Advanced Practice PT - December 2019

DECEMBER 2019 | 406-770-3171


the holidays is bake sugar cookies together. We roll out the dough, cut it into all kinds of fun shapes, and throw the cookies in the oven. When they come out, we have a lot of fun decorating them, and no matter how many we bake, they’re always gone by the time the kids leave. This year, though, our holiday plans are a bit different. Instead of waiting for everyone to come to us, Steve and I are taking a full week off work and flying out to Tennessee to visit Erin and her family. We haven’t been able to spend Christmas with them for a few years, and I’m looking forward to the long visit. Still, I'll miss seeing my other two girls and singing in the church choir during the Christmas Eve service, which I’ve done for more than 20 years. Going to that service has become a tradition for our family, and one of my favorite Christmas memories centers on it. One year, when Makayla was 3 years old, she really wanted to go to the candlelight service because she knew grandma sang in the choir. Her parents hadn’t decided whether they wanted to take her because the service was past her bedtime. They told her,

Thanks to Leslie’s decorations, it feels like Christmas here in the Advanced Practice PT office, and every time I walk in, that holiday cheer warms my heart. It’s no secret that Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, and our celebrations in my house are centered on Christ, our church, and our family. My husband, Steve, and I have three daughters: Erin, Kelsey, and Monica. These days, all three are married and live away from home (Monica in Belgrade, Kelsey in Billings, and Erin all the way in Tennessee), so they can’t always make it back to Great Falls for Christmas. But in the past, we’ve been lucky enough to have all of them and their families here to visit. Our tradition is to have dinner on Christmas Eve and then go to a church service, where I sing in the choir. After church, we come home and open presents then spend the rest of the holiday playing board games or cards, just spending quality time with our girls, their husbands, and the grandchildren. We have five beautiful grandchildren, four boys (Dominick, Quinn, Eivin, and Warren) and one little girl (Makayla). One of the things we love to do when they come to our house for

our dinner and opened presents, and then I left early to get ready for the service without knowing what had been decided. A few hours later, I looked up to see Makayla in her tiny Christmas dress marching into the church with the rest of the family trailing behind her. She was looking for grandma! It was a special moment that has stayed with me over the years since. I hope that when Makayla and the rest of our grandkids grow up, they remember those church services, the songs I sang, and the true meaning of Christmas. It’s always hard for me to leave behind my work and take a vacation — I love my coworkers and patients so much, and I always strive to help as many people as I can. But during Christmas, I really try to prioritize my husband and family. So, if you come into the office during the week of Christmas and don’t see me, don’t worry! I’ll be back in no time, and I’d love to hear about your holidays during our next appointment. Hopefully, you get to spend them with your family, too.

“We’re not sure you can stay up!” but she insisted that she could. We had

–Donna Vinnedge

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