you. 80 one day, 26 the next. 110 in the summer, 25 in the winter. It’s not right. 🙂

  2. You packed a lot into that! I was going to comment on something…but now I can’t remember what! I’m sure it wasn’t important. No, I didn’t get the package mailed! Tomorrow–I hope!

  3. Jennifer,have you ever heard of Anne Lamott? If not, i should send you one of her books.. you have a similar style of writing. You are really good at writing in a down-to-earth way. I'm seeing good things ahead for you. creatively.congrats to Griffin! did you know both my girls were not "infant" baptized? I think Natalie was 7 & Leah about 6. Mom was uh, pretty averse to that. I think she may have developed the stomach flu….hmmm.

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