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- First time away from my family over the Christmas holidays
- First time sunbathing in December
- First time I ever hosted a storybook character costume party
- First time I ever made bacon ice cream (don't knock it - I got the recipe from some hoity-toity French chef and I'll add that I got pretty much all rave reviews)
- First time attending Christmas Eve service in Spanish... and having a special prayer time at the end for two elderly ladies from the church who were kidnapped
- First time eating Christmas dinner at midnight on Christmas Eve
- First time celebrating many holiday moments via skype
- First time hosting a visitor in a foreign country for one of the most precious holidays
- First time (in Honduras) jamming out in the car to all sorts of songs with someone who DOESN'T think I'm crazy for doing so
- First time crafting almost every single gift I gave for Christmas (also the first time I worried like crazy that the recipients wouldn't understand my artistic ideas and appreciate them enough to not throw away the hours it took to make them!)
- First time I witnessed in the craziest display of fireworking power in the hands of pubescent boys with gasoline and lighters and an awkwardly stuffed straw man who was blown to smithereens at the stroke of midnight... to celebrate the New Year
- First time the streets of Tegucigalpa were not bumper to bumper (for the entire holidays most of the roads were like a ghost town)
- First time I picked up a visitor in the afternoon from the airport and then didn't let him sleep until 2 am ... and then wake him up 2 hours later for our bus trip to the next country over.
- First time I achieved 7:47 on my first of four miles on the treadmill! I can thank my high school friend Joelle for this one. I have no idea why, but when I saw she ran a mile in 7:47 it became my goal to make that my first mile, but still run it at intervals. I know this doesn't make any sense to anyone ... but I was so excited!
- First time trying out my new treadmill moves (see Patrick Swayze post)
- First time returning to school from vacation feeling like I needed a vacation... and at least three days to re-adjust my body's clock from 3 am to 10 pm bedtimes.
- First time (probably in the history of man) that two people started to completely randomly sing this same line at the same time, prompted by nothing in particular, "you get a line, I'll get a pole, we'll go fishing in the crawfish pole..." Two brains can actually be random and weird at the same time!
- First time realizing how beautiful it is to have someone from one world I love walk around in another world I love equally as much.
- First time truly appreciating the power of family tradition and the importance of presence.
- First time I had people packing "to go" boxes from the spread of baked goods at my party.
- First time in a long while that I started an finished a nice, lengthy book in a few days.
- First time taking Nertz to a whole new level: I played in almost every eating establishment open late over Christmas in Tegucigalpa, in at least three places in El Salvador, with students in my house and in public places, individual and groups, and even outside. Oh! and did I mention I have a Nertz Christmas ornament? I do!
Okay, I know if I go on it will get boring. If I get a list out of the way, I generally am more likely to start writing for real. And I know there is at least one person out there (ahem, Hilda) who will keep asking me every day until I get back into the habit.
let LOVE fly like cRaZy!