That felt good to share my journal entries with you. I have a journal I kept after my babies went to be with Jesus and I am not yet ready to share those thoughts with you, I was definitely in a different place all together.
So, I might go as far to say that this Thanksgiving was the best I have ever had. Last year was wonderful because I had Thomas, but this one will forever be special to me. First off, I took off the whole week of Thanksgiving. I wanted to spend time with my little family while Paul is off and do lots of fun stuff. It is important to me to make memories with my son and husband. On Friday, I found out that this amazing woman I work with Jo Ann had somehow managed to get us 3 U of H game tickets. So, on Saturday, November 19, Paul, Jerry, and I went to the game and had a great time. The game was sold out and had the highest attendance ever in the history of the stadium. It was a fantastic day and a great time. I can't thank Jo Ann enough for her kindness, she truly blessed us!
Sunday, we went to church, Thomas wore his special turkey shirt made by Becca Smith!! Paul worked in the nursery and I was able to hear a great sermon that seemed like the pastor was talking directly to me, I love those days. Sunday School was even better, I love working with the youth department. Afterwards, we went to Paul's favorite restaurant, Red Lobster! He was in heaven. Thomas loved it too. That evening, I went to see THE HELP at the dollar movies with my mom, what a great movie that was!
On Monday, we went to JCPennys to see our favorite photo girl Claudia to have our Christmas cards done! They were running a special that ended on Tuesday, so we were able to squeeze a session in. Then, I went to my post-op appt for my recent oral surgery and it took all of one minute! I decided I like dentists/oral surgeons more than regular doctors because they don't ever weigh you!
On Tuesday, we headed up to my work to say hello and then we went to the zoo. It had rained earlier, but it turned out to be a gorgeous day and hardly anyone was at the zoo. I got some great pics of Paul and Thomas together. I love taking pictures of them!
Wednesday, I started cooking, cleaning, etc.. Paul was busy doing man stuff after he drove to pick up his Nana and Papa for Thanksgiving. I love cooking for special events, I think it is so fun. I had everything ready so that I just had to pop it in the oven in the morning for about an hour! We went to see Thomas' first movie today. We saw THE MUPPET'S. Paul and I both loved the Muppet's growing up, so we thought this would be the perfect movie! Thomas liked it, but he loved the stairs in the theater a little more and loved climbing up and down. Paul chased him all night and then, we went home and relaxed a bit before the big day.
Thursday, we ate Thanksgiving lunch at Paul's Aunt Celinda and Uncle Rick's house. The food was great, but the company was even better. I love Nana, she is like my own grandmother, full of wisdom and goodness. I could listen to her talk all day. We got lots of great pictures of Thomas with his cousins Hannah and Mason! After letting our food digest a bit, we left and I went home to cook the food for my family get-together at 6:00. My family meets at the Deer Park Fire Hall every Thanksgiving and I love it. The food, family, friends, decor, smells, laughter, all of it, I love. But, I really enjoy the BINGO! We have so much fun playing this game as a family. This year, I pulled the numbers and called them out. I had a blast. It is fun to watch a 60+ year old person get so excited over winning BINGO! After BINGO was over, I did something I swore I would never do again, I went to Black Friday (really Thursday) at Toys R Us with Paul. We had an absolute blast. I am done shopping for all the children I buy for at Christmas, even Thomas. Paul and I are a good shopping team and we are both able to talk each other out of a purchase that we really don't need. We were both so excited after we finished, so we went home to our baby, but none of us could fall asleep! I stopped for a minute and thanked God because I felt so good, so happy, so excited, so ready for the holidays! I love this time of year. It has been a couple of years since I could say that and mean it. Thank you God for renewing my heart and giving me REAL joy again.
I had a hard time getting up and moving on Friday, but after doing a few loads of laundry, a nap with Thomas, and some cleaning, we packed our bags and headed to Danbury, Tx to enjoy Thanksgiving fun with the Reim family. I feel so blessed to call this family my friends. They are simply put-true examples of the love of Christ. We had a wonderful, relaxing, emotional, unexpected blessed time. Paul and I already talked about next year and how we are going to get there bright and early on Friday morning next time because we didn't really want to leave when we did. All different branches of the family were there and it was a place so full of love. All different races present, an array of ages present, and a plethora of good people. We made crafts, watched movies, watched a cute talent show put on by the kiddos, ate great food, had lots of hot chocolate, sat out by the bonfire, great conversations, caught up with old friends, and the list goes on. I enjoyed meeting a lot of new people and I really enjoyed catching up with long-time friend Rachel Hunt. I have missed her friendship. We never had a falling out or anything, we just got busy with different activities in high school and were in different circles of friends, but she is still an amazing woman! I loved watching her now as a wife and a mother, she truly loves her little family and I am so glad I was able to spend time with her. I talked lots to Lana and Misty and their families as well. Their parents are incredible! I went up to the Lodge not knowing what to expect, but I was truly blessed. The family had befriended a Vietnamese family that had overcome some huge obstacles. Last year at this time, the young mother was fighting for her life after a severe traumatic brain injury, she was pregnant at the time, so her little girl that was born very premature was in the NICU, and the husband was being stretched as thin as possible between the two. They had just moved here to Houston and had no family. Misty's mother-in-law was their baby's nurse and she became close to them and then all the family started loving and helping out this family. Long story short, this mother defied all the odds and proved to be a living miracle and is now walking after they told her she would not. She is talking, joking, holding her baby girl, she is smiling, breathing on her own, she is ALIVE. Through all of this, the family has come to know the Lord and Phong, the husband shared their story and pictures of their journey. I was so touched. I told them that I want to be doing this same thing next year, I want to be telling them of the new liver I have received and all that God has done for me in my life. Then, Misty asked if they could pray for us. My heart was so touched. The Reims raised some wonderful kids. I was moved to tears as they prayed for me and my family. I could hear how Misty really did put herself in my shoes and she prayed the same way I pray, I don't want to leave my baby without a mom. Then, to hear Lana pray and hurt for others. It is so comforting to know that people like this really do exist, people full of goodness. Both Patti and Martin Reim prayed as well and shortly after, we had to head back home on Saturday night. I left with a little extra pep in my step, I could feel how their prayers had lifted my spirits, I am so blessed. I can't wait until next Thanksgiving!
Sunday, we went to church and Paul taught the lesson. It was a great lesson with good analogies. We brought breakfast for the kiddos and then we ran a few errands. I had to get home to take a nap because I have to work tonight. I had a wonderful week off and my body, mind, and especially my soul feel renewed. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday as well.