Monday, December 28, 2009

Just A Little Longer

I realized during church yesterday morning that the week after Christmas is my most favorite week of the entire year. I guess it's because the kids are out of school and John usually has the week off to spend with us, but I also think it's Christmas preparations are over and we can relax and just enjoy being together for just a little longer.

This is our traditional Christmas Eve photo. John takes one every year of me and the kids in front of the Christmas tree after our Christmas Eve service at church.

I usually take my tree down the day after Christmas. My family thinks I'm just plain grinchy for that. But a small house and a big tree make me feel claustrophobic after awhile. John's parents arrive later today, so in an effort to please everyone and keep it fun and festive the tree is staying up just a little longer. I may or may not make frustrating remarks under my breath every time I walk past it though.

I also want to quit eating rich, sugary, and fattening food. But we're about to enjoy Christmas round #2 so that will have to wait just a little longer also.

I'm hoping my kids will sleep just a little longer this morning. They've been staying up way too late every night. I guess we've let them because we know they'll sleep in. They're all camped out in Will's room this makes my heart smile that they love doing that. It may not last forever, but I hope it lasts just a little longer.

Ya'll...I am reading the best book. It's The Help by Kathryn Stockett. My sister read it last summer and told me I needed to read it. I had it on hold at our library forever but when it became available I was in St Louis. I forgot to go pick it up before they put it back in circulation. I was watching Good Morning America last week (have I told you that I have a little crush on George Stephanopolous?) and they featured The Help on a "Best Books of 2009" segment. John was standing there and I said, "I really, really want to read that book". He looked at me and said, "Well, I have an advance reading copy in the bookcase downstairs, let me go get it for you". Little did I know that book has been sitting on a bookshelf for well over a year while I had it on hold at the library for 5 months!!! There are some perks to having a husband who works in publishing.

Thanks for letting me chase that rabbit.

The Help is w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l, and I know I'm going to be sad when it ends. Thankfully I have just a little longer to enjoy it...and I'm savoring each page.

I hope each of you had a blessed Christmas. Ours was absolutely perfect! John and I usually don't exchange gifts at Christmas--we'd rather spend all of our money on our kids--but this year he gave me a great gift. A Slanket. Don't laugh. I really, really wanted one. I actually wanted one last year and they were completely sold out and back-ordered. Some of you asked me on Twitter what the difference between a Snuggie and Slanket is. Probably price--ha ha--but here's a comparison.

I absolutely LOVE my gift. It's the gift that keeps on giving since our Colorado winters stretch into I will definitly be enjoying my Slanket just a little longer!
And because I feel the need to comment on this photo: No, I'm NOT a Texas or Tennessee fan. Yes, there have been way too many pictures of me without makeup posted on the web lately. No, I didn't get a new Macbook for Christmas (John surprised me with it in October)! John posted this pic on Facebook with the caption, "Always wanted to live with a slanky lady". I'm pretty crazy about him...and I love how much he makes me laugh.

As much as I'd like to linger here just a little longer, I must get going and start some laundry and find my mop and get things ready for John's family to arrive. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Nothing Makes Me Lose My Mind Like...Toy Packaging

The words to this Sara Groves song are hysterical! I'm sure most of you with young children can relate. Enjoy!

And Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, "Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!" Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. "Don't be frightened, Mary" the angel told her, "for God has decided to bless you! You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!"

Luke 1:26-33 New Living Translation

About five years ago, I was at an Advent retreat and our leader invited us to listen to a passage of scripture from Luke's gospel (vs 26-56) while she read it aloud several times. She asked us to listen with more than our ears. She invited us to close our eyes and engage all of our senses. What things do you see? What do you smell? What can you taste? What can you feel? What specific words or phrases do you hear?

It's an incredible exercise, and when a room full of fifty women begin to share the things that their minds have heard, seen, smelled, touched, and tasted, it truly makes scripture come alive!

On that particular day, one little phrase from the passage above stood out to me.

She was engaged to be married...

The engagement process is usually a time of excitement and planning towards a certain future. All of Mary and Jospeph's planning and everything they had looked toward was suddenly looking very different after Gabriel's visit. I'm pretty sure that having a baby wasn't part of their plan.

