“All I ever wanted, all I needed was you…” Yep, my happiness can easily be summed up with the lyrics from a Depeche Mode song. Now all I want for Christmas is all three of my kids under the same roof. Our airman made it home safe and sound for Christmas earlier in the week. Hence the lack of communication here. Obviously, I’ve been spending my time with him these past few days. However, I’m working today and he’s out on a lunch date with his beautiful girlfriend, so here I am.

The reunion between Jake and our puppies was absolutely priceless. After all this time, they remembered him like he left yesterday. There was a lot of excitement on their part. In fact, Athena, who is not a cuddler at all, spent Sunday morning cuddling with him on the couch. A dog’s love is wholesome, complete, and unconditional. It was a beautiful thing to witness. Initially, we let out just Maya and Athena, so they could reunite with Jake without interference from Anakin. Eventually, Anakin joined the party and welcomed Jake home with lots of kisses to his ears.

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We headed to church with Jake to surprise Mel, who was signing that morning. It was a fabulous service. Afterwards we headed to brunch with Mel and her family. Goaleilocks had to work, so he and Papa Nerd stayed home. As for the rest of the time, I’ve really made no plans. Whatever my boy wants to do that’s what we’ll do. Lord knows he has plenty of structure in the service. In the mornings, he’s been hitting the clubhouse gym, which pales in comparison to his gym on base, with the Mayor. I went with them Tuesday, so I could complete my leg day workout. My workout schedule is all sorts of off this week. Nevertheless, the clubhouse gym provided a much needed opportunity to amp up my workout.

I’ve been baking for our Christmas brunch all week. Initially, I had some pretty ambitious plans, but I have decided to keep it simple this year. Mostly because it took three attempts to get the mint cookies completed since the dough goes quite fast. Yesterday, I baked another batch of mint cookies, the joulutorts (Finnish star cookies,) and mint bars. I’m going to start my caramel rolls this morning, so everything is ready to rock and roll tomorrow morning. I’ll also get the pulla baked today. Both take significant time to make, but most of it is not active time. There’s a lot of waiting involved for both breads. Late this evening, I’ll knock out the Krumakes if I’m up to it. Those could be easily made tomorrow morning before guests arrive. We will be filling them with whipped cream, cloudberry jam, lingonberry jam and blueberry jam.

Speaking of cookies, my dear friend Brian dropped off his famous Christmas cookies Tuesday afternoon. It was such a gift to see him. Naturally, we really enjoyed the cookies. In fact, they didn’t see Tuesday night. Moreover, my airman and him were able to speak about their experiences in the Air Force. It was nice to be a party to the conversation. As we celebrate Christmas Eve tonight and Christmas tomorrow, my heart will be full. Rest assured we will savor every moment we have with all three of our boys during the holiday season. While our hearts our full of gratitude, we hold in our heart the servicemen and women that aren’t able to be with their families this holiday season. Lastly, we send them and their families our love, gratitude and prayers.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Red and The Black, Stendhal by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 7, which means it is cardio day. However, I still have to complete the arm workout.

*I’m so excited!!!! He’s here!

*We’re headed to church with Mel and her family for Christmas Eve. Afterwards, we’re heading to my brother’s for some appetizers and games.

*I will, hopefully, finish my baking.

*I am enjoying the MN Christmas blizzard from afar. Our temps are a bit warm today as we head back into the 80s.

*I actually know that today is Friday and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s here and I’m pretty damn excited about it!

*Today I ran two miles and walked a quarter of a mile. I’ve started running with Anakin outside since the weather has been nice. He’s much faster than me, so it’s been quite the adventure. Fortunately, he hasn’t killed me trying to pursue a lizard or mouse.

*Today’s word of the day is rejoice, which is pretty fitting for my current emotional state.  

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Carol of the Bells performed by Lindsey Sterling;

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