We've plunged right in to the holidays here. We had a great Thanksgiving with everyone there, including family from Texas there to visit, showing us just how quickly a baby can grow when out of sight, and a new wife and daughter introduced to us from Chile. As wonderful as it was, it was still four days since we'd returned home, so the next day we quite literally did not step foot out of our front door. And we didn't do much more than that on the weekend, but we did have to do some shopping to prepare for the company arriving the next Wednesday.
Yep, the next Wednesday Alex's cousin came to visit. From South Africa. For the first time since they were little boys living in Bulgaria. I couldn't decide whether the fact that this was so cool was going to outweigh the lousy timing. (I mean all I wanted to do was sleep, and we were going to have company?) As it turned out, he was the easiest houseguest ever. The kid could have stayed another week and I would have been pleased to have him. He was thoroughly entertained while we were at work by a bike and vague directions of how to get around town. When I got home, he was happy to help out with whatever I was doing and equally as happy to read his book if I needed to lay down. When I needed to go to court for a quick hearing on the day I'd taken off to spend with him, he was excited to be able to attend.
He really took no effort at all, and what effort we did make (and you know we did, right?) was thoroughly appreciated. Make pickled vegetables like they have in Bulgaria? He can barely wait until they finish curing to taste them, and then from the sounds of it I had to assume they'd be outlawed in several states. Light a fire in the chimnea and have dinner in the backyard? "Lovely." We took him canoeing, where Mother Nature decided to impress him with a half dozen otters frolicking in the run, and he was thrilled.
And then, we took this architecture student and Frank Lloyd Wright fan to see Florida Southern College. Ah yes, sometimes we are good. It took up most of a Sunday and never would have been worth it for me, but for him? Oh, we had taken him to the Promised Land. He could touch and photograph actual Wright buildings and the Water Dome. It was pretty cool to be part of that!
All in all, its been crazy busy since we got back. I'm not complaining, though, since everything has been. So. Much. Fun. that I've really enjoyed the whirlwind. But, when he left a week later, I did feel it was time to declare it Christmas. I have been a busy little elf - decorating, crafting, cooking and just a tiny bit of shopping. A quick break to spend time with (yet more) company and then right back to it. Most of it is Secret Christmas Stuff (except the decorating, which isn't all that exciting), but I'll see what I can share later.
(I do have this job that they insist I show up for, and its past time for me to be in the shower and on my way.)