Just as clearly as that short phrase stood out to me every time the passage was read, I heard God whisper to me: "I want to interrupt your plans in order to birth life in you, Meredith".

I really don't like interruptions. Do you? When I first heard God speak those words to me, I was pretty much in the throes of depression. My husband of fifteen years had just resigned as co-pastor of our church--a church we'd been a part of for barely a year, and a church that we moved 1000 miles away from our family to serve. Ministry was the only life we'd ever known together, and stepping away from that familiar life was, well, an interruption. A big interruption.

I knew God was calling us into something deeper...into something more. It was the reason John resigned. We were tired of religiosity. We were tired of our faith feeling perfunctory and legalistic. God was offering us something more spacious, more freeing and life-giving, but we had to step into a scary unknown to accept it. We had to let God interrupt our plans.

Has life been birthed in me? In us? Absolutely, but just like actual childbirth that process has been painful and messy and slow.

Shortly after that Advent retreat, I met a couple that is living out God's interruption in their lives. Bob and Judy (not their real names) are raising their great-granddaughter. Did you catch that? They're raising their great-granddaughter.

Bob and Judy are easily in their 70s. I first met them when Madison was in my daughter's second grade class. Tears streamed down my face as they shared the story of her mom abandoning her to the care of her grandmother. When Madison's much loved grandmother died suddenly, Bob and Judy stepped in to love and care for that little life that so desperately needed to be loved and nurtured.

I've gotten to know Bob and Judy a little better over the years. I see them at church every single Sunday with Madison by their side. I'm awed by their sacrificial willingness to let their lives be interrupted. Instead of wintering in Florida, they're up to their eyeballs in tweenage hormones and fashion and (heaven help them) middle-school math.

Has life been birthed in them? I'm guessing the sparkle in their eye would be the answer. Has life been birthed through them? Absolutely. They are an inspiration to many.

I sometimes wonder if the Christmas story would be different if Mary had not responded, "Let it be to me as you have said". Would God have insisted? Would we know Jesus' mother by another name?

But the thing is that she did say yes. Just like Bob and Judy, Mary let God interrupt her plans and birth life in and through her. Without knowing the end of the story. Without guarantees. With nothing but a willingness to say, "I am the Lord's servant."

Monday, December 21, 2009

You've Got (Virtual) Mail!

John and I mail lots and lots of Christmas cards every December. I wish I could mail one to each and every one of you, but time and money keep that from being a reality. I can send some virtual mail your way though. Here is our photo and letter from this year. Merry Christmas!

Photo design by Chele Randell at Distinctive Photo Creations
(Click on photo to enlarge)

From now on we’ll have to muddle through somehow…
Old blue eyes thought that line too depressing. At Frank Sinatra’s request, Dean Martin rewrote it: hang a shining star upon the highest bough. I’d love to rewrite a little of this last year, but I can’t; old brown eyes has to tell the truth.
She was not there on the day that he died, but a cell phone held to his ear carried a daughter’s benediction: I love you Dad. Meredith’s dad died on August 9th. We just celebrated Thanksgiving with Meredith’s family. Everyone was there, everyone except John. We are still folks of hope, but resurrection is empty without the thief called death. We are learning to muddle through.
Kids keep you muddling by virtue of being young and needy and just plain beautiful. Will and Sarah are knee-deep in middle school. Abbey is technically in the second grade, but her best friends are her brother and sister, so she’s middle school in spirit. Most days you can find all three in hoodies, skinny jeans, and sneakers. And many nights, all three are slumbering in the same room in sleeping bags. I know it could change tomorrow, but for now our kids love each other’s company. Old brown eyes just says thank you.
Marriage will also keep you muddling, especially when there’s something exciting on the horizon. Meredith and I have been married nineteen years now. Our hope is to celebrate twenty in a yurt in Yosemite next summer. There’s a picture on our refrigerator of two college kids, a lady and a tramp. Little did those kids know the stories you can tell of twenty years…my, my. Our plan is to keep at it so as to tell a few more, such as what it’s like to muddle for a week in a yurt. Stay tuned.
Writing is keeping me busy. After quite a few years of hard plowing, we’ve seen a few blades of hope lately. Not full blown hope, but enough to soldier on. Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas released in September. And I recently finished a book titled Start With Me; it’s set to release sometime in the spring. It’s a story about being a good Samaritan, among other things.
I pray these upcoming holy days allow you to glimpse some sweetness in what’s been a heavy year all around. I know many of you have experienced loss times two or three, maybe even four. It is tempting in days like these to be about rewriting our lives, making them more upbeat, something to sell a few more copies. But that sure is tiring. Maybe time is better spent reminiscing and that’s something you can only do in retrospect, looking back, over your shoulder, telling the stories and being slack-jawed at the cockeyed ways in which the Grace that keeps this world kept you and yours as well.
I, like you, look forward to a blue-eyed day of hanging a shining star upon the highest bough…but until then, may God bless us, everyone, and keep us all as we muddle through somehow.
Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas break has begun!

