Yikes. I'm not sure I've ever gone this long without writing before. And now I feel journal guilt. I hate rewinding.
We went to Vegas and Utah for a few weeks. It was a great trip, as always. The kids had a ball with their cousins and in the water, and I LOVED (and always do love) getting to spend time with my sisters and brothers and sisters and brothers in law. My favorite times with either family are when everyone is together, sitting around talking or playing games or whatever.
There was one night at my parents' house when a bunch of us sat around for a while playing Balderdash and laughing and telling stories, and I was so happy to be a part of it. I think it was the next night when a few of us were still up-- trying (unsuccessfully) to get another fun night going, when Laura slid the following note across the table to Audrey.
So funny. I still laugh when I think of it. (I kept the note and now use it as my bookmark. I'm currently reading The Book Thief. Any of you read it?)
Anyway, during the trip, I even got to meet relatives that I'd never gotten to meet before--Brian's grandma Gigi and uncle Chuck, and nine new cousins on my mom's side. My aunt Becky adopted nine Haitian boys several years ago, and I finally got to meet them.
One of the highlights of my trip was getting to spend the last four days at Sarah's house. It was the perfect end to my trip because no matter how wonderful a vacation is, after about 2 1/2 weeks, it becomes hard to be away from home. The day before going to Sarah's house, I had gotten to that point. I called Brian sobbing. What was so wrong? Oh, who knows? I was just at that point; you know what I mean? But anyway, being at Sarah's house couldn't have been more relaxing. The kids played and Sarah and I just enjoyed one another's company. One of the days we were there, we were able to go to my cousin Ben's wedding reception. It think it was the most unique reception I have ever attended. It was up in a canyon and they had a tin foil dinner buffet. My other two cousins were dressed as hobos and just hung around the fire all night, tending the dinners. Pretty fun.
Anyway... upon arriving, Sarah and I realized that we hadn't put together anything in the form of a gift (we had been running errands and taking the kids places all day). No matter, though. I just scavenged around my endlessly messy van and found a homemade but blank-inside-thank-you card that Camp had made in church on a previous Sunday, wrote a quick note inside and stuffed it with the few dollars we had on hand between the two of us. Bet none of you got a child's thank-you note for your reception. We were so proud of our cleverness. We sat there in the van laughing at our gift and the note inside for at least five minutes. Like Brian always says--no one really cares about the card, anyway. It's all about what's inside that matters. Brian and I are always calculating how much more money a couple could collect if people just forewent the lame little lovebird cards in lieu of a simple envelope from the junk drawer, and just gave the couple the 3 bucks they would have spent on the pointless card. But anyway....
Now I'm back to real life, and to be honest, real life isn't super wonderful right now. But don't you worry. The silver lining to this little rain cloud is that our circumstances have allowed me to come up with the idea for this year's Christmas letter. What more could a girl ask for?
P.S. Oh, and guess what?! While Laura and her husband John were in Vegas, John tried out for the Blue Man Group and made it!! He starts training at the Blue Man headquarters in New York in September and then after two months he'll be assigned a location. See Laura's blog for all the details.