Christmas Greetings From Clark & Sons

Hi all,

I'm back, well more or less anyway. Did I miss anything big while I was out? The first thing I wanted do was to send out my blog version of my Christmas card wishing all my blog friends and readers a very Happy Holiday Season from me and my family. Here to help me is my three boys, Noah, Harrison, and Sawyer along with special guest, Darth Vader (who's your daddy?).

This will be an exciting Christmas as well as a very complicated one. By virtue of the planets aligning this will be the first time my entire family - sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews - will all be together since my youngest's wedding several years ago. I know that probably sounds like we're not that close but actually we are. It's just when we all live in places like Texas, Arkansas and Florida getting schedules to match are more likely to happen by accident than as a matter of deliberate planning. Of course this means seventeen people all under one roof at any given time which will ensure our parent's tiny home will appear as something close to a refugee camp in a starving African nation. Share one shower will either make for a continual shortage of hot water or usher in the plague as a result of poor personal hygiene.

This will also be the first chance for my boys to meet Ashley's (Lois) girls which will be fun, but it will probably bring up issues too. My oldest, Noah, has already thought he and his brothers were being replaced by my "new family." This is just one of the consequences of divorce, requiring me to keep educated on dealing the fallout. Still, it's heart wrenching at times, only making me all the more desperate to find a way to move back to Chicago so I can be with the boys on a regular basis.

Now here's the other fun and complicated part. I'm actually driving from Texas to PA - I've worked the numbers to death and driving is the cheaper option even though it's the most taxing physically. I'm actually leaving with Allie and Avery - just the three of us. Because of Ashley's work schedule she can't join us until Christmas Eve when she flies into Cleveland. In the meantime, the girls and I are heading to Chicago for one day of fun, before we can pick up the boys and swing on over to PA. If you're doing the math, that means five kids for at least six hours of driving as the lone adult. I already feel crazy just writing about it. Hopefully my Army training and a dual screen DVD player will come in handy. At least Ashley will be there for the ride back.

Anyway, enough of expounding on my plans. I was supposed to be wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, not trying to arouse sympathy. So without further ado I give you the Lunchbox version of Dancing With The Stars...

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

PS. Jim, this was the dance recital I was rehearsing for that you were so intent on seeing during my absence.

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