Thursday was the kids' last day of school and I had BIG plans to sleep in Friday morning. I made it to 6:58--which is late for me, but not exactly the hour I had in mind. I tried again today and was up even earlier. Hmmmm...I think my internal clock needs to be re-set, and I think that 18 days off is enough time to sufficiently readjust, don't you?

I went to the school board meeting on Thursday night and it is official: Our elementary school is closing. The good news is that all of those students are being relocated together to one of the middle schools that is being reconfigured as an elementary. My middle-schoolers aren't too affected by it. Their school will remain open and will become a 7th/8th grade campus. It wasn't an easy decision for the board and all of their options had cons, but I'm hopeful that our community will support their decision and move forward in a positive direction.

I'm very thankful that a decision was made about our school so I can stop thinking/worrying about this. Sadly, it has consumed a lot of mental space over the last few weeks.

Moving on.

I've been finished with my shopping for awhile, and I mailed my Christmas cards earlier than I ever have, but I haven't baked ONE SINGLE treat unless you count a triple batch of Chex mix. I keep telling myself it's because I want the kids to help me, but who am I kidding? I don't love baking with my kids. I do it because my kids love it and because "that's what good moms do" (said tongue in cheek) but I honestly don't enjoy having every individual nerve in my body challenged at one time.

We WILL be doing some baking this week/weekend though. I went to Walmart last weekend (took me 35 minutes to check out with my groceries last Sunday afternoon--bah humbug!) and I got the ingredients for all our traditional Christmas goodies.

Do you give food gifts? I rarely do. I don't mind receiving them, but I usually talk myself out of giving platters of cookies and candy because I figure that people are sick of "one more platter".
Am I weird? (Wait, don't answer that).

Since I'm rambling about Christmas stuff (in a most unorganized fashion) I must mention how wonderful my house smells since I bought this. We never buy a real tree but you wouldn't know that if you walked in my house and took a whiff. Mmmmmm....

I was telling John the other day that this Christmas has felt really spacious to me. I've given myself and my family the gift of time by being protective of our outside commitments this month. It has been very freeing and like I said, it has felt spacious.

Even our budget has felt spacious this year, despite having to replace the transmission in the car we just acquired. Ugh. We're going to pick it up from the mechanic in a little while. Merry Christmas, honey.

Being able to stay at home for Christmas and not travel has also been a spacious gift. You guys who travel know how hard it is to get all the loose ends tied up in order to leave during an extra busy time of year! My kids are happiest when they're at home on Christmas morning, and I love the years that we get to enjoy that.

I could ramble on and on...but the coffee is calling and so are the Italian cookies that Christen gave to me at Bunco last night. Chow, er, I mean Ciao.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sad and Happy

Well, I didn't really intend to let this many days go by without blogging.

I could tell you that it's because I've been really busy, but that's not so. This has been the most relaxed, slow-paced December I've ever had, and I love it.

I could tell you I've been sick which would be partly true. I felt terrible for a few days last week but thankfully it was short-lived. Y'all, I swear by Emergen-C! It really does seem to help me!

I guess the truth is that I've just felt a little blue.

So many of my friends are going through hard things right now. Things like job loss, deployed husbands, financial stress, marital problems, and scary medical diagnoses. On top of those things, it looks like our much loved elementary school is going to be closing at the end of the year. Our district is facing a sizeable budget deficit and sadly, closing this school is necessary. The future? It's still unknown at this point, and I feel very caught up in the emotion of the looming decisions.

