This year I was able to be in Texas for a full 8 days for Christmas break. I haven't visited Texas since last May, over 7 months ago - the longest I've ever been away! I flew into Dallas after midnight on the 20th (or the 21st, rather), got a short night's sleep at Emily's house, and woke up early to me nieces playing downstairs. I loved just hanging out with the girls: playing ConnectFour and Jenga, reading books, painting our nails, swinging outside. We met up with all of the Coleman Clan (minus Robert, but including Ollie and Uncle Bob) for lunch, then Mom, Dad and I headed south on I-35 to good ol' Waco.
My aunt and uncle from Uganda have been in America from nearly 2 months and are staying at my parent's house (as well as cousin Stephen who is in med school in Lubbock). I loved spending lots of time with them at the house: playing Scrabble, watching movies, cooking yummy food. I also loved having dinner with Andrew and Stephen and plotting our 20-year time capsule excavation (although we didn't actually carry it out this year... mainly because metal detectors are hard to get your hands on). I was also able to see David, Mary Kay and their girls from Alabama who I haven't seen since last Christmas.
Other highlights of my Texas holiday: finally meeting 3 month old baby Henry!!! and getting to rock him to sleep one night, spending time at the Olson's house, running in Cameron Park with Hannah, building a gingerbread train with Carter, the 7th and James Christmas Eve service full of incredible music, the DaySpring Christmas morning church service, spending time with the whole Carter family the day after Christmas, Ninfaritas, dinner with friends at Sam's, running in Castle Heights.
Amazingly, I was able to get together with both my high school and college group of friends! Anne, Sydney, Patty and I met for coffee and Barnes & Noble, our old hangout (yes, we were a little dorky). We make this a priority ever Christmas when we are all back in Waco. And Hannah, Kate, Whitney, Merrill and I all met up in Austin one night for dinner and a slumber party - just like the good ol' days at Baylor. I was so grateful for that time together with them since we all currently live in Portland, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Waco and Austin. We truly picked up right where we left off which made me realize how blessed I was and am to have such amazing friends.
When I left Texas last week, I wasn't able to give an answer to the question, "When will you be back to visit again?" All the weddings are behind us, there are no births or big family gatherings coming up anytime soon... I honestly don't know when I will be able to travel back to Texas. But I hope it's not another 7 months away!
lunch in Dallas with the Colemans
playing with sweet little Henry
loved catching up with cousin Laura
the sisters and kids
the whole fam (minus Brett and Taylor)
"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned."
- Maya Angelou
"Home is not where you live, but where they understand you."
- Christian Morgenstern