LSG came home - Although I didn't get to see her for almost the entire first week she was home because I picked up those hours at the other job. I'll be really happy when I see my next paycheck, though! I worked two nights and a day (about 13 hours) the week leading up to Christmas. Keep in mind I log somewhere around 3-6 hours a week during the typical season. So, even though I didn't even get close to 20 hours (part-time) it felt like I lived there.
Friday was pretty good, because I didn't have much planned - that evening our church did have a wonderful Christmas Concert, in which Melodee sang wonderfully from Handel's Messiah (not. an easy song) and I sang "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." I'm happy with the result, but I'm happiest that I took a fairly substantial step forward in reducing my nerves prior to singing. (I've literally had my knees shake while I was singing at a wedding.)
Saturday was wonderful and horrible all at the same time - I had some sort of stomach thing going on, so I spent most of the day sitting in front of the TV with a blanket and reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The wonderful part was that I really didn't have to go anywhere or do anything, so I could just nurse myself back to health. I was SHOCKED at the end of HP (AMANDA!!! I can't believe that character DIED! There HAS to be some mistake. I'll just write to Rowling and she'll see how she was wrong and she'll write an addendum). I'm a purist - ha! Or, rather, I don't keep up with Harry Potter enough to know any spoilers, so the end of that book had me thinking, "no...this will be a joke or something."
Christmas Sunday was wild, crazy and great.
I got my sister, brother and GPB new jackets that haven't been released by Northface yet and won't come until May, but they really rock. Pops got a Leki walking stick from me that he's wanted for a year and I got mom an Astaire/Rogers DVD pack - some really great movies we love.
LSG and GPB gave me the beautiful watch I shamelessly hinted about when we girls took this trip. Mom gave me the work clothing (business casual) that she graciously bought me during that trip (delayed gratification is really worth it.) I'm a happy, happy girl. My New Year's resolution is going to be "I will only buy clothing that is classic." Specifically my goal is to search online sales for clothes every other week or so. And Dad got me a bracelet that is very, very pretty. My aunt got me When I don't desire God - How to fight for Joy by John Piper in our big family exchange. Amazon Wishlist Rocks.
Alfred's sermon was absolutely one of the best I've heard.
Yesterday, my eldest cousin and his wife - with the first great-grandchild-not-yet-born - and his sister and her husband (yes, also my cousins) and various other cousins and aunts met for coffee. We howled at old videotape of Christmases past --mostly at the little cousins (all around 4-6 yrs at that time) falling down, pushing each other (when adults weren't looking, of course) stealing Easter chocolate, and "helping" each other open gifts. The biggest laughs of all: Jr High late 80's hair. Hello, Aquanet!
Then I went home and cleaned out my closets of clothes I haven't worn in this past year as I talked to LSG and let the doggies out to play - I'm housesitting. "Grandpa" Piper just oozes "Get outta my way, young pup! you are so exuberant and annoying!" every time Migo comes to play! It's hilarious.
And finally, last night LSG got us hooked on what she has threatening to hook us on for the last 3 months: LOST. And are we ever hooked! :)
God is good, and so gracious - I don't deserve it.