So yeah, I haven't really felt much like blogging these days.

I did however start a list of things that make me happy, and I think I'll share it because it really does change my attitude.

  • My Christmas shopping is 99% completed. Only a few stocking stuffers left!
  • Wednesday night soup suppers/Advent worship at our church.
  • A short week of school. We finish up Thursday then have 2.5 weeks off!
  • John will be home with us a LOT over the kids' break.
  • We get to stay home and not travel for Christmas!
  • Our Christmas tree.
  • Yummy-smelling candles. Especially this one and this one.
  • No stress--I've been fiercely protective of our schedule.
  • Hearing people talk about Touching Wonder.
  • Christmas music!!!
  • My kids! We had such a great weekend with them. They love this time of year and their joy is contagious.
  • A Girls Night Out this week with great friends.
  • And last but not least, my husband. We were sitting side by side at the table with our laptops last night and he was wearing his Harry Potter (Gryffindor) hat and scarf. We took some goofy pics and were laughing out loud and it just made my heart smile. He makes me laugh (even when I don't want to) and I love him for that.
John posted this picture on his Facebook page earlier. I titled it: Harry and Merry.
I think I look super tired. And desperately in need of some lipstick.

So I guess that's what is up with me. Hope you're having a great week! I'm making pecan pie muffins for a get-together this morning and so I must go. Adios, amigas!

I bet J won't be happy that I'm posting this one. Will thought it was extremely HILARIOUS...and it kind of is.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

10 on the 10th!

When I realized that I was going to get to make a list of 10 things for this post I got excited thinking about all the possibilities. Christmas is such a fun time of year and is full of so many great traditions and things I love.

I was still undecided about what kind of list to post until a little earlier this evening. John was getting some stuff out of his work bag and he handed me Chris Tomlin's Glory in the Highest cd--a gift from his boss. (Thank you, DP! You keep me supplied with the best tunes!) I loaded it onto Macie (my laptop) and have been listening and loving it! One reason I love it is that it has several of my favorite Christmas songs on it.

As hard as it it to choose my favorite Christmas songs, I'm going to try. Keep in mind this list changes from year to year, but at this moment, these are 10 of My Favorite Christmas Songs--5 Traditional and 5 Non-Traditional

1. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
2. The First Noel
3. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
4. O Come All Ye Faithful
5. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

6. Hope is Born Again (Jim Brickman and Point of Grace)
7. Come and Worship (Bebo Norman)
8. Invocation (by the worship team at my church)
9. Let There Be Light (Point of Grace)
10. Welcome to Our World (Chris Rice)

You didn't ask for my least favorites, but I'm telling you anyway. I ABSOLUTELY cannot stand the Christmas Shoes song. I also detest the Hippo song. If you have no idea what songs I'm talking about, consider yourself fortunate.

What are some of your Christmas favorites???

Want to join the party? Just link up below with a list of 10 things. It doesn't have to be Christmas songs. It can be anything!!!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Hey blog friends! Guess what?

I FOUND my planning notebook that I thought was long gone. There was much rejoicing!

I FOUND my Advent wreath too.

I FOUND some cute pjs for the girls at Old Navy last week! They wore them to Breakfast with Santa on Saturday.

I FOUND all the addresses I needed for my Christmas cards and mailed them yesterday. WooHoo! Feels great to get that project crossed off my list.

I FOUND out that Sarah was nominated by her teachers to be student of month at her middle school. Way to go, Sarah! John and I are very proud of her.

I FOUND myself at home today with the kids for a snow day! We watched a movie, played some Wii, snacked a lot, and I even did some cleaning. I also did a little wrapping and a little napping, and we all had a nice, lazy day. It is unbearably cold outside. I don't think we got above 3 degrees today and wind chills tonight have dipped as low as -25. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I haven't felt much like blogging the past few days so I'm keeping this short and sweet. I'll be back though with my 10 on the 10th post. I remembered when I looked at my calendar this morning. As usual, it snuck up on me! I'm thinking this month's list will be some sort of Christmas edition.

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Gift to Myself...

