Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye, 2011

It's been a great Christmas break so far. I enjoyed the actual holiday with my family. Andrew and I celebrated that night. I spent all day Thursday with Tracy in Des Moines. I got to see my Hawkeyes play in a bowl game, and even though they lost, it was fun to see our team play one more time. I've done some schoolwork, and I've worked on getting play practice ready to start with the kids this week.

But the best part of the break happened on Christmas Eve. I played Mrs. Claus to Andrew's Santa in the annual Fairfield Christmas Eve parade. My friend Gay made me the PERFECT outfit. I loved it so much, I tried to think of a way I could get by wearing it to 11:00 church after the festivities were over. :) I have watched this parade most every year of my life, and I never dreamed I'd be a part of it. We had a ball. It ended with meeting a huge line of kids on the square and watching the Christmas magic happen for them.

For me, however, the winning moment was after the parade was all over. Andrew & I were escorted to the long-term care facility and to the hospital. It wasn't super comfortable for me, but I can always play a character. And every second of me pushing through the awkwardness was worth it, because we made these people's nights. It was about 8:00 on Christmas Eve, and the facilities were quiet. Really no visitors at that time of night. Just a lot of lonely people without their families on Christmas Eve. To see their smiles when they met us... well, I'm tearing up just thinking about it. I know my mom was smiling down on me as I greeted those lovely people and brought them a little cheer on the night before Christmas. THAT was my Christmas moment, and it brought me more love and joy than I ever could have imagined.

We just watched the ball drop in New York. 2012 is less than a 1/2 hour away. I'm reminded of all the blessings that have happened this year. I'm full of hope and optimism about the year to come. I'm filled with love. Happy New Year, everyone. May all the best find you.

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