The long Thanksgiving weekend is coming to an end and my house is quiet and my heart is full. It was a weekend full of food, family, friends and fun. Each day brought a new set of friends and family into our lives interspersed with moments of just Donna, Ben, Sarah and myself, reunited.
Thanksgiving brought our friends of 25 years to our house as well as my brother in-law and his partner. It felt good to eat, laugh and watch football with them. They each brought something to the table, literally in this case. Our table was full of food to the point of needing to use the nearby buffet to hold the stuffing.
Then, on Friday we celebrated Sarah's 21st birthday with a different set of friends of nearly 20 years. Like many friendships, ours has ebbed and flowed over the years but, most importantly, has sustained. Our kids grew up together and have stayed in touch and lately we have reconnected through our church, CollectiveMKE.
We had dinner and, afterward the kids played board games while the parents chatted. It was so much fun listening to our grown children laugh and talk in the other room. It gave me a sense of accomplishment - a sense that we'd arrived, if you will. They are good kids and there's something to be said for raising kids who are not axe murderers, never landed in jail and aren't messed up on drugs. These are the simple prayer requests of every parent, I think. Three of the five of them are in college and the other two will be soon enough. You kind of grind out those early years with this as the light at the end of a very long tunnel.
Yesterday we did more celebrating of Sarah's 21st birthday at a favorite restaurant in Milwaukee. It was the same crowd as Thanksgiving and was a fun night capped by my brother in-law's fantastic Wintermint cake.
Today we spent among our church family discussing the first week of advent and how we all are dealing with our post election realities as we head into preparing for Christmas.
Like I said, for this introvert, it was a FULL weekend. Loads of socializing and eating and festiveness. I love these people like family. There's a reason we have been friends for so long. We support each other, we've been through the fire together, and we share in our triumphs. We gather at these holidays to remind us how lucky we are to have such perfect, imperfect friends and family.
And I wouldn't trade a moment of it, but now it is time to rest, recover and replenish. My heart is full, but I need to get back to my routine. I need quiet navel-gazing introspective bliss for a while. I need to write, to journal and get my mind set for what's next, because in a few weeks we'll have Christmas and it will all ramp up again.
With a little luck, I should be good to go by then. And that extroverted part of me can't wait.