Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back on 2011




Happy 2012. I'm hopeful for another happy year filled with goodness.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for the abundant blessings of Christmas. I'm still recovering from all the festivities...the food, frolicking and fun. The excitement of the crescendo leads to exhilaration and ultimately to sheer exhaustion, but in looking back as I'm so inclined to do at this late date in the year, it was good...all good. We were all sufficiently spoiled getting more than our fair share of time with family, good eats and yes, thoughtful, generous gifts too.

The memories of our celebrations are presenting themselves to me as moments burned in my brain the same way that images are captured on film. I can see the delight in T. Bone's face when he realized that the big gift he was told was for me was actually for him. It was the size and shape of a snowboard. Let me rephrase that...a real snowboard like the one he asked Santa Claus for not really expecting to get, but so desperately wanting. Santa B. Bone works magic too. Despite the fact that T. Bone was up at 7:00 Christmas morning, he didn't come rouse the rest of us because he was busy "playing with his snowboard." Mind you in his room where there is no snow! He was almost as excited about the longboard on Christmas morning and able to give it a roll precisely because there was no snow. I'm grateful that my kids know how fortunate they are, and that they appreciate gifts large and small, but do not expect them.

I can see the joyful surprise on Miss Bit's face when her Daddy came into the living room with a gift he happened to find in the basement. I'm grateful that although she didn't ask for a keyboard, I knew she would love one. She exclaimed, "I had a feeling I was going to get one of these. I just knew it!" She's been tickling the ivories ever since and eager to start lessons.

I can hear the second graders beautiful rendition of Walking in the Air. It's still sounding in my head in just the sweetest way. I'm grateful that my hubby and I were both in the audience for our girl's performance, and that she finally found us after much nervous crowd searching. We were there to see her...she saw us...she knew.

I can still hear the choir singing Mary Did You Know during the concert before Christmas Eve mass. The same line that opened my floodgates made Miss Bit giggle: And when you kiss your little boy you've kissed the face of God. After church, her Grandma told me she thought the lyrics were And when you kiss your little boy you've chewed a piece of gum. I'm grateful that my in-laws came to church with us and also that my mil carries Kleenex in her purse.

I can smell the dozens of cookies baked over the course of the last couple weeks and wrapped up to share with family, friends, teachers and neighbors. Christmas Eve day we made our annual Santa offerings: sugar cookie cutouts. Even T. Bone got into it again this year. I'm grateful for traditions. I've been baking the same cookies with the exact cookie cutters since I was T. Bone's age.

I can smell the doughnuts warm and freshly powdered on Christmas morning. Santa brought Miss Bit a doughnut maker and she just had to break it in nevermind that I had cranberry scones and berry muffins and cheese danish already made. I'm grateful for the slow start on Christmas Day and time to enjoy our another. It was a welcome calm in the seasonal storm.