I believe that nothing but good can come from mom making you her cinnamon rolls when you visit. Of course, I also believe that you should learn to make them yourself, nothing but good could come from that too!
I am so sorry to hear of Jud still not feeling his best. I hope that by the time this letter reaches you, he will of found some improvement.
Ani- I understand your need to visit with your husbands family this Christmas. I often find myself juggling holidays between my family and my family by marriage and it is not easy. You will be missed though! I found myself imagining kooky talents you and I could do together the other day. There will be more Christmas Eve's though. You will be missed but it will make the next time all the sweeter.
Germany! How lovely would it be to visit Germany! You have two years to convince Jud, so I say there is certainly hope. It seems to me that nobody can persuade him like you so I won't be surprised if a trip to Germany is in your future. France would be so dreamy. Twenty five years ago I had a young Frenchmen pleading with me to come visit him. A trip to France (or Germany) seemed impossible so the idea of it being within reach..... it seems you MUST make it happen! I do hope you can go and if you do, I will live through your vacation.
I cannot believe I didn't mention Nolan's birthday in my last letter! Well, there was no party with friends, it was a simple day, but nonetheless, I am surprised I left the day out. Nolan's birthday was on the Sabbath therefor we went through our usual Sunday routine, Sabbath day meetings and the like. He asked for ribs for his birthday dinner, I of course obliged. He wanted me to surprise him with his birthday cake and I went with a sampler cheese cake. I know you have teased me in the past for getting my children's birthday cakes from the bakery but I predict you will reach this point in motherhood one day in the not too far future. Nolan gave me a wish list of gifts he hoped to receive for his birthday (does he think I am Santa??) which involved a lot of UFC stuff. Have you heard of UFC? It's like boxing, only worse. I don't know how, why, and where his UFC love came from and I don't like it. But love it, he does. Rae and I both made him a UFC poster and then Zoe drew him a UFC picture and put it in a frame. His reaction to it was sweet. I haven't checked to see if it's on his wall though. He got a speed bag and some other odds and ends. He seemed to of had a good birthday and seemed happy with everything we gave him.
As far as having 2 sons old enough to vote..... I have no words for this feeling. My kids are growing before my eyes and in some regards it is amazing to watch and in other ways, I would do anything to have it back to the way it was. I think for my next birthday, I am going to ask Gary for a time machine. When we visited my mother in law last, we stumbled on video they took of a trip in '94. Visiting us was one of their stops in the the film. Wes was almost 5. I held back tears, seeing him so young and innocent. His grampa asked him 'how's it going' and he nervously looked into the camera and said, "I have a big backyard. Wanna see it?" Priceless. So much has changed since then. His grampa is no longer with us, we no longer live in the state we lived in then, and the kids who were so little then aren't little kids any more. I am telling you- in the blink of an eye!
As your older sister, I am insisting that when you visit later this month, that you take back the table cloths and the dishes I offered. If you put the dishes in between your clothes in your suitcase, they will be safe on the airplane trip back. I am sure of it. The dishes are not fragile and if I packed them in a box to have shipped to your home, I would wrap them up in something similar and they would have the same chance of making it safely to your home.
Thanks for letting me talk to baby JT on the phone last night. I cannot wait to see him.
Love to all,