I was going over our holiday travel plans in my head, and suddenly became overwhelmed. This is why. Try to keep up.
On Friday, December 20, Aaron and I are taking two cars to Greenwood for a wedding that Aaron is in. After the wedding, Aaron is going to Hattiesburg and I am going back to Oxford. On the December 23rd, I leave Oxford and go to Jackson and Aaron leaves Hattiesburg and goes to Jackson. On the 24th, still in two different cars, we both leave Jackson and go to Hattiesburg. On the 25th, I leave Hattiesburg and go to Oxford (5 hour drive). On the 26th, Aaron and his dad pack up and drive to Texas for a hunting trip, and I will most likely leave Oxford and drive back to Jackson and Hattiesburg for the weekend (5 more hours). I will come back to Oxford on the 28th. Aaron and his dad will drive back from Texas on the 31st, I think, and Aaron will either stay in Hattiesburg or come back to Oxford. On January 3, I am going to New Albany to host a baby shower for my college roommate, Jennifer. After the shower, I am driving back down to Hattiesburg to celebrate Aaron's grandfather's 90th birthday on the 4th. After the birthday party we are driving back to Oxford. And finally, either on the night of January 5 or in the wee hours of January 6, we are driving to Memphis to fly to Vail. We will come back from Vail on the 11th, and Aaron starts classes again on the 12th.
This is a lot of mileage we are covering. What are we going to do with Jake during all these travels? I'm going to have to get three oil changes by the time it is all said and done, and I'm thinking the poor Camry is going to see some big time wear and tear.
This is so typical for me to get overwhelmed about stuff like this and Aaron to not bat an eye. I'll try to explain to Aaron why this is a big deal, and he will say, "Kelly, Hush yo mouth!" He wouldn't use those words at all, but that is how I will interpret it, and we'll get into a mini-argument. Also, I don't have a clue what to get the boy for Christmas. Usually I can just walk in a store and buy the first thing I see that is camouflage, but that won't work this year because he has EVERYTHING. And anything he really wants is in the several thousand dollar range, so I am close to throwing my hands up and arrive on Christmas Day empty handed. And to make it worse, he got my present a while back, so it makes him look like the angelic spouse, when everybody knows I am the angelic spouse. Of course there isn't a "Who's The Better Spouse"competition, but if there was, I would clearly be winning.
So I have made the decision to skip church today and drive to Tupelo to do some shopping while Aaron studies for another monster final on Monday. If I was smart like my friend Megan, I would have all my Christmas shopping done by July, start decorating in August, and just sit back and laugh while all the last minute shoppers go crazy. I envy you, roommie. I want to learn your ways.
In the midst of the insaneness that will be the next couple of weeks, I am SO excited to get to see our families. On Christmas Eve, my entire family gathers for good food, presents, and we always present my mom with a surprise family photo that my brothers and I take (now Aaron and Adrea are in it). We always treat it like a surprise even though she knows she is getting it and she still cries every year. We get to hang out with my dad, Jan, and my two step sisters after that and "surprise" them with a family photo too.
Then we get to have a fabulous meal and celebrate Christmas Day with Aaron's family. His family has the greatest tradition I have ever experienced and there is no doubt we will carry it on when we have children (if Aaron ever decides he's ready to have children), and that is to read scripture on Christmas morning before any presents are opened. Everybody gathers around the massive couch they have in their living room and listen to Mr. Rice read Jesus' birth story, and then we pray. And then we eat a lot of candy and open presents. Things are going to be so different this year because Ryan won't be there and neither will the Wachdorf's, but it is still going to be great because I foresee turkey in the picture. Aaron and I are sending Ryan his present tomorrow so hopefully it will get to Iraq in time for him to have a little bit of a celebration. We miss him. He needs to hurry up and get home and not volunteer for any more war deployments.
That reminds me, on Saturday, December 20, Aaron is a honorary groomsman for our friends T.C. and Jocelyn's wedding. (Grammatical question: is it a or an honorary groomsman?) Aaron and T.C. were injured in Iraq around the same time and ended up being next door neighbors in the hospital in Bethesda, MD. It is simply ironic that two Mississippi State boys would be wounded at the same time and be put in rooms right next to each other in the hospital. Anyway, they went from being next door neighbors in the hospital to next door neighbors in Starkville, Miss, and they have been good buddies ever since. T.C. is going to wear his Dress Blues in the wedding and he also asked Aaron to wear his blues, and this will be interesting because Aaron has gained about 30 pounds since the last time he put his blues on. But let me just say this: Aaron looks incredibly handsome in his Dress Blues and I can't wait to see him in them again. The best news about all of this is that he has to shave his head. I will take lots of pictures of him so everybody can either admire how great he looks or laugh at how silly he looks as a "fat guy in a little coat".
I'm surprised by how long this post ended up being. My original intentions were just to bellyache about our extensive holiday travels but then I just couldn't stop for some reason. Well, I'm going to end it here so I can get ready to shop. Please be thinking of Aaron this week as he finishes up his finals. He will not find out his grades until January, so pray that God will calm his nerves and allow him to enjoy the holidays without stressing out about whether or not he passed his first semester of law school. I don't know if I could handle another first semester of law school experience. It's not an easy thing for a wife to go through.