This is it: the last day of 2015! This has truly been an amazing year filled with so many blessings. Thank you for joining me on this adventure – you are a blessing to me and keep me motivated to write. I’m optimistic for what God has planned for all of us in 2016!
December couldn’t have been any better. I spent 5 nights in Atlanta with Jonae and her family and had lots of baby snuggles! Juliet is such a good baby! (I’ve already warned her to watch out with her next one!) Lots of babysitting time, Breakfast with Santa, Buckhead Church and yummy food. Very nice pre-Christmas celebration!
Returning to California, I volunteered a few evenings with my all-time favorite ministry, Operation Christmas Child. I helped inspect and sort gift shoeboxes that will be sent to children in Peru and Malaysia. The Southern California processing center (there are 9 across the US) was on target to sort through 925,000 boxes that had been donated! It was a wonderful experience and I’m blessed to have taken part. (http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child)
I was able to take Brian to one of my Happiest Places on Earth – Disneyland of course (his first time to see their Christmas decorations!) We had a wonderful day and he really did enjoy all the lights!
After a few days at home, Brian and I drove to Las Vegas to spend a few days with Whitney and her fiancee Elliott. We were there at midnight to ring in his 30th birthday! My sister Pam and her husband Dave surprised them for the 2nd night…more fun, food and laughs! Adam arrived from Ohio and we all returned to California to spend an evening with my nieces, nephews & parents.
Christmas Eve we went to an afternoon church service. Pam’s family & my parents joined us for a late dinner and we had fun exchanging gifts. I awoke early on Christmas Day to watch Pam’s family open their gifts (at my house I had to wake my boys up at 11!) We enjoyed unwrapping presents and returned to Pam’s for mom’s famous lasagna. A very “happy” Christmas as Mitch told me later that evening.
We ventured to the movies on Saturday and I drove Whitney & Elliott back to Vegas on Sunday for their flight home to Ohio. Brian and I worked this week and are looking forward to a nice long New Year’s Eve weekend. Heading to Pam’s shortly to ring in 2016 with her family and friends. Beyond blessed.
I am mindful that my life is not necessarily “normal” and that many of my friends have experienced pain and sorrow in 2015 that they do not want to repeat. My prayer for all is that Jesus will reveal Himself to you in a new and passionate way in 2016. Draw close and allow Him to love & bless you as only He can. Smell the flowers. Stop and gaze at the clouds and sunsets. Smile at a stranger. Breathe deep and don’t take any moment for granted. Choose joy. Life is precious. God loves you and so do I. Happy New Year! Welcome 2016!