12.01.2011

Back to life...


 (Noah on the plane ride home yesterday...)

We are officially back to life.  Whew....and a big tired **sigh** is what I am feeling as I sit down to write this post my friends.  We have returned home now after visiting our extended families for almost two weeks.  What a wonderful and refreshing visit it was, but I must say, it sure feels good to be back ... nestled in the warmth and comfort of home sweet home again.  I've had Christmas music playing around the house all day today as I welcome December.  I also keep staring at my 500lb suitcase on the floor in the corner of my bedroom--it's talking to me people...beckoning me to unload all my junk out of it, but I'm just not ready to dive into that just yet and start all that laundry.  Ugh!!

We rolled into town (via Southwest Airlines) yesterday evening.  Noah and I both have been fighting a nasty cold the past few days, so all the more reason I am happy we are back home.  We are living on cold medicine right now and going through boxes of Kleenex like crazy! (ARGH!!)  Our kitty-cat Lola, she was so happy to see us when we walked in the door.  A friend of ours kept an eye on her while we were out of town, so we are grateful for that, but I was still worried about her while we were gone--she is so attached to all of us, I knew she might be worried that we might not come back.  She is happily and comfortably cuddled on my lap right now just purring away.   And last night, she slept right next to me all night long.  

Jody came home a day earlier than Noah and I and he had a surprise waiting for us when we pulled into the driveway last night.  The outdoor Christmas lights were all nicely hung across the front of the house.   He worked yesterday afternoon hanging them so Noah would return home and find his house decorated on the outside.  This was so sweet of my dear husband.  I had planned on us hanging the exterior lights this weekend, so it was a nice treat to pull into the driveway and see the beautiful Christmas lights blinking and sparkling.  Noah just cheered when he saw them and said, "Look Mommy....we have Christmas lights!"...

Here's just a glimpse of the Christmas lights on our front porch that my dear hubby placed around the house...it's hard to really do it justice when taking the picture while it's dark outside.  We still have more decorations to put up this weekend (both inside and outside the house).  Noah is super excited to help out.  :-)

We bought Mr. and Mrs. Snowman (below) a few years ago when Noah was much younger and we were living in Virginia.  Noah insists each year that we put them up for Christmas.  It looks a little funny to me to have them out since we live in South Texas where it rarely gets cold, but our little guy insisted again this year that they go out, so there they are....

On the last leg of our plane ride yesterday, I had some quiet time to reflect on our trip as Noah was snuggled asleep next to me.  One thought I had was what a joy it was for me to watch Noah have so much fun hanging out with his cousins and grandparents.  He loves each of them dearly and always looks forwards to these visits. 

While there, both Jody and I enjoyed catching up with our parents, cousins, brothers, sisters and nieces and nephews . We chit-chatted about all sorts of things periodically during our visit when we were all together such as our children, careers, all sorts of things going on in our lives and also about the some of the challenges each of us are facing at this time.  It did my heart good to have this quality time with our family-- to  draw closer to each of them during this holiday season. I feel so very blessed to have such a loving and caring family.

One particular moment I pondered on the plane ride home is a visit  that I shared with a childhood friend of mine and her dear mother.  She, my hubby and I grew up together in the same hometown--so we've known each other for years.   Our parents (as long as I can remember) have been the best of friends.   My friend's mother was recently diagnosed with cancer.  It has come as a shock to all of us--mainly because this dear lady has always been a beacon of good health.  Jody and I decided to make it a priority during this trip to make a special visit with these dear family friends of ours.  Our friends' mother recently began receiving chemotherapy for her cancer and by all accounts, she seems to be responding well to the treatment.  This sweet lady is one of the kindest and most thoughtful women I know, so it came as no surprise to see her in such good spirits and smiling during our visit despite the immense trial she is facing at this time with her health.  I was humbled by her positive attitude and genuine love and concern for us during our visit.  At one point as we were all standing around her bed visiting,  my childhood friend (the daughter) mentioned to me (and I paraphrase here) how she knew that Heavenly Father was mindful of her mother and their family at this time and that she has faith He has a plan for them.  I was touched by her words and the sincere and humble faith she, her mother and the rest of their family have chosen to have at this time while in the midst of this personal trial. 

I was reminded during this visit with our friends just how precious this life is and how important it is that we cherish the time we have with our loved ones while we are here.   How crucial it is for our personal progression to always strive to take note of the many blessings and comforts that can come into our lives when we remain steadfast in our faith.  To work to gain a solid understanding and testimony that a loving Heavenly Father knows what is best for each of us. We (like my dear friend and her mother) each have a choice to make with regard to the manner in which we react to the trials that come our way.  It was powerful for me to see firsthand during our visit with these family friends of ours how when we exercise a greater amount of faith, the Lord truly will help us find our way through the tough times in our lives.

I watched this (short) insightful video message below from one of our church leaders shortly after my visit with these dear family friends of ours.  It illuminates this very point of having greater faith.  I wanted to share it with you in case you haven't seen it.



Happy December, my friends...

XOXO,

Jennifer

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer...i always truly enjoy reading your blog and stepping in to your life for just a moment! The pictures are beautiful! Happy December!

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