I'll be glad to see it go. I've not lived a harder year.
The final days can come and bring with them the joy of the season, celebrating the ONE who died for me (and you!).
Then, the new year will dawn and I will embrace it like a long lost friend.
We don't have plans for Christmas. We'll just lay low at home, exchange gifts and probably stay in our pajamas all day. We'll eat homemade cinnamon rolls and drink coffee. We'll have a ham dinner in the afternoon.
Earlier this month Aaron and I went downtown to the tree lighting. It was bitterly cold but there's something about the festivity and the small town that makes braving the cold worth it. We walked around a bit, into Popsies (the best old-fashioned candy store EVER!) and into the Holiday Market where they're selling handmade things from local artists and we snagged a cup of hot cider (and spotted a Christmas present for our younger son).
Also this month we were honored to attend a Naval Change-of-Command ceremony, in which one of our friends was being promoted to Commanding Officer. The ceremony was held in this old theatre which is still used as a movie theatre on the Navy base. I played with the photo a bit to make it look like how I imagined (if only that modern red pickup weren't in the picture). Austin and 5 other ROTC members were the Color Guard for the ceremony and represented the high school very well. Aaron and I thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony and the traditions that are honored and upheld.
Our Christmas tree is so beautiful this year. We bought it at the Lions' Club tree lot which was a first for us as we usually cut our own tree up in the mountains or from a tree farm. As we decorated the tree, Blake commented that he really likes our decorations because they are so diverse and eclectic. They really are! There are decorations we hang every year that I've had since I was a kid. Some of the decorations are the ones the boys made when they were little. Some are the original decorations from our first tree of our married life. Not much matches but it is colorful and sparkly and full of memories, just like I like it.
Our boys are both very vested in their individual sports. Blake is wrestling on the varsity team and doing really, really well. As a freshman on varsity, most of his matches are against seniors but he holds his own. I love watching his skill and his control and the lessons he learns through defeat. This weekend he wrestled in a tournament with 16 schools. He earned 3rd place for his weight class and his team earned 2nd place overall.
Austin recently shot in a ROTC competition. We got to be there and watch him shoot his three positions. It's difficult to see the actual shots in the targets without a scope but it's amazing to watch him shoot nonetheless. He has amazing control and focus. In the picture below you can see the targets, what you can't see is the tiny white circle in the center of each black circle that they are actually aiming at. Also in the picture you can see Austin in most of his precision gear (minus the jacket). And you can see his girlfriend, Elena. We like her.
The offhand position.
The kneeling position. This is Austin's best.
My employers threw a generous Christmas party. We were spoiled with great food. I'm thankful (as I've said before) for Christian employers. These people are genuinely kind and loving and I really can't even begin to tell you all the ways they've been a blessing to Aaron and I. I'm thankful for my co-workers too. We are a colorful bunch and, like a family, we might not always get along, but we always help each other out.
This is me and my Elyse, enjoying the hot chocolate bar!