"I am with you always."
I've been feeling a bit depressed lately. No particular reason why. Just life, etc. This past Thursday night, we had dinner with some sweet friends of ours (Elizabeth & Josh). They invited us over & Elizabeth made a very tasty dinner & dessert (good ole chocolate chip cookies) & it was just fun to catch up with them about their winter break. I left their apartment feeling refreshed and even inspired.
Later that night, Brett asked me if I would like to go out for breakfast the next morning. Let's just say this doesn't happen on a regular basis. :) To sweeten the deal for him, I let him know places we could go because we had coupons! We decided to try a local place called Randy's Diner. We showed up, and almost every vehicle in the parking lot was a truck. We had a feeling we were going to like this place. We went inside, and I asked if we sat ourselves. The waitress confirmed that we should seat ourselves and that she'd be with us in a minute. As we began our quest for a table, I was looking for a high chair for Luke. All of a sudden, Brett stopped. It was like he had noticed someone he knew and was going to chat with them. When I looked at the table, there sat my friends, Katie (who lives in Bloomington, IN) and Jill (who lives in Omaha, NE). I've known them since middle school and Katie was my maid of honor. My mind wasn't registering what was happening, and once it did, I said "What the heck?" I also started to cry. I was overwhelmed with joy. My sweet husband had asked my friends to surprise me for my 30th birthday. I soon found out that another good friend from Omaha, Philly, was supposed to join them, but her precious little daughter got sick. It was an awesome breakfast, for multiple reasons. :)
On the ride back to our house, I heard the words from Brett that I needed to hear. "When I planned this, it was my expectation that I would watch Luke so you could do whatever you wanted with the girls." I felt so much freedom after hearing this. I may have even teared up again. The girls and I spent the rest of the day in Boulder...Celestial Seasonings tour (we got to wear hair nets!), Pearl Street, and a tasty Italian restaurant.
The next day I drove down to Denver (they were staying with Jill's brother-in-law) and we spent a little time at the Colorado Mills mall and then had lunch at On the Border. We all had also been watching the weather. Snow was in the forecast, and it had already begun to snow in Nebraska. Jill decided that she should cut her trip short, since she was driving. It was a wise choice, but we were bummed to see her go. I then spent the rest of the day with Kate showing her Washington Park, South Pearl Street in Denver, and of course, we had to stop at the REI flagship store. :) We then headed back to Greeley where we picked up the boys and then had dinner at $1.50 a Scoop. Quantity. Not necessarily quality. ;) Brett & Kate both were fighting sicknesses, so Sunday was spent eating yummy food at home and watching a movie, until it was time to take Katie to the airport.
Brett, in a way, gave me the sweet gift of friendship by arranging this surprise. It was a gift I desperately needed but didn't know I needed. My heart has felt so much joy by the thoughtfulness, kindness, generousity, and love of my friends and hubby, even though my friends are back at home. I am blessed with the best of friends.
Happy New Year from Denver. I am sitting in our hotel suite (and it's sweet!) at the Hyatt in downtown Denver. I'm not here just for me; it's the Denver Christmas Conference. I think over 1100 college students made it this year, and I've heard some encouraging stories from my hubby and Mark & Jess (a couple with a little guy named Isaac that are also on the UNC-Greeley team & our suitemates for the week). Unfortunately, I haven't experienced much outside of this suite.
It goes back to our earlier holiday travels. We drove around the midwest and were away from our Colorado home for 2 weeks in December. At each destination, Luke had some kind of sickness...a cold in Beloit, WI; threw up in Republic, MO; threw up again and pink eye at Stockton Lake, MO. Even though it was sweet to see some friends and family, I was anxious to get home and get Luke well. Over Christmas and for a few days, he had a fever and was coughing a lot which managed to keep him, as well as us, up at night. My worry grew. I soon also got a sore throat and feared that we had strep throat. After a phone call to our doctor's office, I felt some peace because I was told that kiddos Luke's age don't get strep. Not long after that, my throat began to hurt so much that I didn't want to talk or swallow. We went in to the doctor's office the next day (the day we were supposed to leave for Denver for DCC). At first Luke was diagnosed with an ear infection, and we were told he wasn't infectious (I asked...I've been looking forward to idea of using the childcare at DCC for a while). However, after they tested me for strep and it came back positive, we were told that Luke probably has the same thing, and that we were both infectious for 48 hours. AHHHH!!!!
So, Brett left for Denver later that night, and Luke and I stayed at home for a couple more days. Since we were no longer infectious, and I was a little stir-crazy, we headed for the Hyatt on the 29th. Little did I know that my coughing/hacking was just beginning. It has kept me (and occassionally Brett & Luke) up more than I would like. Actually, I wouldn't like it at all, and I don't!
Enough of that. I'll just wrap this up by telling you that my hopes and expectations for some sweet time with students and enjoying this conference didn't quite happen. It's a bummer, but it's not all bad. I got to spend my 30th birthday (on the 30th - haha! GOLDEN!) with my hubby, friends, & students. I got see the 16th Street Mall New Year's Eve fireworks just outside my hotel window. I got to see Luke finally get better (maybe I won't be putting him in childcare after all...).
Overall, I know I am blessed and God's beloved. I can't say I'm fully believing it, and I'm definately not feeling it, but I can acknowledge it. Right now, on this New Year's day, I am weak (physically, emotionally, spiritually), but I am thankful that my strength is not my own. I am thankful that I am not my own. I belong to God. He is my strength. And Christ is and will always be my Savior. Amen!