Back to Reality

I've spent the last 15 days in the most wonderful whirlwind of friends and family.  Eating till I felt sick, and then eating some more because it tasted so good.  Spending more time in the car than I care to track, driving all around Kansas and Oklahoma, just to have a few hours with those that I love.  Seeing my cousins, and marveling at how much they still seem to change and grow every year, even though we are all technically adults.  Seeing our parents and grandparents, and marveling at the way that they really just seem to stay the same, and being thankful for that.  Laughing heartily while playing games.  Staying up way past my usual bedtime.  Ringing in 2012 the most fabulous way I could have imagined.  Being so cold I can't move my face, but having so much fun that we hardly even noticed (we noticed a little bit).

Last night, though, I put away the air mattress our friends had slept on, packed up the Christmas decorations, and returned to the normal routine of DVR'd television.

It's the same schedule as it was 15 days ago.  Same routines, same chores, same alarm going off at 7 a.m.  But it's also different.  Because now we have those memories with our families and our friends and at our childhood homes.  Those things we will always remember that we did over Christmas break 2011.  We leave a happy year behind, and head to 2012 with high hopes and big dreams of the same kind of happiness.