Oh so much to be thankful for. I'm telling you, I truly feel like an extremely blessed individual.
This week has been so great, but you can tell based on my blog posts that I've been extremely checked out of my "normal life" in order to FULLY embrace all of the festivities and priceless memories of spending time with my family.
Michele came into town on Tuesday afternoon - and we were all ready for her and the kids (Michael arrived Wednesday night). It coincided that we conducted a fun volleyball practice Tuesday night that incorporated family members to scrimmage with our girls. As a result, Traig, Brayden, Nati, and Ellie got to re-unite with Micaela - who not only assistant coaches for us, but was one of their favorite Harlow counselors - to play on her team against our girls. It was a blast! Following that, we took the girls to frozen yogurt - got to say "howdy" to Michael Chase at "Yo My My" and rewarded our players for reaching their triple contact goals. (In the future, we'll have to either set much loftier goals, or much cheaper rewards!!).
Sadly, all of that had completely done my body in, so instead of hanging with John and Michele (and a surprise visit from Heather), I was in bed again with ice. When I woke up on Wednesday (they day before Thanksgiving and one of my absolute favorite days of the year), I begged Mom to be able to come out and see her. Of course, despite all of her meal-house-cleaning prep, she said, "yes" - and relief was nearly instantaneous as she moved up my spine manipulating and re-aligning. I was in really bad shape, and as I constantly repeated to Michele throughout the day, to be pain-free was something I was not only thankful for, I was a bit in awe of. So many factors contribute to my neck "well being"....many I can semi-control and many I can't. On the "help" column, would be seeing my mom frequently to keep my back and neck in alignment and not "crunched", exercising - particularly low-impact and weight strengthening that forces my shoulders to drop the tension and release their stronghold, and anything like heat or massage that loosens the knots. It doesn't take much to screw one of those aspects up and even if I do everything else right (which I have tried to lately), if my body is holding itself in the wrong way- I'm gonna hurt. Again, I can't be thankful enough for my mom's giftedness in putting this "Humpty Dumpty" back together again.
So, Wednesday was redeemed. I have no reservations in admitting that we let the kids stay home with their cousins that day. Given some of last week's neighbor drama (which has NOT resurfaced!), I was absolutely ready to draw our family in and escape the world (and I did email the teachers letting them know our kids would be gone). Thus ensued a glorious day of baking and prep with Michele in the kitchen - and kicking the kids to the other parts of the house to play happily (and loudly!) while we tried to watch Hallmark Christmas movies on the tv. Four pumpkin pies, one apple pie, marionberry cobbler, cornbread muffins, raspberry pretzel salad, oatmeal raisin cookies, and pretzel cookies were all made in anticipation of the glorious meal that would take place the next day. It was perfect, and once John and Michael were able to finish work and get home to join us, it truly felt like all was right in the world!
A pic of the girls (when we let them stay in the bonus room) - putting together their Christmas lists....