The Meeting that Wasn't

The end of my last post (a negative COVID test) came just in time for me to travel to St. Louis on a Wednesday for a few days with family and friends before the regional leadership team meeting scheduled for the following Tuesday through Thursday. 

Less than 24 hours into my trip, however, I learned that COVID had put the kibosh on the meeting; we're shooting for a pared-down, virtual version in mid-February. Hello, three wide open days. I filled them with a mixture of bonus time with family and friends as well as a few pressing work tasks undeterred by the promise of unanticipated vacation. Following are some visuals of both the planned and the unplanned. 

My immediate family & I celebrated a belated Christmas (yes, my parents left their tree up) - "Santa" had a beach bag full of souvenirs from Germany, and my sister made me a Cricut car window cling to commemorate my 11/28 half marathon. I put it on as soon as I got home.

Squeezing the last bit of holiday spirit out of the season by driving through the WonderLights at World Wide Technologies Raceway in Madison, IL, hence the angels and...race cars. 

I got to worship and attend Bible class - and hold my pastor's baby - at my home congregation, St. Paul's in Des Peres, MO, on Sunday. 

My Christmas gift from my brother and sister-in-law was brunch out. Like me, they enjoy trying new places, especially ethnic ones, so we went for Peruvian. 

My New York Times crossword streak is going strong; I crossed the three-digit threshold from my parents' house. 

I had dinner with the Warrens, dear friends I met on the mission field, twice. The second time, we were joined by the Sharps, missionaries to Uruguay passing through on home service. Angie made us her famous (to the Mission Ladies of LAC, anyhow) pizza crust, and Rev. James educated us about "Quad Cities-style pizza."

Not pictured: lunch with my sweet aunt Casey, my first haircut in 2+ years, tacos w/ LCMS Short-term Mission colleagues; family dinners and game nights; Scrabble with two of my Scrabble club ladies; touring Intersect Arts Center with a friend who works from one of their private studios + a walk to Sump Coffee...

...and stressing over where to get a timely COVID test for the next leg of my trip, to Puerto Rico to help host a short-term team!!! After tearing my now shorter hair out for days, I wound up attaching my positive test results + a doctor's note to the Online Travel Declaration Form I needed to fill out for my 5:40 am flight on Friday morning.

Until next time, blessings!