With the craziness that the holidays ensue, Patrick and I have tried to simplify our merriment. For us, it's not about saying "no" to things, but saying "yes" to the things that matter. We opted out of our church's Breakfast with Santa to celebrate the Birthdays of last weekend. While our trek to Montgomery/Huntsville didn't exactly feel simple, it mattered.
This past week I've had the blessed opportunity to celebrate the spirit with 2 special groups of friends. My IHS work family refreshes me through the daily melodrama of high school. They are the recipients of email threads of vents, sarcasm, laughter, and delirium. They are the lunch bunch who I can be my true self with. They love my daughter; they love my husband; they support my dreams; they get my quirks. They are a gift. After school on Thursday, 6 of us with our kiddos celebrated by exchanging gifts, eating holiday snacks, and toasting our spiced cider to the end of another semester.
On Saturday, I attended my annual Christmas brunch celebration with my oldest and dearest of friends. I'm thankful that we get together numerous times throughout the year, but our holiday gathering is always one of my favorites. These girls know my history, and they love me for the girl I was and the woman I am. They are a true safe haven. This year we met at Andrea's newly renovated and new-to-her home. We celebrated the babies of 2009 pictured below: Kamry, Reese, Rylee, and Knox. And we can't wait for Baby Girl McCasland to make her appearance in March 2009. We missed Kristen (and Zac) for sure, we hope to see her on her Nashville tour after Christmas.