This year our family has grown from five humans to seven (with one still on the way). We couldn’t be happier to welcome these two “others” who have captured our children’s hearts and our as well. We’ve been getting to know each other and are finding our stride as a family of seven (almost 8). Relationships are stronger and gatherings are much more fun. Not perfect, but great fun.
If that weren’t enough, we are also preparing to welcome a new life in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Our Thanksgiving baby seems to want to be a Christmas baby. We will celebrate this little one whenever he arrives, but sooner rather than later would be awesome!
In just a couple weeks, our West Coast family will be heading out to share the holidays with us. Tears rolled down my cheeks when I learned that we would all be together for the first time in two and a half decades. I think I gave up on the idea of sharing Christmas with our far family, and the joy of this moment is sparkly and bright.
I can count on one hand the number of Christmases we’ve spend with extended family over the years. Each of them feel precious and weighty. The last time we were together, Grandpa Malone led the festivities, Keith had all his hair, and Brian was an infant. Linda Lee was still alive, Aunt Billie and the girls were there. We sang Christmas carols (very badly) and barely fit in to Grandma’s house on Midway.
This year there will be Christmas Karaoke, Gingerbread House (Trailer) decorating, lots of good food, and laughter. We will tussle, and get short with each other. It will get crazy loud. I’m trying to keep a handle on my wild expectations. My need to make “THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER” has given way to a more rational calm. Just being together will make it awesome. I can’t wait.
Miracle of miracles, we will even get to celebrate the holiday on the actual day… not a given at our house. Everyone has the day off (except Kaitlyn who will join us for the morning). It seems as though all my Christmas wishes have already been answered. This is a celebration we will be talking about for years to come. My plan is to just enjoy the moments. I too often run ahead of myself with worry and fretting. This year, my gift to myself is a commitment to pay attention, to enjoy, and to appreciate the beauty of the moment.