3 for 3

Well I made it to St. Louis right on time despite my sister calling me the day before to say she had a snow day due to icy roads...albeit minus my luggage for the 3rd consecutive trip--3 for 3!!! I should probably just stop checking bags! This one may have been at least partially my fault since I generally try and minimize my total travel time and thus my layover--when I disembarked from my first leg, my DAL-STL flight was already boarding--but it was the airline that scheduled my itinerary like that, and my bag obviously didn't just make it on the next flight from Dallas because it took over 24 hours for them to recover it. In the end, it arrived safe and sound yesterday around 5 pm last night. The biggest lost was some party games that I had created for my sister's 13th birthday sleepover, which was the night I arrived. It wasn't too big of a deal though; I had Jeopardy! on my computer, and five 13 year old girls have a way of entertaining themselves.

I love love love being home at Christmastime, because I love love love everything about Christmas. Within an hour of walking in the front door, I was already helping bake and decorate Christmas cookies! They were the cut-out kind, and after realizing that I had unintentionally cut out 5 stocking shaped ones, I made each member of my family one with their name on it :) That night was the aforementioned birthday party, and then Saturday was shopping day (I finished decorating our (fake) Christmas tree before we had to leave too!)! The father of a young family at our church passed away 2 years ago, so their tradition now is that 3 families from church takes one of their 3 girls shopping one day so that each of them as well as their mom have at least SOME surprises under the tree on Christmas morning. This year my mom, sister, and I took the oldest girl, and our outing was exactly how I like it--short and sweet. We went to one store, got everything on her list, went to lunch, and wrapped everything before there was any sign of the other 2 girls and their assigned shopping buddies. It probably helped that there was NO WAITING to check out--no clue how that is possible on the Saturday before Christmas. My mom and I finished up some more shopping last night after dinner too. The Kirkwood Wal-Mart is starting to feel like the El Paso Lowe's!

This morning I worshipped at St. Paul's, and then spent all afternoon wrapping! In a little while it'll be time for the St. Paul's Sunday school Christmas service. Surprise! I found out a few days ago that the offering is going to support...me! I am so blessed by my home church, at Christmastime yes but also year-round. Tonight we will celebrate my sister's birthday again, this time with my extended family (and she can open her present from me...it was in my suitcase too!). The rest of my week at home looks a lot like the first couple of days...celebrating the season in traditional and new ways, making the house look and smell festive, and in general just enjoying the wonderfulness of spending time around my family and friends.

Until next time, blessings!