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New year! New post! (finally...)

Ok ok, so I realize that it has been quite a while since I blogged, and that's bad, not good, no no no. One of my new years resolutions is to try to blog more, be more active with it. Make myself sit down and go at it. This past Christmas holiday was so so so busy!!!! I am finally now getting the sweet sweet time to sit down and write. This weekend there is finally nothing huge going on, and I am savoring it.
What an awesome time off it was though! I was off for about ten days from work, which is one of the longest string of vacation time I've had in about 2 years. NICE. then,am off this weekend. Lovely.

So anyway! I have posted some pics from the past Christmas holiday. As I was organizing them earlier I realized that I took a total of 150 pictures, whew. Wish I could share them, all but this little bundle will do. (I know, sorry, this one has a lot too). As this season has come and gone, and there has been time to think, laugh, reflect, play, and talk. I realized a lot about life, patience, and plans. Realized that its so easy to get wrapped up in the speed and stress of things, and in "our little worries". There are so many little distractions in this life that we don't even realize are chipping at out hearts, dumb things... like money, stress, the economy, work, draining words, time, etc. Its easy to get wrapped up. But, it takes more- more in depth patience, clarity, quiet and love for life to actually see past all that. To see the richness, fullness, and beauty that has enfolded us. Much of this was shown to me personally. It was wonderful. That was my biggest present I think, being given those pair of glasses to actually see what this breath of life is all about. It was refreshing. So, as I say this... I welcome in 2009 with all its complex moments, its joys, its pains, its roads. Looking forward to the details and what will come.

We had about three Christmas celebrations. Our regular Christmas Eve that just the two of us have always celebrated. Its been a tradition for as long as I can remember. Just Justin and I. Its our time to reflect and relax. Laugh and enjoy the day. Kinda like a nice prep before the busy days ahead. We always cook a really fabulous and kinda extravagant little dinner. Cooking is one of those things that we love to do together, its really relaxing and fun. We made a roast with lost of veggies, lots of fresh rosemary, and home-make french cheddar-onion puffs. Yum. Spent time opening up gifts to each other, laughing. Then, finally... (I been wanting to do this forever since living in the city) We went to the absolutely breath-taking midnight Christmas Eve candle-light service at St. Peters on Michigan Avenue. It was beautiful, packed, full of echoes. In fact, this place has a LOT of significance to us. It's where we decided to start dating almost 9 years ago. We were sitting in the courtyard in the summer, drawing and talking, oh my... we were so young. Such a great memory. So... anyway... enough about all that. : )
All, in all... it was a great Christmas eve. really rich and memorable.

Then! Christmas-time with the in-laws. The Reynolds are such a load of fun. They bring a ton of joy to the table. We can laugh and tell stories for hours. They always cook something experimental, and yes... extravagant (hmmm, wonder where Justin gets it from?) My brother was there, which was really nice. We watched lots of Christmas-style movies like "Love Actually" & "Its a Wonderful Life". Then, later... most of us all got together and my brother in-law Jon, played the guitar. (Justin played the Ukulele, ha!) And Jimmy played the trumpet. Jon tried to teach me some guitar, ha! Anyone who knows me... knows I love music, but uh, am not talented in that area at all. So, um... Carrie, Christina and I sang (or tried to) It was fun.

And Then..! Weekend away and Christmas time with my family. Who moved to Indiana over four years ago. We drove there early, and ugh... hit a pot-hole on the way. Those things are seriously evil. Needed a new tire. Oh, well that's life. When we finally got there though... OH man!!!! So much fun. So rich. We have not been there in a year-and a half. We have all seen each other here and there, but this was the first time in (seriously?) 6 years when we have ALL been together as a family (with the spouses, boyfriends, etc.) for a holiday. It was wonderful. We could not get enough of each other. So much has changed too. In the way of physical and objective attributes and our hearts in the sense of forgiveness. (yup, that would be a long story).
My siblings are growing so much. Its so cool. Being the oldest of 5. There are a lot of stories, and so many different colors and personalities among us all. My parents housed a bunch of us for those days... And man, do not know how she fed so many of us for so long. Ever seen the movie "Dan in Real Life"? It was kinda like that. Lots of cooking and something going on at every second. Opening presents, talking, staying up so late. My brother Drew brought his best friend Zuma, Drew is doing so well. Graduated from Malcom X in the summer, and is a certified Paramedic. He has worked incredibly hard for. Saw my fantastic Sis's apartment for the first time. She moved out in the fall. Its SO cute! Has lots of style, a wonderful spirit, and makes me realize how much she is growing up and changing. He boyfriend Justin compliments her in every way. He's so funny and intelligent, we really like him, and feel like we can call him a good friend as well. She is thriving in college to be a social worker, getting all A's. About to do an internship with a local families with Aids clinic. Jordan is going to be going on to Indiana State in two years- he will be a senior next year. He is basically going on full scholarship. So proud of the guy. He's so smart. He's really good at playing the guitar (is REALLy ha, into John Mayer) smiles. Natalie-the youngest, is (tear) a teenager. WOw! Where did the time go??? Um, she was born when I was a teenager... that's oddly weird. Time flies. She is without a doubt... richly charged with creativity. Loves reading. Has her pet rabbit named Frazzle. She is a talented little artist, was blown away by her sketchbooks full of amazing drawings. She says we wants to be a graphic novelist one day, or illustrator. Would not be surprised if this happens one day.

Ok ok ok. I know. It was long. I'd done. Sorry. Long post. It's just been a while. And these past couple of weeks have been richly full of memory and stories.

Thanks for reading (if ya made it through this far ;)

Cheers! Promise to write sooner.


My Precious Peanut Designs said...

What a beautiful Christmas! I am so glad you posted some many pics! Actually I would have looked at all 150 if you had put them all on there, LOL, but that's just me :)

Michelle Swidrak said...

Wow, it looks like a great and busy time! I can't believe how grown up Natalie is, she is just beautiful!!! Wow! Everyone is really growing up huh? Crazy. Thanks for the pics!

Georgia B. said...

oh, my gosh, Courtney! who needs fancy type when you got so many great pictures like this! the first four are just beautiful!

you had some wonderful times this holiday—it's written all over your pictures and your face! what great memories! and what a great way to preserve them. :)

i like this post.

see you at "school" tomorrow.


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