I was fortunate enough to be on the last flight not cancelled from DFW to Kansas yesterday, and arrived to 32 degrees and rain, which quickly turned into blizzard conditions. By time we left evening mass the ground was covered with snow, which was storming in. My constant words were, "this is crazy."
We are here celebrating Christmas with Paul's family, and enjoying fantastic time with his sister's kids. They are just amazing!I will be honest that since stepping off the plane my fingers have been blue and have been FREEZING. Fortunately, CJ has been precious and trying to cuddle up and keep me warm :)
We woke up to 10 degrees this morning, I went for a run on the treadmill (thank goodness for nice warm basements!), and we headed over to Nicole's for Christmas present opening. (We are staying at Paul's cousins house). It was an incredible morning, as we got to share opening of presents with Nicole, the kids, and Ryan (my brother in law) on Skype from Iraq! What a cool world we live in that he is doing such an amazing thing for our country and the Iraqi country (they are there training the Iraqi soliders...he is there for the next year) and he got to watch his family open their presents (twins and a one year old). The kids would open and then show each present to their dad. I am so glad he got to share the morning with us!
I'll admit that this is not my most fun vacation, as seriously I will need weeks to defrost from it, but my heart is filled with absolute warmth by spending some fantastic time with my wonderful husband, and seeing what an incredible job his sister is doing. This is the first time Ryan has been deployed since they have had kids. She is managing work, as a doctor, twin 3-yr-olds, and a one year old without complaint. At dinner last night we were talking, and she was talking about taking them to church with her. I know families that don't take three kids to church with two parents, but she goes every week without anyone else to help her. She does it all: work, grocery shopping, meal prep, and once the kids are asleep she gets a workout in. She looks fantastic! What a blessing her example is for me and for anyone who feels challenged by the day-to-day of "getting it done." (Clea - seriously she would give you hope in what is to come for you!!)
On another topic: running...I went to Bastrop on Wednesday to get my 15-miler in. It was a LOVELY 60ish degrees and 100% humidity, seriously some of my favorite weather. I have been logging some pretty big miles so my motivation on the first loop was not high, to say the least. But I still set out on the 2nd loop. As I headed out, I was filled with such gratitude for the sacrifices Paul makes for us every week, for the amazing moments of self-reflection I get to have during my time in the woods alone; for my ability to be able to run in such incredible weather; for my health; and for all the gifts of wonderful people in my life. As these thoughts passed through my head. I was lifted...my legs floated and I had the best end of the run. It was just an incredible moment. I shared it with Paul when I finished and told him just how grateful I am for him and his support. I am so truly blessed and felt it every step as I went through the run. Having that run on my own was absolutely uplifting and priceless!! What a great reminder of what a gift a run can be...I will need this, I am sure, as I train for Western States.
As always, I am just so filled with gratitude for my wonderful life, all the gifts I am given; and all the people that create such happiness in my life! I just hope for the next few days that these thoughts can keep my body thawed and warm until I return to Texas!!