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Happy Sunday!

We are experiencing temperatures closer to freezing than zero for the first time in two weeks today, so this is a happy day indeed. It doesn’t mean I have plans to go outside today, but at least if someone makes me go outside I know I don’t have to wear layers to do so.

It has been a whirlwind holiday season but a good one. Connor came home on the 15th, stayed with us until the 27th when he went back to Ames and came back again on the 1st. He left yesterday for Ames as he starts his second semester on Monday already. Unlike at Thanksgiving, this time around was a pretty good visit. He was much more relaxed (up until the last few days) and fun. He was open and honest about his less-than-stellar grades and talked us through his plan to improve this semester. He cooked and joked around with everyone, shared his favorite music and movies, talked about his friends. It was fun and I hope his spring break trip home will be equally enjoyable.

Part of the reason, as you all should know by now, that Connor had to go back to Ames was the marching band traveled to Memphis to play for their football team during the Liberty Bowl. My parents’ Christmas present to us this year was tickets, a parking pass, and the hotel room for the Liberty Bowl. We all drove down on the day before the game to catch the Liberty Bowl parade and the Bash on Beale Street – a little battle of the bands event. We were able to stand next to the tubas during the Bash and thoroughly enjoyed watching him get into the songs and dance moves they do. Game day was amazing. Our tickets were on the 20-yard line four rows from the field. We had better seats than the band did! The game was fantastic, so exciting and nerve-wracking that I damaged my vocal cords. (Today is the first day I don’t sound hoarse since December 30th.) We got some amazing pictures and video and were able to see Connor one last time before we headed back the hotel. It was most definitely the highlight of the holidays.

With Connor back at school, next week marks a return to normal. Holly continues with dance almost every day as the first dance competition gets closer and closer. I have year-end closing to keep me busy at work. Jim continues his job search. He has a few irons in the fire, one of which would require us to move across the country about which I am not very happy at all. He is still struggling with anxiety and depression, so my goal is to find him projects to work on that will keep him busy and out of his head while he is home alone during the day. I also hope the first full week  back to work will bring more opportunities his way. Knowing that people are interested in hiring him will go a long way to ease his depression.

For that reason, we are all easing into 2018, trying to take it easy. I think we all understand the need to take advantage of the quiet while we can. Holly and I start dance season at the end of February, which means weekend travel for seven weeks between then and the end of April. Who knows what job Jim will find and whether it will require travel or a long commute. Watching football or other TV, cuddling with the dog under blankets, cross-stitching, reading – it is the best way to spend winter days and nights, so we are going to continue this trend as long as possible.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful 2018 so far and that you are staying warm and safe no matter where you are. Have a peaceful and relaxing Sunday as well as a busy but accomplished work week, and I will see you back here next Sunday!

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Here are past posts from the last few weeks in case you missed them the first time:

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