It’s been a busy week around here. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to an even better New Year. My sister and father visited us the weekend after Christmas. Dad came in late Friday and left early Sunday, and Kim came in late Friday and left Monday morning. It was great to have a whole day with just my sister on Sunday. We get that so rarely.
Of course, the girls had a great Christmas full of entirely too many presents…the majority of which weren’t even from us! Christmas Eve we had a quick visit with our friends Debbie and Bill before heading over for a visit with our friends Ted and Carole and their kids. Santa comes through Ted and Carole’s neighborhood on a fire truck…loud and festive! Carole baked a birthday cake, and we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, a tradition in their house which I’d like to adopt for ours. We’ve been constantly reminding the girls that Christmas is not about the presents, but that’s hard for a five-year-old to grasp, huh!? I think the birthday cake was a great way to remind them the true reason for the holiday. DH's Dad spent Christmas Eve with us as well so he could be at the house when girls got up Christmas morning.
We tried to keep our gift-giving primarily limited to the kids this year, with DH and I just exchanging one gift. I got smart this year and gave him a sale circular with what I wanted circled clearly, and it worked! Under the tree for me was a tripod and a new telephoto lens for my Nikon. He’s been talking constantly about wanting to get an iPod, so I took that as a hint and got him that and his traditional car care pack (yes, I realize that makes two gifts from each of us, but who’s counting). The girls came away with tons of clothes, toys, and art supplies…and new bikes from Santa.
The best thing I received though was a surprise gift from my sister. She told me she planned to make photo books for the girls with pictures of them from her wedding. They came out beautifully. But the surprise was for me. She made me a book as well, but instead of pictures from her wedding, it was full of old pictures of our Mom, along with pictures of us as kids and pictures of our Nana and Granddaddy. As timing would have it, we exchanged gifts on Saturday, the anniversary of Mom’s death. When I opened Kim’s gift, I realized after turning one page that I couldn’t look at it right then without breaking down, so I had to set it aside. We looked at it later together and were able to laugh over some of the older pictures. Because of our ten-year age gap, Kim and I weren’t very close when we were younger, but now, in strange part much due to our mother’s death, we’ve grown much closer and I’m very thankful for that. The photo here is of Mom’s nursing pinning ceremony. It's my favorite picture from the book.
As they say, out with the old, and in with the new! As the New Year arrives, I wish you the best of everything this world has to offer you, with a dose of laughter and humility to keep you sane and grounded. On to 2009!