Well, I never made it back to the computer on Monday. Monday, the day that I'd planned on a little "downtime" was anything but! Doug, ZJ and I had a doctor appointment at first thing in the morning, I had lunch with Natalie at 11, errands until Zaylee came at 2:30, Family Home Evening and Dinner with the B's at 6 and in the middle of all that, I did some cleaning, three loads of laundry, changed our bedding and made a batch of homemade donut dough to take to the B's. CRAZY day!
A last few details of Liza's visit home:
Friday, Liza spent the day with Buddy's family, including going to SLC to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Christmas performance and having dinner with Buddy's brother, Mitchell, who's been in Afghanistan for most of the last two years. A lot of people asked me how I felt about Liza being gone for a whole day of our already too short visit. I'd be lying if I said that it didn't bother me. I didn't like it. One bit. It was a sacrifice for Doug and I to bring her home at this time, so sharing her wasn't easy! But, it made her happy and we count it a blessing that she loves his family and wants to be with them. And when she told me that she'd been able to see her brother-in-law, Mitchell, it made my day too!
The Corbridge Family Christmas party was Saturday Brunch. Aleece (Doug's youngest sibling) and Dee did a super job, with the help of their two newlywed couples and two younger daughters. We had a fabulous meal, a super activity ~ a graham cracker house building/decorating contest. TOO fun! Our house was a total disaster but the kids had fun. Having three builders in the family didn't give us much of a chance. ;) We met at noon, instead of at night, like we've done over the past decades. There was less rush, less stress about getting home late at night, worrying about weather and the change of menu to breakfast was super. Doug and I host next year. We've already announced the Ugly Sweater Contest and I'm thinking that we'll keep the daytime party idea rolling. Loved it and it was perfectly timed for Liza to see the whole family, except a few cousins!
Liza and I made the most of every moment together, right up until it was time to go to the airport. I loved having her with us for church and my Relief Society lesson. We had so much fun catching up on games, cards, gabbing (like we don't do that anyway) and just hanging out. On Sunday, after church, I prepared all of her favorites for her last meal at home... it was a sort of South meets West. I served roast beef and gravy, funeral potatoes, hushpuppies, chowchow, pretzel salad and peas. (Buddy's allergic.) After goodbyes were said to her siblings and Dad, we picked up Denise and headed to SLC airport. (96 miles) I was grateful that Denise rode with me since Doug has spent most of the past week in bed with pneumonia! He was sick the whole time she was here and even missed the family party. The antibiotics are finally kicking in and I think he'll still be alive for Christmas! HAPPINESS.
Saying goodbye to Liza was hard, as expected. I adore this child. She may be almost 30 but she's my baby girl, best friend, favorite, friend, sister. I bawled half way home and then off and on the rest of the way.
Just a few blocks before dropping off Denise, we came upon a beautiful deer that had been hit by a car and had a broken back. The doe was struggling so desperately to get up, but could only move her upper half in a circle. I realized that my emotions were totally raw, but I couldn't stand the thought of this dear suffering. I dropped Denise off, called 911 and went back to wait and make sure that someone would come and take care of this poor beautiful creature. I was sobbing. The UGLY cry. The police officer arrived and told me that he'd take care of her as soon as I was gone, thankfully. I just couldn't stop crying. Then, at Family Home Evening last night, Stott had to make a comment about Bambi and now all I can think of is a little baby deer off in the field saying "Mother?" ;)
I guess the reason I mention all of this is because it's pretty obvious that my emotions are near the surface. I was also exhausted! I'm ready for a few calm days and some time to just relax. Being that the babes are out of school for the next two weeks, I'm doubting that we'll see much calm! BUT, aside from hosting a Paparazzi Jewelry Open House tonight and the holiday, we've managed to keep the calendar relatively tame for the rest of the year. I've not had a "product" party in years, but the jewelry was so dang cute and the price couldn't be better. It should be casual and fun! And it will be fun to just visit with friends and neighbors.
One last Liza comment. Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I had this little tinge of emotion, as I thought about Liza being tucked into bed safely in the room below me,as she had been the past five nights. It was only a second and I realized that she was actually, at her home, tucked safely in bed in Arizona, next to her sweet husband. I am so happy that she is happy. She loves Arizona. She loves the warmth. She loves her job. She loves Buddy. On her first night home, while still at the airport, she said, "I miss Buddy." I love that Liza was able to be home with us for a few days during the holiday. But, equally, I love that she loves her life with Buddy and that they are moving forward in their own goals and aspirations. (I just wish she loved winter the way we do because I don't think she'll ever come home again in December! She no likee the cold!) I love my girl! The joy.
Holy cow! It's only a day or two till Christmas! We don't count today because it's today and we don't count Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, so really it's only "a few" more days! LOVE IT! Tomorrow, a few more last minute recipes and a cute neighbor gift idea! Life is good!
One more thought. Seriously. Even if you are not a Country Music fan, a must-have Christmas CD for your collection... Martina McBride's White Christmas Album. OH MY! It's wonderful! Enough said!
Children laughing. People passing. Meeting smile after smile. It's Christmas Time! Soon it will be Christmas Day!