Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 25th

Christmas morning came and just so you know, mom got the biggest Toblerone in her stocking.  

It was a rough night.  Callie was up at 4:30 am with a nose bleed.  Then again at 6:30.  At which time I told her it was too early to get up. She humored me and went back to sleep until 8:00.  All the while, not a peep from little sister.  And at 8:00 when Callie said it was time to get up, I still wanted a little more shut eye despite knowing that a lot of fun was soon to happen.  We lied in bed a for a little bit, waiting for Lexi to come to the realization that Santa had come.  Callie had Santa's arrival pegged at some time between 4:30am and 6:30am because she peeked and nothing was there at 4:30 but it was there at 6:30!  Despite her questioning about whether Santa can really do all that is claimed, big sister still won't sleep alone on Christmas eve out of fear that she might bump into Santa if she gets up to go to the bathroom!

When all the paper had been torn off and every gift revealed, Callie said, "I wish we could rewind and do it all again!"  Because sister, like her mama, doesn't like when it's all over.  Even as I type tonight, days after Christmas morning, I have the tree lights on a tree that is ready to be hauled out the door, everyone is asleep and I have the fireplace on the TV.  I'm squeezing every last ounce of magic from the season before I say it's over. 

This year, the gift of all gifts, the map in number 25 of the advent calendar led the girls to their first pet.  We'd like to welcome Jorge the gecko into our family.  

He's not fluffy and his cuteness if a matter of preference but he has sure made some reptile loving girls very happy.  If only reptiles were capable of feeling love.  This little guy would be smothered in it.  

And if Jorge wasn't enough, the Shopkins were a big hit.  

But thankfully my dad asked for the most practical gifts of all.  At the age of 66, my dad said that all he wanted for Christmas was supper.  His Mrs. Clause delivered his gift right on time and he generously shared it with us!  And maybe we can't rewind and do it all again but it's not over because when you live with a dreamer,  you never know when the next magic moment will be.  Merry Christmas from our table to yours!

Christmas Eve Dreaming

Chirstmas Eve came bringing all the holiday magic that I dream of and prepare for.  I'm a dreamer.  It's not a secret.   I look into the Thomas Kinkade village ornaments and imagine it's my family being pulled in the sleigh by beautiful horses.  Our laps are covered with wool, plaid blankets, our noses pink from the cold air as the sleigh bells jingle each time the horse's hoof hits the ground.  Our sleigh pulls up to the next village ornament and we gracefully dismount and head into the cozy log cabin, the fireplace is crackling as we stomp the snow from our boots.  We round up some hot chocolates, the fancy kind with whip cream on top, and sit by the fire listening to carols and laughing and telling stories.   My mind plays these perfect holiday movie reels in my mind and every year I try to create some of this imagined magic into real life.

I'm well aware that these dreams of perfect holiday moments can be dangerous.  Dangerous because I know perfection isn't possible.  I know that my girls would never wear the FairIsle sweaters and matching scarves that I dream of.  I know someone would complain that the horses stank or that it was too cold out.  I know that my dreams are too specific to be reality. 

But it doesn't stop me from dreaming.  Callie has told me of her reoccurring daydream where Santa stops by and takes her for a ride in his sleigh.  She has hoped and wished soooo much that this would happen for real.  And even this year, as she has become more skeptical of all the holiday's magic, she told me again of this great wish that she had.  She wonders what it would be like, how it would feel to fly through the sky, she wonders how this reindeer thing  really works.   She's a dreamer too.  And little sister, she doesn't need to dream because she is still the purest type of believer.  The movies and the magic are all real life for her.  

The kids tracked Santa's every move on Christmas eve, the modern way, online at noradsanta.org. The Santa tracker may have said the big guy was somewhere over Norway or somewhere but the reality was that he was at our door.  It was super fun to hear the kids whispering among themselves as to whether he was going to stop by or not and if he did when was he coming and why did the Santa tracker say he was in Norway if he was in our living room.  

Despite their questions and skepticism, all these kids hopped up on Santa's knee and asked for games and dolls and Shopkins and such. They promised to be good boys and girls and to leave cookies and milk for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph.  Because they don't have to be told that its okay to dream.

Even though we didn't get pulled on a one horse open sleigh this year and Callie didn't get a ride on Santa's sleigh, I think us dreamers have an important place in this world. We can picture all the possibilities. We can sit next to the Yuletide fireplace on TV and hear it crackle and feel its warmth. We can imagine reindeer flying through the sky and create the most gourmet reindeer food possible.  
To all my fellow dreamers out there... keep dreaming.  The only danger in dreaming is not being able to stretch the dream into reality.  Are the candles lit, are your people with you, is the music playing? When I looked across my house on Christmas eve, the dream was there. 
I hope all your dreams came true, too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas

It was the week before Christmas, and all through the house, a lot of stuff was stirring, but thankfully not a mouse.  We've  just been chillin, you know, making the Christmas memories kinda stuff since school let out last week.  I don't usually have a lot of regrets but what I am regretting these days is that I didn't figure out how to get my camera fixed weeks ago.  All these awesome things happening and all I have is phone photos.  I took a quick peek at a new camera at the store today thinking maybe... but no, I couldn't do it.

But the phone does capture the moment.  Add a filter, some fun frames and voila!  Some fun photo booth photos from the school party last week...

School concerts were a success and the girls had their piano concert at the Manor this year.  It was such a nice touch for the girls to share their talents with the seniors.  

The girls piano lessons have been very sporadic this fall.  Their teacher had some prior commitments so we did what we could to keep practicing and prepare a Christmas Carol to perform.  Callie chose to play Hark the Herald which has been her favorite carol ever since she was old enough to say she had a favorite carol.  And Lexi...she didn't actually have to play at the concert because she had only had three piano lessons so far.  On the third lesson, she received a copy of jingle bells to practice.  On concert day, four days later,  little sister bravely said  she wanted to try to play jingle bells for the seniors.  She walked up to the piano and played some keys that only a professional could discern as Jingle Bells.  The seniors at the Manor didn't mind at all and applauded her efforts.  And I was there taking pictures and videos, waving my proud mama freak flag high and mighty.  Not because she had worked hard and nailed that Jingle Bells song, but because she was brave and she tried and isn't that all we ever ask.  Showing up is the hardest part of life and little sister showed up!  She played her best for Grandma Betty.  She stood with the crowd and sang the few words she knew to the carols. She didn't worry about being perfect.  She just did it. The very best gift of all.

And now, I'm sitting on the couch, typing words, half listening to a Christmas movie.  Callie is sitting next to me, coughing and sniffing as she battles the tail end of a cold.  We've made the cookies and decorated the ginger houses.  

We've had our annual pajama party with friends.  The reindeer food is made and the cookies are iced.
The shopping is done, the treasures are wrapped.  And tomorrow is Christmas Eve and the anticipation will build.  We'll have a house full of people.  There will be laughter and a wave of cold air each time the door opens. The yuletide on the TV will play the carols,  candles will be glowing, and Christmas smells will surround us.  

And we will all have happy hearts.  
Merry Christmas!