So I got a status update this morning when I opened my email. My mind started racing. Medical clearance? A hold because of something in our medical file? Could they permanently deem me unfit for service at this point? It was far less exciting than I anticipated. They put a hold on our file, but they do that to everyone when they are under review. Tim has the same update. But, in a way, it is exciting. They are actually getting around to looking at our file now. Worst case scenario, I thought we would hear something in March. And with this process, I just assume worst case scenario. Now I am thinking we might hear something before then. Maybe February? I know we have a few things missing from our file, I need to get my wisdom teeth taken out, and we need to send in our dental information. Tim is waiting to send in his dentals until I finish mine. I’m not sure why. Anyway, so medical clearance might be on the march by next month. Fingers crossed.
It was a very nice Christmas for us. We loved seeing everyone. It was a little sad for me because I kept thinking of how crazy schedules were, and that this might be the last time we see a lot of people before we leave. Certainly we won’t be around for the next two Christmases. But that also made me think that I should embrace it, take a lot of pictures, and just enjoy it while I could. Of course, it wasn’t all sugar plums and momma in her ‘kerchief. Family time never is. But maybe that’s the beauty of family. You’re still drawn to one another, even though you drive each other absolutely crazy. I know I’ll still be really sad when I hear about everyone getting together for Christmas next year.
Everyone was really nice to give us a lot of stuff we needed for the Peace Corps, but I think one sign that you’re growing up is when you get more excited to see people open the presents you bought them than you do to open the ones they got you. I think everyone liked their gifts, and it was so much fun to see Blake and Morgan (Tim’s nephew and niece, respectively) play with the toys we got them. We’re really going to miss a lot of family stuff while we’re gone, and I know we won’t even recognize the littlest ones when we get back. Hopefully Skype, phone calls, and lots of letters will help with that.
Overall, Christmas was really great. With extended family gatherings, our Christmas day together, and immediate families, I think we did a total of six. We wrapped up everything with a Knoll weekend over the New Year holiday. We requested a lot of stuff on our lists that would be useful in the Peace Corps. We really just didn’t want anything that we would have to stuff in a box in six months or that would be obsolete when we got back. I got my daypack from my Mom and Tim got his big backpack from his parents. He plans to put all of his luggage in it. It has all of these great compartments, and it seems like it will be really useful. We even used it to carry all of our other gifts home. He can also use it for backpacking (international or camping) when we get back from PC. We also got a lot of lighting … flashlights, a miniature lantern, and a headlamp. All of these will be extremely useful if we go somewhere that electricity is not available/limited. I bought Tim a portable hammock and a fan with a light on it. He bought me a smaller, more portable digital camera. Obviously, all great gifts for Africa. We also got miniature fans, a compass, and a thermometer. And we have enough Amazon gift cards from my mom, my dad, and my grammy and grampie to pretty much fill in the gaps however we want. We also got some fun stuff that we can enjoy while we’re here … sweaters, a video game. Christmas shouldn’t be all about practicality.
I hope your holidays were filled with as much love as ours. We want pictures of all of you to put in our photo album. So whenever we see you throughout the next seven months, be sure to have one ready. Or, just be ready for me to use my nifty, small camera on you.