Wow, what a holiday! We spent Thanksgiving with King Pen’s folks. Friday, his mom and I got up at quarter past insane (3:15 AM), and hit the sales. I’m not one of those people, y’all. It’s just not in my nature. But I got a wild hair, and just wanted to do it. (I suppose I should say that my handmade pledge is not ENTIRELY in force, but I’m sticking to it as closely as possible!) Anyway, we shopped for a few hours, then I came back, we loaded up the car, and took off at about ten that morning for my parent’s house. We ate lunch, and left the Chipmunk there with my family, and we headed off to Birmingham!

We drove through rain the whole way (bah). We met King Pen’s sister and her kids at a hotel in Pelham, and swam in the heated pool and just hung out. The grownups went out to eat, since there teenagers to babysit. (Thank you Rachael!!) The next morning, we hiked and explored at Moss Rock Preserve. It was a little damp, but we had a great time! They left at lunch after we finished hiking, and then we hopped over to our old apartment complex and visited with our dear neighbors and friends there. Remember how I used to go on and on about our Peruvian neighbors? Boy I miss them. It was so wonderful to see them again.

Then, that night, we met up with one of King Pen’s coworkers and buddies, Cindy, at our favorite Mexican resturaunt, Sol Azteca. It’s the local dive, and some of our other dear neighbors work there. It was like a big family reunion! The kids’ friends were there, our friends, we had margaritas and chips and just lots of fun. It was almost fun overload. 🙂

So, that night, Cindy graciously insisted we stay with her, which the kids were over the moon about. We had a good visit with her, and then the next morning, got up to go to our old church. I cannot tell you how good it was to see the lovely people of Trinity Presbyterian! The sermon was stellar, the singing robust, and when we took communion, I actually teared up. It’s been so long since we were able to do that as a family. After church, we visited and had snacks. I hugged a hundred necks, greeted new babies, patted little heads that have grown so much in the last year. It was everything you want coming home to be. Because that’s how I feel– like that was home. I’m not saying we’ll never have that feeling again, but it hasn’t happened yet– and going back for a few days was just what my soul needed.

It’s strange, you would think that missing everybody would make me blue– but actually, I feel better today than I have in a while. I guess I just needed the reminder that people DO care about us, (not just our lovely family, who always loves us no matter where we live!!). It’s encouraging, to remember that when we moved to Birmingham, we didn’t know a soul, and we made a whole life for ourselves there eventually. I don’t think we can recreate that here, to be honest, but I believe it will get better. I won’t give up on it yet.

Anyway, I have a ton of unpacking to do, so I better get to it. I’ll post pictures later, after things have settled down a bit. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!!

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