In the past 24 hours we have been to 3 different Christmas parties- 1 of which I co-hosted with my sister. I am exhausted: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
We started this shindig with my Dad’s family which was fun because I got to see people that I usually only see twice a year, but so so exhausting because I cooked for over 20 people. This may not seem like a huge number to you seasoned professionals, but to this 22 year old who’s used to feeding College Kids that don’t really care if it tastes good or not, this was HUGE! [It was a fair success by the way- mom only had to rescue one dish for me :)] But after this party was done we headed to Conway for Party #2.
We woke up this morning, and got ready for family pictures with some of Tyler’s family. Their Christmas is so much fun! Lots of food, laughs, no shortage of little cousins to play with, and you’re surrounded by love! Plus there’s this girl named Bekah there. She’s kind of a big deal, just saying. She is just as weird as I am and has the best sense of humor that I am SO thankful for! It’s really intimidating going to your extended in-laws Christmas the first time as a married couple. Terrifying actually, because as much as I know them, I don’t actually know them very well. I can give you facts about most of Tyler’s family, but when it comes to truly knowing their likes and dislikes I don’t have a clue. But Bekah, dear sweet precious, Bekah is always there to lift my spirits, and help me feel like I really do belong. I can not tell you how thankful I am for all of Tyler’s family because they’re all so awesomely weird and wonderful, but often I come away thanking God for Bekah specifically because she’s the most like me. She understands my brain and that sarcasm really does equal love. She is real about life and how hard it can be sometimes and I need that. I need someone to show me how to be authentic and she does!
We ended up having to leave a little early and miss out on some good cousin time because we wanted to try to make THE Reed Christmas Party.
The Reed Christmas Party is just a huge potluck where we all sit around and talk. It literally consists of my mom’s entire family. All of my Grandpa’s siblings and their decedents (or a lot of them anyway, we can never get us all in one place at the same time) get together around Christmas just to hang out and catch up with each other. While the *ahem* more mature people stay upstairs and visit, the kids go downstairs and have our own little party. We’re all mostly second cousins, and some of them I see a lot (here’s looking at you Brock), but others I get to see only twice a year if that. I never quite realize how much I miss my family until I see them and then it’s like no time has passed. Y’all I have a great family, but tonight I want to focus on some of the girl cousins I got to see tonight. Growing up there were three of us sandwiched together Damaris, Me, and Lydia. These girls make my soul fly. And now you throw in Mary Beth to the mix (who is actually growing up and it’s blowing my mind) and I gotta say, God definitely blessed me with these three girls! Every time I’m around them I come away feeling refreshed. They have a passion for God and a heart to know Christ intimately, not just as a casual acquaintance. We talk about life and the ups and downs that we’re all facing. We talk about mission trips abroad and right in our own back yard. We talk about our jobs, our school, our family, and whatever else comes to mind. Although our chats are usually brief, only a couple times a year, I always come away feeling challenged to do better in my relationship with Christ.
I don’t tell them enough (if I’ve ever told them), how much I admire and look up to all of them (even though I’m the second oldest). They splash the joy of Christ on everyone they meet and I am so so glad that they’re in my life!
So moral of the story is that even though this last 24 hours was ridiculously stressful, it was also ridiculously wonderful! We were making memories with some of the best cousins and friends I could ask for! I praise God tonight for allowing me to be a small part of their life and thank him whole-heartedly for making them be a part of mine!
And now for the week of Christmas to begin!