Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah!

I'm sitting here thinking about how I should update this blog and realizing I have no idea what I'm about to write. My favorite thing about EmmA's blog is that she always has these funny or deep stories to write about (I'm not speaking in 3rd person here) -- but I'm sure you're all (the 3 of you who read this) used to my ramblings anyway.

I may throw in a periodic Christian pick-up line just to make this interesting.

Thanksgiving was good. It was the first Thanksgiving we've had without Joseph, Micah, OR Benjamin, which was kind of sad. Also peaceful. heh. But I missed them, especially when we would have had a singing as a family on Thanksgiving and when I was creaming Jesse in Halo. #right Thanksgiving also always makes me miss Mamaw and fighting with her over whether or not she should be helping in the kitchen. And we missed our annual Thanksgiving night singing with the Broadwells again this year. 2 sad years in a row without them in FL. Not okay. But the holiday was good and relaxing. I think I am finally almost well from my pneumonia (my slight cold), and I only have one paper and one presentation and 3 test in between me and finals. And then I just have finals and packing before I get to go to my favorite place on earth (PA) to be with my favorite people on earth (my family.) So excited, so blessed.

A few things that the break reminded me to be thankful for:

A. My hardworking, uncomplaining Mom. She had neck surgery and gets tired and experiences pain every day, and even though she had to lie down some or ice her neck a few times a day, she never complained. Despite the fact that she kept milking it and making me lift things for her and traipse all over the house to do things for her, (Okay I really just like making a big deal out of that) she cooked, cleaned, laughed, talked, and took care of me all week cheerfully. Love my Mel.

2. Grandparents. Losing Mamaw reminded me that even in the frustrating or tiring times, every minute spent with my Grandparents is valuable, and I'm grateful that Grandma and Grandpa are local for me to learn from and get lots of hugs and jokes from. :)

D. My Dad. I always loved and respected my Daddy, but I've learned so much the past few years about how incredible it is to have such a faithful, wise, selfless, loving, funny, strong Dad. Despite the shoveling of eggs every Sunday morning and the braided belt tradition of my youth, I have learned that my wonderful family is a blessing that even most Christians don't have to grow up with. Thankful for his public and private leadership, and his example of hard-work and his patience and selflessness with money to take care of his kids (me).

4. Jesse. This kid is great. Irritating sometimes, yes. But it's humbling to see how much he's grown spiritually. From hearing him lead heartfelt and powerful prayers in services, to seeing his tender heart and conscience at work every day, I am honored to be able to learn from my little brother and his grown-up example.

Other blessings: great older brothers, incredible sisters, nieces and nephews, great church family, food, shelter, Disney world, happy mail, coffee, William, Christmas lights, Andy Cantrell sermons, the story of Hosea, ReepiJeep, Dr. Crispell, coffee dates with Alli, encouragement from JP, FB chats with Emma, every second with KT, skype with Lauren and Gwen, laughter, Isaiah, and hugs.

Oh right. Christian Pick-up lines.

"Hey girl, I was just reading through the book of Numbers and realized I don't have yours...."
"Hey girl, If I walk around you 7 times will you fall for me?"
"Hey girl, you make me feel like Samson with his hair cut off, weak at the knees."
"Hey girl, you're like manna from Heaven, fresh every day."
"Hey girl, yeah, I don't like the new NIV either...."
"Hey girl, I hear you're looking for a knight in shining armor, I'm wearing the full armor of God."

So ready to finish my tests and go to Pennsylvania and be with my family for a week. Cannot even explain  how excited I am about that. BUT, today I'm going to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party with my dearest FL friends, tomorrow I'm eating breakfast at the Hammy family's #GrubClub #newmember And I'm so grateful for these last couple weeks of the semester with so many good people and opportunities around me.

God is so good. :)