Most of the world had the day off on January 2, but not Texas A&M. Even UPS was closed so I took advantage of a hubby at home and banked some vacation hours. One of my beloved mentors retired in December and when I walked in to my office I was greeted by Daffy Duck and candy - two things that would make most people smile. The tears came though because I already miss my friend and confidante so dang much! His shoes will be impossible to fill but I'll do my best to keep that candy jar done. I am taking donations because students love chocolate. ;)

I stayed home on Tuesday and spent the afternoon with the Munsons but by Wednesday I was back to the grind and Gigi came to hang with the kiddos. Winter made debut so it was the perfect opportunity to wear this darling wrap with the faux fur collar that the girls got me for Christmas. They were so dang excited that I wore this to work and I even admit that it grew on me. Plus the collar detaches so I can wear it when winter is over. (Which is today).

Cindy and I snuck away to the movies that night. We have new "luxury loungers" in BCS which makes going to the movies even more fun. We saw Fences which was powerful and tragic all at once. Outstanding film, incredible acting, worthwhile story. Go see it. 

Thursday was the first day we were all back on schedule and that afternoon the kids "talked" me into an impromptu playdate with the HMMs again. I made the rounds to pick everyone up and we headed to a nearby park where they chased, swung, explored and giggle all while I sat wrapped in a blanket FREEZING. But clearly these smiles were worth all that "work".

That night I had plans to make PaleOMG's Buffalo Chicken Casserole but I was too hungry to wait for the squash so I made them into wraps instead. Best.idea.ever. 

And then the week was already done - let's have two day school weeks EVERY week. The littles headed to the Munsons for a sleepover filled with American Girl dolls, Chic Fil A, princesses, Parent Trap (the original) and popcorn. 

Meanwhile I had the two bigs who really are big. And I have such a love/hate relationship with this. Caro picked Freebirds where she finished an entire Hybird and Radley finished an entire regular sized Freebird. In the middle of dinner we started talking about how Freebirds got started and how much it has grown and changed since we were in college. They were amazed that someone bought it from someone else and brought it to CS.

Rad: They must have had a lot of money...
Me: Yeah, sorry buddy, we're not rich.
Rad: That's okay... all the rich people in the bible were selfish and the poor people gave all their money to Jesus. 

And then they proceed to have a conversation about grace and humility. 
We must be doing something right!

Their night was a bit more tame - it included a rotation of High School Musical, Clone Wars and Harry Potter. This could become a Friday ritual and I'd be totally okay with it.


Winter came with a fury this weekend - it really was COLD in Texas. Like super cold. And I took full advantage of it - I didn't leave the house but for 2 hours on Sunday and that was to a coffee shop to meet some friends. We took full advantage of the snuggle time with a fire that never stopped and lots and lots and lots of book reading. This kid fell asleep 75 pages short of the ending of HP and the Order of the Phoenix on Saturday night. 

Sunday morning brought more cold weather and made it the perfect time for hot chocolate and marshmallows (thanks, Baileys!) followed by Sunday school. 

Ryan was on drop off/pick up duty which left me and this tiny tot alone. This girl cracks me up - she either wants to be sitting directly on top of me or all by herself. (I'm pretty sure she gets that from me - I'm an all or nothing girl myself). I asked her if she wanted to read or play and all she wanted to do was build all by herself ... 

We ended the glorious weekend by finishing book 5. JKR didn't hold back...and neither did our tears. 

But those were nothing compared to the joy of getting through EIGHT HUNDRED and SEVENTY pages in three weeks. Y'all. These books are loooooonnnngggg.... 

I'll leave you with my favorite words from Dumbledore again... 

"We wizards have mistreated and abused our fellows for too long, and we are now reaping our reward." - Dumbledore 

I love this time with Radley and I love that her words have given us the ability to talk about big topics in not so scary terms and ideas. I love that we are wizards and giants and trolls and house elves. I love that our pain and confusion and heartache and turmoil is in each page and so eloquently written that we both feel the impact. I have loved every page with him and I can't wait for the next 600+. 

That's us in an instant .... 

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