I have a confession to make. And I’m hoping you don’t judge me.
But it’s okay if you do.
We left for Okie Land two days after Christmas. We arrived back to the Capital of the Republic January 2nd.
My garment bag is still on my bedroom floor. With clothes in it.
Martha Stewart would be so proud.
Now I do take up a bit of defense for myself here~~we did successfully get all the Christmas paraphernalia down and stored right when we got back. But some of the other, less, uh, pressing details have been left to moulder.
When we got back, I had to hit the ground running. November, December, January and February usually prove to be some of my busiest months. Lots of production of special events. Our largest fund raiser of the year for Legacy of Hope Austin, Immerse Austin. Several speaking engagements. And because I somehow seemed to forget that all that was going on, I went ahead and debuted my newest women’s ministry curriculum on the origins of the Bible, which has been a total blast and has kept me up burning the midnight oil. And then the one a.m. oil. And the two a.m. oil. You get the picture.
In some ways, it would be less complicated to wait to go to Okie Land at less crazy times. When we get to Okie Land, it’s a week long of Christmas after Christmas after Christmas with all manner of extended family. It’s wonderful.
And utterly exhausting. Like, fer realz. Seriously exhausting.
And oh so worth it.
My mom is an only child and my dad had just one brother, so my siblings and I only have three first cousins. We also stayed in contact with second and third cousins from both sides of the family. My parents made a strong effort to gather us all up as frequently as possible. It was a challenge, it was expensive. It was tough to travel from California, where my family lived, to Mississippi, where a lot of the extended family lived.
I’m so glad my parents were up to the challenge.
Mike, likewise, grew up spending time with his cousins. His cousins, ironically, were all in California and Mike grew up in Oklahoma. His parents made to trek out to Cali often so that Mike and his sister would have memories and friendships with their cousins.
I’m so glad they did.
Now Mike and I find ourselves making the same kind of treks to stay close with our siblings and their families. And I appreciate anew the kind of time and finances and priority it takes to make it all happen.
And it’s so worth it.
My children enjoy eleven cousins between my brothers’ kids and Mike’s sister’s crew. It is loud, messy, noisy, fun, giggly, messy, hilarious, loud, messy….did I mention it’s loud and messy?
And when we collapse back through the door after an Okie Land whirlwind tour and I begin to think through all that is upcoming and all that is due, I can get a little, ah, spooled up.
But it’s a wonderful thing, this post-Christmas fugue. My kids are still laughing over the jokes and one-liners they shared with their cousins. The texting between cousins is flying fast. The connections are strengthened again.
And even though I haven’t yet managed to get unpacked…
…and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon…
…it’s so worth it.