The week was jump-started in a merry way with preparations for the Winter Solstice Open House/Party. We were busy in the kitchen over the weekend and throughout the day on Monday, the 20th, getting food ready and getting our house wintery, sparkly clean. Nearly two weeks after the fact, I'm still on a bit of a high from the party we threw, the new friends that filled our rooms, and the warmth and joy that filled our home.
On the 23rd we spent a few hours with the Bells, which
was a good time. They blessed us with practical and totally unexpected gifts, served us fine coffee (with Bailey's!), let us cozy up by the fire, and filled our hearts with their love. They have been our only steady friends in the three and a half years we've been in this town. We cherish them. The picture to the right is of Z showing Carol how her new laptop works... and loving it.
Later in the day Kristi and Caleb arrived to spend the night
for the first time and we all had a great visit! It was the first time in years that I can remember hanging out with my sister and it felt natural - easy, even. This year's been good for our relationship and I hope we continue to grow closer in the years to come. I felt like the time was finally right to ask her about Caleb's birth and she filled me in on all of the details. We talked about pain management, breastfeeding, circumcision, Mom's death, the transition into moth
erhood. It was just really good, refreshing even.
The morning of Christmas Eve got off to a hurried and frantic start. I tried to fit too much into a small amount of time. We scarfed down breakfast and headed for Columbus. We got to Carla's later than I hoped so our visit was much shorter than I'd hoped, but
simply being together was good. From there we headed to Grandpa Sugar's, the stop we were least excited to make and actually, the time there was fine. The last destination of the day was Dad and Sherry's, the one I was most anticipating of the weekend. That in and of itself was
a major shift for me since my dad's place has never felt that comfortable to me, nor was it a place I wanted to visit. The times, they are a changin' I guess. We had an appetizer theme in place of a formal meal which was kind of fun and I finally let myself relax. It was nice.
Christmas morning was laid back and really simple (again). Dad and Sherry made us a tasty breakfast, I sipped on way too much coffee and we left their house around 2 p.m. The last stop of the Blinn Family Holiday Tour was good old Ostrander, Ohio. Our time there was pretty good... I'll just leave it at that.
All in all, I have MUCH to be thankful for this year and I've had a long list of reasons to merry throughout this season. Two years ago we were thick in the grief of losing our son. Last year we were excited for the child that was to come, but still scared of the unknown. This year: pure, unabashed joy. My girl, my boy, our families and friends.... I am rich beyond measure.
Caleb & Zachari in their coordinating outfits.
Never mind that hideous gold reindeer in the background, its not my house, okay?!
Chattin' it up on her new cell phone at Great-Grandpa Sugar's house
Z was spoilllllled with lots of gifts everywhere we went (most of them, noisy) and she was a trooper as we bounced from house to house. If only we could all view Christmas - every day, even - the way a ten month old child does. Very little is needed, the slightest thing entertains them, and as long as they're with the ones who love them, their world is at peace and happy. Maybe that's something for us adults to strive for in the new year, eh?