Cara got home Friday night before Christmas. The roads were awful. Her three hour trip took 5 hours. There was a very serious accident, which involved rerouting traffic.
The world did not end either.
We had a big celebration with the nieces and nephews on Christmas eve's eve, and we gave them tin boxes which contained family pictures, a disk containing the 196 page PowerPoint of our family history (my sister Anna is the master of PowerPoint production), a Christmas bauble from their grandparents' tree, and a rooting from the hundred year old Christmas cactus which originally belonged to their great-great-grandmother, then their great grandmother, then their grandmother, and now, finally me.
Please God, don't let me be the one that kills it.
James and his lovely wife Rosalyn.
Bill and Ange. Bill is home from his third (fourth?) tour of Afghanistan. He was like this before he left though.
This is Bill's brother, Jim and his wife Sarah. Bill and Jim are my sister Anna's two children. These two are expecting their third child after the first of the year. Child number one is...
...Abigail. She is Jim and Sarah's oldest. I call her Abbie-my-gail, and I have taught her to sing The Circle of Life at the top of her lungs. I am the gift that keeps on giving.
This is Haley, the youngest of my parents grandchildren, my youngest niece. She is in 9th grade and an avid horsewoman.
...Kellie. Her husband Dave had to work and could not be with us, but our computer whiz/graphics woman is assembling everyone's e-mails, telephone numbers and addresses to make a directory for all the cousins to stay in touch. That partial form next to her? That's my sister Anna.
This is the darling William, playing with his little cousins. His parents, Brianna and Buddy were also not able to join us. Brianna had to work.
This is Bill opening his box. They all seemed to enjoy what Anna had put together for them all.
Our Christmas tree fell over, but no ornaments broke. We moved a sofa from the library to the livingroom for the big do on Sunday, and then moved it back into the library for Christmas morning. We bumped the tree a little, but the whole falling over thing was over-the-top. Drama tree. We tidied it up a little, but still, it looks a bit bedraggled.
I squabbled with customer service. Again. Tis the season.
Cara and I had Thai food on Christmas eve, and we all wrapped the final presents and watched "Meet Me in St. Louis". Cara was certain that it could not be Christmas without that. I always thought that "It's a Wonderful Life" was the mandatory movie. It was a nice break for Tim, who doesn't understand why people want to watch a movie more than once anyway. Furthermore, he was quite entranced with the house and furnishings, not to mention the gas lights in this 'new' (to us) movie.
Christmas morning was wonderful. Little William could open his own presents this year, but every unwrapped gift became the best thing ever, and the rest of the presents just had towait. Christmas lasted a good long time. Everyone seemed to like their gifts, which made all the shopping and agonizing worthwhile. This is a picture of Mr. Adorable giving his parents the present he made for them.
Major snowstorm the day after Christmas, which caused my 1 hour 20 minute trip work commute to become well over 2 hours. I got home safely, stumbled from the car, and told Tim, apologetically, "I don't want to drive to Emlenton for your extended family Christmas." Turned out he didn't want to either, which made us very sad, because we enjoy that party.
I am doing my worrying from afar. The alarm woke me up this morning. I was half way to the bathroom when it hit me: "Whoa. You're sick." I reluctantly cashed in one of my hoarded vacation days and stayed home from work. Seems like a waste of a good vacation day. Late edit: after two days in the hospital, William is now home.
If anyone knows how to remove the smell of vomit from a cloth sofa, we'd love to hear from you. We have removed the covers, and Febreezed the thing to within an inch of its life.