(I totally posted this unfinished! Yikes! Me and my haste. Here's the full version.)
There are few emotions in this world that I love more than excitement. When I was younger and we were going on a trip, or I was headed to camp, I would pack a month before we left, only to need everything in my suitcase and have to re-pack 3 or 4 times before actually departing. Sometimes, the thrill of planning to go is better than the actual going, but who cares. It's a glorious, deep-down-in-the-very-soul feeling. So here are some things I'm excited about.
1. Christmas in South Dakota. Oh my!!! On December 19 I fly to my home state, into the airport with 10 gates, with the hour drive to the town with no fast food, no big grocery stores, safe streets, and more love than one should deserve. We will celebrate in the new home of my brother and his family, I will have coffee with my mom and dad while Sophie explores their house, I will cook meals, and beat my brother DOWN in wii golf (Sorry J-man, couldn't let that one slide). I can't remember the last time I spent so many days - 9! - in the home of my birth.
2. Pork loin with Greek Potatoes. Katie posted a recipe for Greek Potatoes on our new family recipe blog and I have been daydreaming about them all week. I pulled a Pork Loin from our freezer and sometime this weekend, my house will smell of garlic, lemons, and roasted pork.. in short, a little bit of heaven.
3. The Cornett Family Christmas. Roy has a big, white-headed, opinionated family whom I love dearly. And they are lucky to all get together twice a year. I've only seen everyone together once, and that was last year when we took the family picture, and even then, Aunt Vicki's daughter couldn't make it. The Cornett Family Christmas is a little bit different than my family's where you take turns opening gifts and ooh and aah and tell stories over why you bought it. It is understandable. If this approach were taken, we wouldn't be done for days! But this all-day event is filled with laughter, subtle (and not so subtle) jabs from the uncles, wine and bourbon, and finally, a big, adults-only family dinner.
4. Thursday night Television. Okay, I love TV. I have something of an addiction so I try to monitor what I watch. I can admit to my guilty pleasures (Project Runway) and feel that I am redeeming myself with wholesome shows (How it's Made). But no night of TV is more enjoyable for me than Thursdays. We watch Survivor and DVR "My Name is Earl", "The Office", and "30 Rock", 3 of THE BEST shows on television right now. Sophie goes to bed, we pop some pop corn, and snuggle in for a night of mind-numbing entertainment. Now "Earl" has some redeeming values so does that counteract my watching Survivor? I'll say yes.
5. The Bixel Family Reunion. It has been far too long since I've seen many members of my extended family. 10 years too long. So family reunion organizing has begun. It has been difficult to decide a lot of things when there are upwards of 80 people to plan for, but the thrill and excitement of being able to see my cousins and their children surpasses it all. We can have it in the parking lot of McDonalds for all I care if I get to see these beautiful people. This invades my thoughts on a regular basis and it's one of my favorite things to think about.
6. Bed. Is anyone else with me on this? When the clock hits 8:30 and I start to yawn and think, "ooh, 8:30 is a little early..." I get excited. I can usually hold out until 10:00 to crawl into my soft sheets, pull my quilt up to my chin and my book of the night stand. I can sometimes get as much as a chapter in, but usually it's not more than a page or two, before I click off my light and drift off.
I could go on and on I think. With everything that is going on in this world - Darfur, Iraq, just to name the most obvious - I think it is important to recognize our good fortune and honor it with some good old-fashioned joy.