Patrick and I spent the days leading up to Christmas with his family in his hometown. I got to spend time with my brother-in-law and Patrick's best friend from his childhood. We went out into the country and did a little shooting. The guys loved the shooting the clays but I hate the kick of the shotgun so I stuck to my hand gun and did a little target practice. It was SO cold but it was really fun. We went to Christmas Eve Mass at the little Catholic Church, Mary Queen of Angels. It was lovely. We came home and had a nice meal and I opened my presents before I had to hit the road back to Kansas City.
I worked on Christmas Day and the day after. It was mostly uneventful at work which was frankly a nice break from the usual. Everyone was really in the Christmas spirit hugging each other and asking about each others families. It was very unique for the work place!
As soon as I got off work on the 26th I went home, loaded up the car with my husband and my dog and headed to the in-laws again. The next morning we woke up bright and early and made our way to Texas to see my family! I swear I will never lose that excitement that I always feel when I get to go home again. The drive was long and people drove like idiots but we made it in one piece. Thankfully. Mom had the whole Christmas dinner prepared for us when we got home! It was so good! And after dinner we opened presents and spent time catching up on what we had missed of Christmas Day.
While Patrick and I were in Texas we went with my family to San Antonio for New Years. I had been there many times in the past and so I was not surprised by any sight seeing we did. It was all fun though and it was cool for Patrick to see everything for the first time. PLUS, Patrick's parents drove down to San Antonio and we got to ring in the new year with (almost) our whole family!!! Here are some photos of the trip:
|Patrick and I outside the Alamo Church|
|"Little" brother, Christopher, Dad, myself and Patrick on the Riverwalk|
(you would never know I am six feet tall in this picture)
|Little sister, Rachel, St. Anthony and I on the Riverwalk|
|Ringing in the new year with Patrick and his parents outside the Alamo|
|Patrick, Christopher, me and Rachel|
|Siblings at breakfast one morning|
|The whole family (minus Nathan and Brian)|
The best part of the trip in my mind though was when we celebrated mass at St. Joseph's parish. It was just a normal Feast Day mass but the priest said something that really hit me. It was New Years Eve and he was talking about people making New Years Resolutions. I have never been one to make a resolution... I guess because January 1st doesn't feel like a beginning to me. If I want to make a change in my life I can do that any day really. Anyways, he said if we want to make a resolution it should be to "pay attention."
Pay attention. What am I supposed to paying attention to? It was sort of a cryptic message. I started thinking about it as I was sitting there in mass. God is here. God is present in every aspect of my life but maybe I am not always paying attention to what God is saying. If I do not feel God's presence in my life than maybe the problem is not that God is holding out on me.... maybe I'm not paying attention. Now don't get me wrong here. It's not that I feel like I have this huge loss or this absence of God. It is nothing like that. But maybe there is more to all this that I am just not seeing.
Ever since The Year of Faith has started I have felt something. I guess you could call it an urgency but maybe I am stealing that word subconsciously from the Year of Faith Prayer we say at mass. I don't know. All I know is that I believe that God is here and He is big and He is working. How can I go about my daily life and not recognize His work? So my vow is to pay attention. I don't even know what I am paying attention to... like I said... but it's something.
I also feel that I should recommend to anyone who reads my blog (so pretty much my mom and maybe 5 other people haha) to pray the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer daily. For one, I believe that prayer is a powerful one and also because St. Michael is a beast. As is Mother Mary... so Hail Mary's are great as well :)