My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Brunch 2013

I took a lot of pictures of our family Christmas Eve Brunch today but the best memories are the ones that happened when the camera was put away. I think that's a true measure of how much you're invested in a particular moment in time - when you're no longer viewing it through a lens or over a screen - when it encompasses your entire attention.

Like... sitting beside my niece Sarabeth this morning in a quiet corner. She, like me, gets overwhelmed in a large group. I love having all my loved ones in one place but I always feel like I do a poor job of connecting with everyone equally. I feel like I miss a lot. Sarabeth is a full on introvert and as she's gotten older, she's much happier hanging out with a book than sitting in a group of people. That's also partly because of the whole awkward adolescent thing now that she's 11. I was glad to have her all to myself for awhile in our own quiet corner so that we could catch up. Since I see her often, we have our own inside jokes and I think she's much more comfortably hanging out with Aunt Heather.

Her sister Jamie, on the other hand, makes a perfect Belle of the Ball. Today Jay wasn't feeling great so she took refuge for awhile in the library upstairs. I went up and spent some really great time laying on the floor with her talking about the random things we talk about together - how I used to read books that were beyond my age level (such as reading Helter Skelter when I was nine) - how my grandmother used to lay on the floor and prop her feet up on a chair so that the blood could run back into her head. Jamie and I tried it and both agreed that having the blood run back into our heads made us a little dizzy.

Then when Sarabeth joined us in the library and the girls were fighting over Sarabeth's book (Diary of  A Wimpy Kid) I had them each take a passage of the book and sing it to the tune of Jingle Bells. By the time they each took a turn they were giggling so hard that they forgot their argument. And I gently reminded Jamie that sister was reading the book and she could have a turn once sister finished. They both got some great books from Uncle Bryan so there's plenty of reading material and no reason to have to both read the same book. I also reminded them that if they were squealing while I was watching them that their parents would think I couldn't watch them - and we don't want THAT to happen, do we? (That snaps them to attention - they love spending time with Aunt Heather.)

Those moments are precious. Other moments that make for such great memories are our new tradition of making stockings for everyone. It was a joint project between me and my mom - stockings made of a fleece blanket we got for cheap at Walmart and filled with stuff she got with her drug store frequent shopper points and I got with a small surplus I had on my food stamps. The stocking stuffers were not expensive - huge suckers, lip gloss, fancy hot chocolate mix - but putting them together was fun.

 Thems my babies! 19, 23 and 27... all mine. All adorable, kind, loyal, loving men. I'm so proud that it brings me to tears. I don't just say this because they're mine - they're really special men. The world is better because they're in it.
Austin, Cody, Ryan 

Marquee, Me, Sara
Look at these smart, ambitious girls that my sons have found... they're going to be the kind of women that my grandchildren can look up to and respect. I'm not in any hurry - but I have a sense of peace knowing that these girls will most like be the mommies of my grandbabies. They'll be great. Right now they're working hard on their education and practicing on furbabies. And taking good care of my sons which makes me eternally grateful. 
Having all my kids around was a real treasure for me. I'm not that mobile any more and I miss out on a lot of things with them but having them spend the night made for a lot of quality time. I hope we can continue this tradition. Sitting with them I'm always just amazed at who they become... that those little seeds I planted and watered and nurtured turned out to be these really solid men with good women by their side. I want to say, "I did that!" but the truth is something more like, "with God's help, with a lot of assistance from my parents and from other people who loved us and supported us, with a lot of tears... WE did that." 

I had a bad hair day because I didn't take the time to straighten my hair this morning. I ran a brush through it but there was a lot of activity and I look sort of a frizzy mess but I still didn't want to avoid photos with my loved ones. I posted on facebook too so forgive if these are a duplicate for you.

And now... for my fabulous, creative Christmas present idea I was boasting about a few weeks ago. I found that you can go to and print a picture as a blue print which means you get a large copy of a picture for a ridiculously cheap price. I wish I had been able to invest in better frames but at least for the initial display, they look ok. The trick to it is using a black and white photo that is simple and doesn't have a lot going on in the background. It's just so cool to get a huge photo - these were 2 foot by 3 foot - for a minimal price. Seriously, less than $10 each, including the frame. I see more of these in my future.

 I got Angie a picture of her with Jamie and another picture of her with Sarabeth. Dr. Angie just got a promotion at work and now has a real office so she can put the pictures there (or anywhere, whatever she wants to do!). My brother's pictures were from the side of the baptistry while he was baptizing the girls. You can't see the girls faces but you can tell that it's a poignant moment.

 I printed this one out for my parents - our favorite picture of Sarabeth and Jamie walking down the dirt road that leads to their home.

Sara's gift - photo of her and Ryan that I snagged off of facebook. Turns out it was their first Christmas together and her great-grandma who was photobombing right behind Sara passed away a few months after this photo was taken.
This is Marquee with her photo of her baby, Sammy, larger than life.

Anyways... that's about all for today. I'm exhausted. I've had three straight days of much more activity than usual and the pain is off the charts tonight. I was pacing earlier... heart racing... that's what happens when it gets to a level of pain that I can't manage. But at least we're done. I have an invitation to Christmas Dinner at my brother and sister-in-laws house tomorrow night and I hope I'm going to be able to pull that out. My sister-in-law is one of my closest friends and we never get to spend enough time together.

I'll do a separate post tomorrow showing you how spoiled and blessed I am! I got lots of great stuff for Christmas and am so grateful for the people in my life who love me and take good care of me.

It is well with my soul.
Peace on Earth.
Love to y'all.
Merry Christmas!


monique said...

Awesomeness(?) at it's best!
What a wonderful Christmas you are having. Just beautiful, family and all.
I hope you can pull of dinner tomorrow. That would be the icing on the cake.
Enjoy & a very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

monique said...

ps. Thanks for the oreo balls recipe. And I love those stocking you and your Mom made. Perfect. Those will be around for years. Nice job ya'll.

Lea said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family! Looks like you are having a great time! God bless all of you in 2014 also.:)

Lea said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family! Looks like you are having a great time! God bless all of you in 2014 also.:)