I’ve had so much to blog about. But how are you guys juggling all the things this holiday season?
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at my sister in law’s house.
We’ve enjoyed the kid church musical and the kids’ school Christmas program and the end of school parties and a dozen other things I might write about while I’m off of work next week.
Today though, I had to write about this past weekend.
This Christmas gift of friendship.
In January 2013, Holley Gerth launched a book called God-sided Dreams. As a part of that launch, before “launch teams” were a thing in the book world, she pulled together 99 women from across America.
One of those women lived in Minnesota: Kristin Smith. Little did I know nearly five years ago she would become like the sister I never had.
Well, Kristin came (back) to Houston with her amazing daughter on Friday. We’d been trying to get together for over a year. For a couple of years we’d managed to see each other twice a year but now we were approaching TWO years with no in-person visits.
This summer, when I found out Sleeping Beauty, the musical (more on that craziness to come), would arrive in Houston in December, I called Kristin to see if we could make a mother-daughter weekend out of it. She got the green light from her hubby and plane tickets were booked IN JULY.
Oh, the waiting.
Finally, after months, they arrived. I have no photos from the airport reunion because there was too much hugging and chatting. But my little bit had made her little bit a big welcome and birthday sign and we’d tied balloons to the neon pink poster.
Kristin warned me her daughter was shy and might take a while to warm up. My little bit is shy too, so I had no idea how the girls would do. But without an ounce of prodding, they buckled up in the back seat and began gabbing like they’d known each other for years. Kristin and I didn’t even try to interrupt. By the time we arrived at the Mexican food restaurant for dinner (because she came to TEXAS, so of course!), the girls were fast friends.
In fact, even though I’d set both our guests up in the extra bedroom, by Saturday Kristin’s daughter opted to stay sleep-over style in my similarly horse obsessed daughter’s room!
The weekend was perfect.
Not because of any one thing or one event but because Kristin was here.
We did do a bunch of fun stuff: the Houston Ballet Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, American Girl store…
While we all four enjoyed those events (except maybe a little less Sleeping Beauty – it was not at all what it was billed as – far more adult lines of dialogue with tons of Houston humor which isn’t funny if you live in Minnesota!), it was the other moments I treasure most.
Saturday morning, after a pancake breakfast at home, the girls rolled and cut and baked Christmas cookies. Kristin and I got to gab and the girls had us in stitches. They are FUNNY!
Sunday night, we decorated cookies and looked at Christmas lights with my dear Houston friend, Cathryn, and her daughter who is also the same age.
Sunday afternoon, Kristin sat across from me at the kitchen table and we talked about everything while the girls ran around playing with their AG dogs (that’s right, dogs NOT dolls) and balloons.
Monday morning the girls decorated gingerbread houses. We sat and talked more. For extra fun, one of the boys arrived home with Bray Sunday night, so he wanted in on the decorating. However, I’d not accounted for him when I bought the two kits. Undeterred, he built a house out of grahams and decorated it along with the leftover Christmas cookies.
Kristin’s daughter had nearly as much fun playing with him Monday as she did playing with little bit.
It was all I could do to hold it together when I dropped these two girls at the airport. I am tremendously grateful that Voxer allows us to talk everyday. (In fact, Kristin’s daughter asked: Do you call my mom every day? Yes, I replied, I call her every day. We probably talk three or four times a day, thanks to Voxer.) Still, there is nothing like being together in person.
I am overwhelmingly grateful to our husbands who managed all our boys (she has two at home just like I do) so we could have “in real life” time.
Little bit and I are already planning a 2018 adventure to Minnesota.
There is ever so much I am thankful for this Christmas, but high on that list is the gift of friendship and a weekend with Kristin and our daughters.
(Plus, I told Kristin, if they become good friends, they’ll wheel us in our wheelchairs to see each other when we’re old!)