I gave myself a gift this week in the form of a completely clear calendar! With the exception of a follow-up appointment for Jack-the-Beagle and a soup supper/Advent worship service at church, I didn't have one single thing thing to do or place to be this week.

It's been bliss.

Especially since it has been bitterly cold the last few days. And it's been snowing off and on. And we rolled back into town on Monday after being gone for several days. And because I'm a huge homebody.

I'm actually enjoying December this year!

I've stayed true to my commitment to not add anything else to the calendar and when I look at all my blank spaces, I feel sane. It feels good!

We still don't have things decorated. I suppose I could have pulled all the Christmas boxes out and tackled it this week, but in our house, it's a family affair. All five of us look forward to it. I couldn't deprive my family of that. I'm hoping we can put our tree up tomorrow in between some fun things we have planned.

Last night we constructed our gingerbread house. I think this is the first time that John has been a part of the fun, and the kids decided that's why this our best house ever. I agree!

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I've been putting each activity for our Advent calendar in place right before the kids open it (after school or after dinner) because I've haven't planned ahead with my calendar. Between homework and dinner and showers, it can be hard to squeeze some of the activities in! Tonight, Will and Sarah have a youth group party, and I'm having trouble coming up with something we can all do together within our time parameters. Good thing I'm not a stickler for rules because we may have to skip tonight and double up on things tomorrow!

I should also tell you that I can't find my Advent wreath and I've just been using a random candle this week. I looked long and hard for it before we left for St. Louis. I wanted to have it set up and ready to go when we returned. I've looked a couple of other times this week and cannot find it! It's at the bottom of a box somewhere I'm sure. Our Advent readings have been pretty haphazard this week as well.

In fact, last night, I got so ruffled about two of my kids throwing a fit about what I made for dinner that we didn't even light our candle or do the readings. Well, we DID do it eventually, but not until after dinner when I'd calmed down a bit. (Do your kids gripe about dinner too? Oh my word, that sends me over the edge sometimes! We ended up having three different meals for five people and I was NOT in a good or Adventish mood.)

Apologies were spoken, forgiveness was offered, and we all got back on track and ended our evening on a fun note! I love sharing life with these people!

PS: This is not our finished gingerbread house! My camera battery died before we finished decorating it.

Winner of Touching Wonder

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2009-12-04 13:25:16 UTC

Congratulations to Kathy!
Kathy, I need you to email your address to me, and I'll get your (autographed) book mailed today!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Recipe Request: Spiced Dough Ornaments

One of our Advent calendar activities I listed the other day was to make ornaments. I bookmarked the recipe for No-Bake Spiced Dough Ornaments in The Adventure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel and since I had all the ingredients on hand, that was our Advent activity for yesterday.

I posted about it on Facebook and had a couple of requests for the recipe, so I'm sharing it here.

It was quick, easy, and the kids enjoyed it! Bonus: Your house will smell amazing!

Spiced Dough Ornaments

1 cup ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground nutmeg
1 cup applesauce
2 Tbsp white glue (I used Elmers)
Food coloring (optional)
A few Tbsp flour

Combine the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl.
Add the applesauce and glue.
Mix ingredients thoroughly, using your hands.
Add food coloring, if desired. (I didn't add any).
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/4-inch thickness.
Using cookie cutters, cut dough into various shapes.
Make a hole in the top of each ornament using a drinking straw.
Lay the ornaments out flat to dry at room temperature for 3-5 days, turning over often. OR bake for one hour in a 200 degree oven.
When completely dry, attach a ribbon and hang on your tree!

*I didn't have a complete Tbsp of ginger, so I used cinnamon to make up the difference.
*I buy my cinnamon in bulk and it's CHEAP. The package I used yesterday cost $1.64 and was about 1.5 cups of cinnamon.

Here's a picture of our ornaments. It's not a great picture, but you get the idea! I put them on waxed paper to dry and the kids wanted to make sure they knew which ones they made--hence the "boundary" lines. Aren't kids funny?

I'm hoping that white stuff on a few of them is either glue or extra flour from our work surface. If it's still noticeable after they dry, that will definitely be side that doesn't face out on our tree! I have some red and white gingham ribbon that I'm going to use to tie them on our tree. I think they're going to look (and smell) great.

