How crazy has it been today? Crazy enough that I’m skipping out on the bedtime studying and work and opting to go to sleep early instead.
Tai Chi this morning was the only quiet time I had today from the time it ended until right now as I’m cuddling here in bed with Mandy and writing this before crashing into nap mode for the rest of the night. After that, it was a rush to get ready for church, have a snack breakfast on the fly, and then run out the door to meet up with Michael again to get to the church for our praise team warm-up. Having that to do meant missing out on most of the work around the house, but while I was busy; Mom and Dad helped out with feeding the troops; getting luggage packed into vehicles; and making sure that everyone was ready for – and at – church on time.
Our service today was a combination Thanksgiving and Christmas theme because it is also Advent Sunday today; and our music, skits, bible readings, and Pastor John’s message covered both. That also made for an extra-long service; so Michael and Rebecca needed to run right after it ended to get to the Inn and help out with the first buffet. I didn’t do that because there was work that needed to be done by the teens after the service too; and then I went home to get changed before going on to the Inn with the rest of my family for the first buffet sitting at noon.
That was another mad dash of action, and even having our early dinner felt like a rush because some of us wanted to help Miranda and Jacob with keeping the busy buffet day moving along and not drag out our meal; and all of our guests wanted to hit the road as early as possible to get home or back to college – while hopefully beating at least some of the holiday weekend traffic rush. I didn’t get to have dinner with any of my cousins, because they were all busy with their own families ahead of the imminent separations; but Ethan, Ehlana, and I did get to spend that hour and a half with Grandma and Grandpa instead. That worked for me, since I’ve been busy for the rest of the day; and missed out on the afternoon grandkids and grandparents time that gave the parents a break to either nap or work in the office.
You probably don’t need to guess which set of parents were in the office doing the work; though let’s cut Aunt Leanne some slack on that this time – she has a good reason for being tired out right now! ;^)
Doing the goodbye hugs and kisses with my family outside of the Inn didn’t take long – mostly because the warm we’ve had for the past two days came to an abrupt end this morning; and we’re back to the freezing, winter-like cold. That was a mad dash of action too; and I did not have enough time to spend with Violet, Dillon, Christina, Josiah, or any of the others before they were all on the road and heading out of town. The good news is that I didn’t have time to miss them because I went back into the Inn after my home town family left for various houses; and jumped right into the work in the kitchen. Rebecca was happy to have the help by then, and while Michael was working with the guys dealing with the never-ending stacks of dirty dishes; Rebecca and I were mostly on the prep-line doing our usual jobs to help keep the buffet tables loaded with fresh food – for the next half-dozen hours.
Yes, we did have breaks, but Michael, Rebecca, and I all had school work to do too; so that’s what we did when we weren’t on the front line of the holiday weekend buffet battle. The work continued after the last containers of food went out to the dining room; and the clean-up seemed to take forever tonight as Rebecca and I moved on to help with all of the dishwashing and cleaning the kitchen while some of the teen girls helping with the cooking were moved out to the dining room to help Miranda and the other servers with the major clean-up there too. It was ten-thirty by the time we walked home, and if I’d gone inside with Michael and his family; he and I would have been doing another sofa sleepover for sure.
We all wanted to have showers, though, so I did the hugs and kisses out at the edge of their front yard; came home from there; and spent about two minutes with Mom and Dad before coming up here to hit the shower and then get ready for bed. Ethan and Ehlana were sleeping by then; Mom and Dad are in their room now after wrapping up their work for the night; and Mandy is already sleeping. I’ve mostly just done the email check and dealt with one little family business issue that couldn’t want for tomorrow night; and the main news from the email is that everyone got home or back to school safely – including Jake and Stephanie. They apparently didn’t do anything at all over the past four days except study for final exams, work on assignments, and go out for a few meals here and there; but Stephanie’s email still sounded very upbeat, so I guess they weren’t too bored.
I’m sure that it’s just a coincidence that her email read a lot like the redacted stories we get from parents, aunts and uncles for their weekends away without kids stories.
Let’s not go there, or I’ll just stay awake wishing that I did go home with Michael and stay for that sofa sleepover.
We’re going to have a very busy first week of December; which sounds funny when we’re also now done with football and cheerleading for the year and will have five fewer activities going on each week. The Christmas calendar is full too, though; and we are not going to be bored! Rebecca’s fifteenth birthday is up first for us on Tuesday, but the Mom’s shopping trip is on Tuesday too. There’s a surprise coming for Rebecca with that, but I’ll save that news for the journal update on Tuesday. The band is playing in the Pinehurst Christmas parade on Friday night; Dawn’s thirteenth birthday is on Saturday; and we’ll see her again too because she’ll be meeting up with us in Crystal Springs for the annual ‘kids’ Christmas shopping trip. Add in our annual trip to the Christmas tree farm on Sunday; and the week is looking very full – and I’m not even including Aunt Grace’s imminent baby arrival. That could be happening any minute now; and definitely will be sometime this week – though Ethan, Ehlana, and I don’t have the info for the exact timing.
It’s going to be December very soon, but I don’t plan on being awake to see either the end of November or the start of the new month; so that’s it for tonight, and, until next time...
...May the Magi Force be with you!