Friday, December 25, 2009

1st half of Christmas trip

Well, after a long layoff, due mostly to laziness, I am back. Truly back as well, in the sense I am back from the UK in the States for a strange Christmas journey.

Baylie and I came back last Saturday so that I could bring her to Wylie. She was a really good travel companion, and I even got a cuddle or two out of her. I know those moments are going to be fewer and farther between as she is getting older very fast--10 in 7 weeks, where has the time gone?

I had an adventuresome, brief day and a half at the house. The furnace room flooded, the car wouldn't start, and the ATM ate my card in the space of 10 hours. Ahh good times. But I won playing poker that night, so all was not lost.

The next day had me on my way to San Antonio via Tulsa & Houston for a whirlwind adventure. Trying to wedge 6 wonderful friends into 8 days is no small feat, but I came prepared with a plan, and so far--knock, knock--we are on schedule. Even ahead, if you count my bonus time last night. Score!

Tuesday was Aaron, Bre, Carson, Abby and Chris Madrid's. Boy, I sure miss being able to get a good burger. Had an awesome time. The kids remembered me, so we didn't have to spend the first hour or so having them warm up to me. Quite the opposite actually, with me becoming a road for Carson's cars within 5 minutes and Abby drawing me a picture of Aaron and I together. Aaron and I fell back into our old witty banter habits, remembering old times, and making new memories. Its so fun to be a grown up some times, especially when you are remembering just how dumb you used to be. Bre was as lovely as ever, and holds her own with us, which is wonderful. Really thankful God blessed AP with such an amazing wife. Oh, and by the way, EASILY the best photographer around. So talented Bre, still feel lucky you worked for us a million years ago. (OK, 4 and a half, but still.) What a wonderful and beautiful family. I love you guys so much!

Wednesday was a day for Mom and Dad. Dad is on call most of this week, but was off that day, so we wedged as much as possible in. Big breakfast at Mimi's Cafe, Dad and I took in Avatar 3D, and then a Brazilian steakhouse (OMG!) for dinner. The food was good all around, the movie was a visual stunner, even if it is a hippy propaganda movie telling us how bad we humans are.

Yesterday, I FINALLY got to see Kristen again. Only been 8 years, but lucky for me, she is great about keeping in touch. Coffee at Starbucks turned into two hours of catching up. Had a really great time and she invited me out with her and her brother after their evening church service, so I got a double shot of KW; lucky me. Hope its not another 8 years, hon, thanks for a great time!

Wedged in the middle yesterday was our Christmas dinner, which, though very nice and definitely tasty, seemed quiet and strange with just the three of us. No kids, no wife, no sister. Gotta say, not a fan. As much as I love you Mom and Dad, I hope this doesn't happen again. We went for dessert and drinks afterwards to Eric & Nina's, friends of my parents and mine since living in SA. Was nice catching up, and extra nice seeing as how Nina has been battling cancer, but is now in remission. Definitely an answered prayer!

So, here I sit, Christmas Day 2009. My family is literally spread out around the world. Much has happened this year. Starting with the news of CP & Epilepsy, through to the news we were moving abroad, to this moment. I couldn't have come close to predicting it. What a lucky guy I am though. With a great wife, three amazing kids--including a miracle, wonderful family and friends who are just as close as family I have made it through. I have griped and groaned (ask Lace), laughed and cried, sang praises and tilted at windmills, and here I am. Hopefully stronger, indeed enriched, and overall; extremely blessed.

So thank you, thank you all so very very much. I hope that I return a portion to you of what y'all give to me. To all of you reading this, I love you, and I am definitely a better person for knowing you. My life would not be what it is without you, no matter how often or how little we actually see each other or talk.

Merry Christmas (I know, I am getting carried away, roll with it) and I hope the new year brings you everything you hope and wish for.



Anonymous said...

It was absolutely wonderful to see you and catch far the best Christmas gift. It will NOT be so long between our visits. I need to cross th pond soon! Merry Christmas my dear friend!

mbutler said... you don't want to spend time with us anymore...nice! Just kidding, Son. Glad to have you but I wish youcould be with your family too...I know from experience how hard it is being away!