I did a thing this year and I’m not completely sure I’m okay with it.
I didn’t order Christmas cards.
I know. It’s not that big of a deal but I always do Christmas cards. I’ve done them every year (I think) since we got married. Except one year when I declared simplicity over the entire holiday season and immediately jumped back to crazy holiday season the next year.
This has been a year. It’s been a year of recovery and rebuilding and questioning. It’s been a year to look at why we do the things we do and do the things really matter. I’m learning to ask, “In one year, will I care that I did this?” and “Will the fallout of me not doing this thing matter next week? Next month?”
Christmas cards were dropped in the process. They just felt like a really huge expense for something that most people will throw away. And the reality is that social media keeps us all so up to date on the people we care about, that I didn’t think anyone would miss it. Of course, there’s still the chance that I will be wrong and I’ll be flooded with complaints from people who missed the Lexow Family card. But I doubt it.
Instead, I decided to write a year in review and fill you in on the things you may or may not have known about in our lives. Here goes nothing…
January – We had snow in Texas. Most of you know that and if you don’t, it means you aren’t in Texas and are wondering why snow would make a year in review. We don’t get snow in Houston very often. It’s super rare. But we had ice, and then snow, and then a little more ice, and a little more snow.
As Kingwood began to rebuild from Harvey, we started seeing signs of normalcy slowly enter in. Not really normal, because whether you flooded or not, you were changed. But it really helped when stores started to reopen.
I died my hair purple early in the year. I had been letting the natural gray grow out and decided it made me sad. I had nice gray; not the yellow dingy kind. No, mine was gray and white and silver and it was lovely. But it still made me sad. So naturally, I went purple.
Charlie Lexow is a good man.
I went to Waco in February with my friend, Denise. We stayed with our friend, Kathy, and went to see Kelly Minter. We also went to the Silos because JoAnna Gaines is life. It was a really amazing weekend. Denise had declared this year to be “The Year of Fun” and it looked like we were off to a good start.
In March, we welcomed a group of kids from Penn State who had come down to help with Harvey recovery work. They were led by this giant I know. We had dinner with them, talked all things Penn State, and sent them into some rough parts of town to help with clean up.
Sometime around Easter, we gave up life as we knew it and threw everything into overdrive. The days went faster and faster and all of a sudden we found ourselves doing “lasts” with Shelby.
She was confirmed, went to the 8th grade formal, and had her final middle school orchestra concert. The idea of sending this girl, who I swear was 5 about 3 days ago, to high school was swimmingly overwhelming.
Some of our dearest friends came to see us in May. Michelle gets only a handful of days with her husband each month due to his job travel. The fact that she shared some of those days with us proves that she is an amazingly generous friend; not that she needed to prove it. I already knew. She’s awesome.
We took them to Galveston to walk on the beach and see the blue water. It’s only blue after hurricanes come and suck the nasty out, so we all needed to see it. We are actually praying it’s never blue again if a hurricane is the only way for that to happen.
I’m not usually one to brag about my job but I’m about to do so. Vacation Bible School this year was just about the coolest thing ever. I think it’s safe for me to brag because I was probably the least cool thing about it. We had awesome families connecting with each other, family dinners each night, so much fun, and THE DELPINO BOYS ON SCOOTERS! It was so completely rad to see these brothers using their gifts for God’s Kingdom.
We went to Illinois in July to see all of our Marion people. I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say it might have been the best visit ever. We can relax there like no where else. The sunsets are gorgeous, the friends are hilarious, and the laughter is from the deepest places in the belly. Good belly laughs make life worth living.
And then, in the spirit of Denise’s Year of Fun, we loaded up a 2010 Camry and drove to Oklahoma! Talk about a wild trip! We drove to Tulsa, spent the night with Denise’s Aunt Mimi, got up and drove to Pawhuska to eat lunch at The Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile, and then we drove home. On the way home we stopped just into Texas and noticed a Paula Deen restaurant next to our hotel. Of course we had to go!
Did we drive to Oklahoma to have lunch? Yes we did. Dinner was a bonus.
Shelby and Seth went back to Camp Lonestar this year. It’s probably one of their favorite places in the whole world. They go with a group from our church every year. And every year they come home with stories of adventure, fun, and life changing moments with Jesus. It’s so good. It’s so, so good.
I spoke at the Renew Faith Conference in August. It was a giant room full of women who needed refreshment from God’s Spirit. I believe they got it. Not because of me; I was only a small part. No, God brought nourishment to all of us through music and speakers, worship and learning.
Lots of firsts hit us as fall approached. Seth had his first day of 7th grade, Shelby had her first day of high school, and I had my first day of school. Yep, I went back to school. I’m getting certified in children and family ministry. I’ve only been doing it in real life for about 18 years so I figured it was time to get a piece of paper that says I’m legit. You know, in case anyone starts nosing around.
Shelby went to her first high school homecoming, too. It almost made Charlie Lexow cry when he saw how gorgeous she looked. Y’all, I’m not just saying this because I grew her…she really is beautiful on the inside and the outside.
We participated in Addi’s Faith Foundation’s Walk by Faith 5k again this year. If you don’t know about AFF, I really encourage you to check out all they are doing for pediatric brain cancer research. They are helping families who are in the thick of the battle and they are fighting fiercely to find a cure.
We had more great visitors from the north come see us for Thanksgiving. The Lawrence Family decided to become travelers and made the trek to see us all the way from Illinois. We laughed and laughed and laughed some more while they were here. We ate too much, drank too much, and told a million old stories.
Can I just say, that if we have nothing else in this life, Charlie Lexow and I have some amazing friends.
I think that mostly brings us up to date. The kids have finally grown taller than me, which we all knew was coming sooner or later. Charlie Lexow is in year 20 with Shell Oil. I’m about to complete year 18 at the church. Shelby is 15, Seth is 13, and Ron Burgundy is 2.
We are hoping for some restful days over Christmas and New Years, but we’d never turn down a visit from friends. So if you find yourself hankering for a drive, come on over. We’d love to have you!
I hope you have the merriest of Christmas’s and the most blessed New Year ever.