I actually have one more idea I want to try from The Adventure of Christmas book which is due back at the library today. Guess I better get crackin'.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

One More Chance!

I've tried not to be too obnoxious about this on my blog, but my husband wrote a book! It's a Christmas book that would be wonderful to read or use as a devotional during this season of Advent. I know many of you are already doing that, but he told me last night that I could give another copy away this week.


If you'd like a chance to win, leave me a comment and tell me one of your favorite Christmas or Advent traditions. If you don't have any traditions, tell me your favorite character in the Nativity story.

I'll close comments tomorrow night (Thursday, December 3 at 10pm MST) and draw a winner and mail your book on Friday!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Meet Me in St. Louis!

Our Thanksgiving 2009 road trip took us to St. Louis. Other than driving through Kansas (the longest, flattest, most boring and most Starbucks-deprived state) the trip was very fun!

(Sorry, Jeanie. I'm sure where you live it's not flat or boring or deprived like the rest of I-70.)

We went mainly because my cousin was getting married on Saturday, but it was wonderful to spend the holiday with lots and lots and lots of extended family. All of my siblings and their spouses were there, as were my dad's siblings and their spouses, and all but one of my first cousins on my dad's side. It was also the first time that my kiddos got to meet some of my cousins' children!

I really think it was important that we were all able to spend this first holiday without my dad together. And it was great that we had something joyous to celebrate.

St. Louis is a beautiful city. My kids were begging to go up in the Arch, but my cousin's fiancee talked us into a trip to The City Museum instead. Wow! That place was AMAZING. We spent a few hours there, but I think we could have spent all day had we not had to get back for the rehearsal dinner!

Here are a few pics...

There are all sorts of slides and tunnels and things for kids to climb on and explore. There are also some fun and educational exhibits. Seriously...this place had something exciting around every corner, even a fire pit outside where kids could roast marshmallows. If you're ever in St. Louis, it's a must-see place!

We took the kids to lunch at The Hard Rock cafe at Union Station. Will was in heaven. Sarah was the only one who wanted a t-shirt and she chose a Bon Jovi one. I asked her in the car if she even knew who Bon Jovi was. She didn't. Which totally cracks me up. She picked that shirt because the artwork was pretty. And yes, I let my daughter wear a Bon Jovi t-shirt.

I don't like to post pics with other people in them (without their permission) so the rest of these wedding pictures only have my kids in them.

The wedding was Saturday afternoon and it was beautiful! My kids haven't been to a wedding since they were very young, and the girls were mesmerized by the whole thing--especially the bride!

These city trolleys carried the wedding party to the church and to the reception (and to a couple of other places for photos). On Friday night, we were waiting for one to pick us up for the rehearsal dinner and as it pulled up in front of the church, it was smoking because something caught on FIRE! Everyone had to evacuate the trolley and find rides to the pub. Oh my gosh, it was hilarious and scary at the same time!

My aunt rented this 35 passenger bus to shuttle all of the extended family from the wedding to the rehearsal to ensure that no one would drink and drive. That was brilliant, but I got very sick riding in that bus on the way home from the reception. Very, very sick. Let's just say that I don't want to see the inside of a bus again for a very long time.
My kids, however, LOVED the bus!

But not as much as they loved dancing at the reception. We were all dancing fools! It was so much fun. I honestly cannot remember when I've enjoyed myself so much! The girls are still talking about how fun it was.

All you Razorback fans should know that one family member snuck a small television into the coat room and we watched the end of the fourth quarter. My heart couldn't handle the overtime drama and disappointment though. Ugh.

We made it back home yesterday morning. We were planning to drive straight through on our return trip, but we bought my dad's car and drove it home so John and I both had to drive. We got a super late start on Sunday because we were very tired and I felt sick for most of the morning, so we drove as far as we could before crashing at a hotel and finishing the drive home Monday.

I'm very glad to be home! I absolutely love my dad's side of my family. I have so many cousins and when we're together it's always fun and crazy! John and my kids love them too! Can't wait for the next family wedding or Razorback weekend. Just wish Colorado wasn't so far away. Sigh.