OK, this is going to be my epic joy post. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and a warm blanket – it’s all joy, all the time!
Last night, as I mentioned before, we went to church for the Christmas service. It is one of our most FAVORITE Christmas traditions in the K-Fam. Because our church has 12 Christmas Eve services over the course of 8 days, Frank and I are always able to find a service we can attend, no matter what Frank’s schedule looks like. At the last minute, we were able to include Al, Rose and Rose’s sister, Sara. Seated way up in the 3rd balcony at Willow Creek, I was a little bit concerned that we wouldn’t get a good view of the service. It turns out, being seated way up high was the BEST view of the service. It was awesome! The service included a drama that was the modern telling of the story of Jesus’ birth. It was absolutely amazing. When the Angel was telling Mary that she found favor with God and would be giving birth to Jesus, the song in the above video played. It was absolutely magical! The whole story was told with the underlying theme of “Don’t be afraid.” What a joy to go to that service!
After church, we went to Steak ‘n Shake. Now, I have to say, if I owned a restaurant within a 5-10 mile radius of Willow Creek, I’d definitely find out when big events were happening and then get prepared! Unfortunately, that was not the case at our friendly neighborhood Steak ‘n Shake and they were just a bit overwhelmed by the crowd that came through their doors last night. After waiting a while to be seated, and then waiting even longer for someone to come to our table to get drink orders, etc., Frank jokingly told our waitress that it was free shake night at Steak ‘n Shake if you had to wait more than 5 minutes for your server. She laughed and then said, “Really? OK. Free shakes and drinks then.” And the shakes WERE free! It was a Christmas Miracle!
Oh, how my family does bring me joy!
Familial joy #64 was my sweet niece singing tonight at the Christmas Eve service at the church that Frank and I were married at. With her white-blond hair and cherubic smile, she melts everyone’s hearts. And of course #65 was my nephew who gets taller and cuter every time I see him. He’s my first-ever nephew and has a special place in my heart.
#66 and #67 are my sister-in-law Kathryn (or K2; K1 is her sister Karen) and her husband Dave. As the parents of my dear niece and nephew, of course they are a joy!
After church, we moved on to my Uncle Steve (#68) and Aunt Judy’s (#69) home for some delicious homemade corn chowder and general merriment. My cousins Meghan (previously mentioned as joy #40) and David (#44) were also there, along with my siblings (Caitlin, Andy & Sarah – also previously mentioned joys in a variety of places). While we were there, nearly everyone got to feel the babies kicking, which I would like to call joy #70. It’s one thing for me to feel the babies moving around, but it’s such a delight when others get to experience it, too!