Wednesday I turned in the final final draft of my thesis and also had a 30-minute presentation to give in one of my classes. That evening we hosted a big Christmas party with Rodney’s co-workers, which required a clean house and lots of food preparation. Let’s just say I didn’t get much sleep the night before.

Thursday I slept in until 11. I can’t remember the last time I slept that long…and it probably would have been even later, but Daddy and Josiah woke me up with fresh hot Pilsbury cinnamon rolls. 🙂 I spent pretty much the rest of the day sitting on the couch talking with the hubby (about something other than my thesis topic and what still needed to be cleaned :)), and hanging out with the little man. We took in some cheap happy hour food in lue of making supper, and then came home and watched a movie. It was a true Sabbath Day that was much needed and long anticipated.

Today (Friday) has been spent catching up on regular life.

The last month has been busy, but although it kind of feels as though I did nothing besides school work, we did lots of fun stuff! Let me share…

We went back to Nebraska for the week of Thanksgiving.

We spent a day with Nana Sandy and Grandpa Doc (Rod’s dad) at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha.

(My husband and I have realized since moving away from the area that we really took this place for granted growing up). The Henry Doorly Zoo is–by far–the best zoo we’ve ever been to!

As it turns out, a cold day in November is actually a perfect time to go to the zoo. There are so many fabulous indoor exhibits…

…and almost no crowds.

On the way home from the zoo we stopped off in Downtown Omaha and went down the slides. Josiah LOVED them! We discovered over the summer that we had fewer melt downs when it was time to go if we mentally prepared Josiah that we would be leaving, let him go down the slide one more time, and then said “bye bye park” as we left. I have never heard such a sad good-bye as when we left the big slides that evening…

The next day, Josiah got to have his SECOND second birthday with Grandma, Grandpa, Ben, Carol, Tommy, and Tyler (my family)!

Carol made him a great birthday cake!

Tyler made a great card and brought out a big present…

And everyone helped Josiah play with his new toys 🙂

Of course, Thanksgiving was a big day of great food, and Black Friday a big day of shopping.

(For the record, I like Black Friday shopping the “old fashioned way” (at 6 am) much more than this crazy 3 am stuff. But were we up? Yes we were!)

Daddy drove home to work on Friday, but Josiah and I stuck around for the weekend and I kept quite busy reupholstering my parents couch. Of course, I failed to take any “after” pictures, and although I took plenty of pictures throughout the deconstruction process (in order to remember how to put it back together)…I didn’t really get a “before” picture, either. You can sort of reconstruct a before picture from these…but you’ll have to wait for an after one.

Josiah has never had so much fun with his aunts and uncles…he is getting big enough to keep up! He also had some special bonding time wrestling around on the floor with Grandpa.

Ironically, most of my pictures of Josiah from the week were of him sleeping…all that playing will wear a guy out!

Since returning home, we’ve taken turns sharing a nasty cough and cold, and I spent a few full days parked in front of the computer making my final edits to my thesis.

We have also had a number of fun Christmas celebrations,

including a cookie exchange with our church family…

(Josiah and I made Christmas cookies, but I failed yet again to take any “after” pictures).

… a couple days later, we had a dinner party and gift exchange with some dear friends,

(for which my friend Abbie created this FABULOUS centerpiece with real cranberries, roses, and trimmings from their Christmas tree)…

The most recent of the celebrations was the party we threw last Wednesday.

We had hot apple cider…

eggnog, and wine…

and this delicious spread of food: Cookies, Oreo Truffles, Hot Mama’s Relish, Snowball Cheese, Jalepeno Popper Spread, Lil Smokies, and a cheese tray (the empty bowl was for bread to dip, which was still in the oven).

As always, the biggest hit was the chocolate-covered cherry mice (A Keim family tradition).

Mmmm. I love Christmas.

We host one more dinner party this coming Monday, and head off to visit family in Knoxville on Wednesday. In the meantime, Rodney has a major testing/interview process to go through at work, we have Christmas presents to get, make, and wrap, I have a few final loose strings to tie up for my school semester, and we have a Christmas letter to write and cards to send.

Will we make it? We’ll see.

Will we sleep? Probably not enough.

Will we enjoy the our holiday vacation when it arrives in just a few short days? You bet!

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