So, after we celebrated Christmas just the two of us, we got up early the next morning, got the car loaded, and then I headed to work on Christmas Eve for a few short hours before we made our way up North.

We left at 10:30 AM, banking on a seven-hour drive and hoping to make it to Pittsfield in time for the Christmas Eve service at my parents’ church at 6:00 PM.  With a total of three stops (we were hoping for none, ha!), we rolled in at 5:50.  Woohoo!  It should’ve only been two stops, but the wind was blowing so stinking hard that it must’ve blew our gas away, too, because when we were one hour away, I realized we weren’t going to make it on our full tank of gas.  Lesson:  Always expect the unexpected!  Good thing we left so early.

So Christmas Eve service was beautiful as usual.  We even did a song together, Jeff playing his Martin and I singing.  We all headed home that night and played a very loud and entertaining game of Spoons that didn’t take long to get violent and almost cost my parents a dining room chair.

Christmas day was great.  We got up, shared presents, napped and then headed to a movie (seems to be a tradition with my parents – – going to movies on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas day).  Bedtime Stories was the winner, and it was cute.  Kids are so clever.

Friday, for lunch, Jeff and I got to see a couple of my high school buddies before we all (Mom, Dad, Ahron, Kathy and us) headed to West Missouri for a Briggs Family Christmas early Saturday.  Every year Mom’s family gets together somewhere around Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it’s always great to see everyone.  We were thankful of the timing of this year’s so that we could go.  Living so far away makes it hard at times.

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We rushed back early Saturday, though, so we could get back in time to see S.H.A.R.C. play at the Rock-a-Thon, which was a fundraiser put on by local bands for the local theater guild.  For those of you who don’t know, my brother Ahron is in a band called S.H.A.R.C., Serving Him a Risen Christ.  And like so many other things, seeing him play is rare these days since we’re in Nashville.  So it was great to get this chance and to see a rare show of them doing all original songs.  That might’ve been a first.

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Then came Sunday, so we headed to church.  The plan was to go to church, eat lunch with the fam, then run into my other high school buddy and her hubby before heading home.  But in the midst of all this, two of Jeff’s bestest college buddies were in the area visiting their family, and this was not an opportunity that could be passed up, so… we ended up staying another night just to see Paul and Dustin (and the ladies!).  Kidding…  Kind of.  But it was totally worth it.  How often does Minnesota (Paul), OKC (Dustin) and Nashville (us) all end up in “po-dunk” Western Illinois? 

And since we had another night at home, Sunday night was another game night in which we played Snorta, a Christmas gift to us from my dad.  Not a game to play tired or several times in a row – – you need your memory to be at the top of its game!  But it’s definitely worth it for the entertainment.  And we ended with a game of Moods, which was so great.  In fact, take a look:

Oh it’s so great to have such life long good friends. Unfortunately there were many others that we would have loved to have seen, but there just isn’t enough time in the day for that.  So we are sorry we missed some of you!  But we are blessed to have been able to spend so much time with my family, to share many laughs and to see the few friends we could.  These relationships are very important to us, and as we get older, we are only reminded of that even more.  We love you all.

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