Apologies for our lengthy radio silence! I’ve had these pictures sitting on my camera for weeks and weeks now.
Once we returned home from our Southern excursion, we were busy trying to cram an entire season of preparation into one week: hanging lights, selecting and decorating a tree and the rest of the house, baking for the office and the neighborhood, assembling Christmas cards, purchasing, wrapping, and shipping gifts, etc. We had lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services here and shared a Christmas Day brunch with some neighbors before preparing for a jaunt to Colorado to spend some time with my family. After the Colorado trip, I did a little math and found in 7 weeks we’d spent about 70 hours and 4300 miles on the highways and interstates of 8 states. I think I’d nearly recovered from the exhaustion of all that when I became completely paralyzed by the cold weather (it gets or at least feels colder than you might think here!!); unable to tear myself out from under the blankets on the couch.
So that’s why we’re now seeing pictures from December! Also, I think I’ve been procrastinating because now that these photos are done, there’s nothing to prevent me from doing our annual family photo yearbook. I love having the results, but it takes forever to create!
The first weekend in December, our friends Ben and Amber graciously drove up from Tampa with their little boy so we could spend some time together in Destin.
Watching our kids play together is so fun and surreal. Doesn’t seem long ago we were gallivanting around Hillsdale together.
Some favorites from the beach
Thanks to Amber for taking our pictures, and to Ben for making us smile!!
A couple shots of Cody playing in the apartment. Mostly I was testing out my new lens, but I am also increasingly amused by his inventive play. Here the people are crossing the tennis racket bridge to board their plane.
Ok, a bunch of pictures from Caleb’s graduation. You may notice this one has nothing to do with Caleb, but it’s recognizing this guy who had the best 5K time: can you imagine running 3.1 miles in less than 15 minutes? My jaw dropped, and then they explained this guy is an “AF elite athlete” or something, and he runs the steeple chase (it was horribly rainy, cold, and muddy on the day of the 5K) and is hoping to compete in the next summer Olympics, so I took this in case he makes it!
Now we will brag on Caleb a little bit 🙂 He is standing closest to the podium on the right, facing away, as they called his name for basically finishing in the top 10% of the class, although each flight also votes on which peer should be a DG…a little confusing.
Caleb’s flight(SOS=6 Squadrons, about 40 flights, with ~14 students, so about 600 students) got “Chief of Staff Flight”, which I guess means they did the best overall in certain categories: I believe academically, these leadership problem exercises they had to do, and physically. There were a lot of awards so it was a little confusing to keep them all straight. They also won the base dodgeball tournament, but I didn’t get a picture of that
Here Caleb receives a nice little desk name plaque from the SOS commandant
Here’s Caleb’s flight with their flight commander far left in the back. This was a really great group of people from all career fields such as pilots, doctors, a lawyer, and a bunch of other multi-word job titles that are tough to remember.
Fast forward to the end of the month in Colorado. I completely missed the ball on taking Christmas photos this year
Besides the nice gifts Cody received, this may have been the highlight of the season for Cody: Grandma and Grandpa let Cody help break up the ice on the driveway and sidewalk with a hammer!
There’s a great Lake Wobegon story called “Uncle Al’s Gift” that is about adults giving “the gift of work” to kids, because it really is a joy to learn the satisfaction of applying yourself, mentally and physically, to a challenge, and overcoming it, and receiving praise or other compensation. I was reminded of the story seeing how much Cody enjoyed this work. 🙂
And we got one shot with Grandma and Grandpa right before we got in the car to go home! Most of the time we were there was spent relaxing, although we did a little game playing, and doing the city errands and shopping we can’t do at home, AND Grandma and Grandpa babysat Cody so we could go see Star Wars: Rogue One, which we both very much enjoyed. Thanks for a great visit!