Outside is a howling mess of -18 windchill and frozen roads. School is back in session and I am genuinely worried that a the tiny humans may return home frosty lil' popsicles. Inside however, there's the hum of a heater somewhere behind me, and still silence that has left me reflective of my time here. Everyone has bundled up and gone their respective ways to work and school, reminding that their lives will continue to move forward and my baby sisters (who are not babies anymore, btw, definitely both models) will continue to grow older. I'm here, cozied up next to our youngest puppy LikLik (translating to "small" in Tok Pisin, but Dad's affectionate renaming quickly turned the pup's name to PekPek, or Poop. He's cute though. If he didn't poop everywhere and pee in all the wrong places, I'd steal him away in my suitcase. I mean. Come on.
Since returning from Papua New Guinea, I have never been one for anything under 30 degrees. I shiver much too noticeably and I get grumpy.
And yet, I sit here in the middle of my childhood home, at the end of my stay here, far more relaxed and joy-filled than I have been in a really long time. I have spent time with all of my family, I met the all 38 animals my parents have accumulated since returning from the mission field. Yes. You read that right 38. If you're not following me on Instagram and Snapchat, you've missed out on some pretty excessive, however obligatory, videos of almost all of the Michael fam furballs.
Here is a peak into the crazy farm at the moment. I wanted to take pictures of the chickens but its -18. And no.
Anywho, in addition to loving on the incredibly cute animals, here are just a few of things I have been able to do while celebrating Christmas with my family.
We opened gifts on Christmas Eve, as per our tradition, and received some of the very best. I flipped out over socks and scarves though too, so I think this whole college student thing makes for some pretty dramatic reactions for I don't have to pay for. This picture was a boomerang video and even though it's a blurry screenshot, it's too adorable not to post.
You don't understand. I called my mother asking how stupid it would be to bring him home to my apartment in Virginia. "It was", she said, "incredibly stupid." I don't even know if my apartment allowed dogs but man, oh man. I was this close to making my lil someday family happen.
I did, however, partake in the convincing two newly-wedded friends of mine to adopt the second cutest dog in the world.
I went rock climbing with the very same really cool humans, and I think I'm hooked.
I visited my old elementary and middle school. And for the first time, I walked into those doors with true confidence and joy. It was a pretty big step, and I loved every second of it. Also, below is screenshot from a longer video.
I spoke to juniors and seniors here, and it was an absolute blast. I was excited to inspire and encourage them as they are quickly approaching their graduation date, and also give them a small testimony and emphasize the importance of discernment.
My grandma's new home finally arrived and when the nasty weather takes a break and the workers finish up, she, as well as an uncle of mine, will have a chance at a new life. And I couldn't be more excited.
I drove through a snow storm (and only got stuck 3 feet away from my garage, thank you very much)
I realized my mom was superwoman when she shoveled me out of three foot drifts the next day,
Anna and my favorite girl-cousin (my one and only, hehe) ventured into the dangerous depths of Hobby Lobby to put together a housewarming gift for Nana. That place, guys. Could steal all of my money.
I built a chicken coup with Dad.
I went sledding on the back of a snowmobile with my youngest sister, Kiery and the bruises will remind me of just how darned uncomfortable pure joy can be sometimes.
I stayed up way too late watching Netflix with Anna and hush hush, but I've got a few other things up my sleeve for the birthday girl. It will be grand.
I am finally registered for all 18-credits for my next semester at Liberty University, and my heart hit the bottom of my stomach when I realized I've only got 3 semesters left.
I remembered how good it is to have a full refrigerator of food I didn't have to buy.
I learned that if a cat stretches far enough, he will open doors and let a certain little poop-monster puppy in to wreck havoc in every room. Seriously. We need child protection locks on all the doors because of one stretchy and conniving kitty.
I have Pinterested a little too much and now I want to make my own desk
My purple book (self-made planner) has received much love. One day, I hope to set up an instagram account on how I keep organized through a scrapbook/ bullet journal system. What do you think?
I received more than I deserve during my stay in Washington this time, and it's a terrible thing that I have to say goodbye on Friday. But I am excited to return to Virginia and continue what little school I have left. I am excited to hug my best friend (aka my stellar boyfriend), and begin working again. It has been one of the best Christmas' ever, and I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to spend this season with my family. I cannot wait to return this summer, and this time, I hope to finally travel cross-country with the very same stellar boyfriend aforementioned. Introductions, food, laughter, hugs, and memories.
It will be marvelous.
Until next time, Washington.
All the Love,