Here's some recent and not-so-recent sights that bring that Christmas cheer to my heart:
Bless their little hearts. This was Christmas 1998. Brenna had just turned one, and Alex was three and a half. (Those "halfs" were a big deal in the single digit years!). We went to a beautifully decorated, festive business that we love, they even had live reindeer! So much fun! Right?! Brenna just fell apart. And Alex was stunned and not capable of smiling at the lady in the funny hat trying to take a picture of his screaming sister. This BROKE MY HEART! I hated it, and I never again in all these years took my children to sit on Santa's lap. Never. Again.
But now I look at this picture and it gives me the giggles. I'm so very glad I have this! Is that a bit twisted? I don't know. Maybe it's partly because I know these two little people have grown into perfectly normal teenagers who have suffered no lasting effects of this experience. At the time? Traumatic. Now? A memory I'm glad to have.
And last weekend was full of Christmas signs. Brad swam in a meet called "Rudolph's Plunge". It was a big flashback for me...sitting on those metal bleachers watching him swim and waiting for him to come up after his flip turn and then watching him win. Loved it. I didn't get the whole connection to Rudolph until I saw this picture:
And it reminded me of this:
So, yeah. Now I can see it. Ho Ho Ho and Merry Christmas.
And then we had the joy of celebrating Christmas with the Shipleys. It was a scrumptious meal in their beautiful...beautiful!...new kitchen. And just plain 'ole good times together. They are such a happy, bright spot in our lives, and we are so very thankful for them.
a teenagers favorite gift!
new earrings from Auntie Debbie!
here are the kids posing with Auntie Debbie. She skyped in from the Washington D.C. Costco parking lot.
Brenna's new hat and scarf from Auntie Debbie!
and here we all are. these two people LOVE us in the truest, sincerest way. and we LOVE them right back. they are a gift to us, a blessing we hold dear.
Love, love, love this season!!