I've heard from a couple of people that I need to get a new blog post up. I agree.
Aside from the ice storm upon our arrival in Minneapolis, our trip to the mainland was fantastic. (And let's face it, the ice storm wasn't really a major detraction - it's a great part of the story.) We spent the first part of our trip in Minnesota visiting my family. We had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with the whole family so Zac got to experience the chaos and noise of a holiday at my parent's house. We also got a chance to go back to the Como Conservatory where we got married almost three years ago.After our trip to Minneapolis, we flew to Denver, rented a car and drove to Zac's home in Nebraska. We happened to be traveling on a Husker football game day, so we ended up stopping in Ogallala for some food so we could watch at least part of the game. Once Zac was confident that a Husker win was pretty much guaranteed, we continued on to his parent's house. It was good to see Zac back on the farm in his work clothes, driving his pickup. He was very content.
Zac spent a number of days helping his dad put together a new corral for the cattle. This involved digging post holes, putting in the posts, tamping them to get them to stay put, and then attaching large metal panels. It was dirty, heavy work and Zac loved every minute of it. I "helped" too sometimes. And by "help" I mean that I stayed out of the way most of the time. I did get to add some buckets of water to concrete mix, so I contributed something to the project.
We played cards and marbles and watched football over the 10 days we were there. We were also able to visit Zac's uncles and aunts, grandpa and grandma. I think we did a pretty good job of seeing as many family as possible. Zac's mom fed us a ton of great food so I felt compelled to run a couple of times while I was out there. I ran through the cow pasture one time, making sure to check over my shoulder every now and again to see if I was being pursued by a herd of cattle or a coyote - a wee bit different than running in my neighborhood in Hawaii.
After our stay in Nebraska we drove back to Colorado and headed to Zac's brother's home in Colorado Springs. Zac and his brother went up to Winter Park to ski for a couple of days while my sister-in-law and I spent some quality time hanging out. I really like my sister-in-law and this was a great opportunity to get to know each other better. We talked about everything under the sun, and hanging out with their kids was a blast. When the guys got back from skiing we celebrated Christmas and had a fun time watching the kids playing with their new toys. We had a great time visiting everyone, but after three weeks of traveling I think Zac and I were both ready to get home.
So now we're back in Hawaii and I'm all out of sorts. A few days after we got back to our home, a friend of ours and his wife moved in with us. So I spent the first couple days back desperately trying to get the house up to guest-status. I was balancing cleaning with trying to get some work done. My invoice for December work is due on the 22nd because of all the end-of-the-year holidays, meaning that I only have about 10 days to get some hours in for the month. No hours worked = no pay. And not getting paid for the month of December is not okay.
So now that our friends are here I'm trying to balance entertaining, working and Christmas prep which leaves little time (or energy) for me to run. I'm not sure you all realize how much effort it takes for me to go run - it's like being forced to go to the dentist for fillings three times a week. I find running to be just awful. Some of my friends find that they do their best thinking while they run. My only thoughts are, "Am I done yet? How much further/longer do I have to go? I've heard this song on my mp3 player too many times. I'm really not any closer to being done??? Has time stopped?" I don't know how people find clarity when they run. I only find boredom and suffering. But I like to eat dessert, so run I must. Cheesecake is cruel mistress.
Anyhow, we're home. The dogs are happy to see us, we are happy to see them and we're looking forward to some rest and relaxation over the next couple of weeks. (Well, except for the work bit. I've still got five days to bust my butt on that. But then rest and relaxation.)