Today was as close to perfect as you can get this side of heaven. The children woke us up early, and the excitement in their voices outweighed any annoyance at a 6:30 wake up. After breakfast we sat in the living room as Tim read the Christmas story. The children acted out the parts with the nativity scene, which helped to bring the story to life. After that, we let them open their presents. This year they each got three presents from mommy and daddy, and one from each sibling, for a total of 5 gifts each. The big hit for Big E was the box of Bionacles that I had gotten off of Craigslist, and C’s favorite gift was the smart watch we got her. (Unbeknownst to her, the games on the smartwatch actually require a lot of exercise, so she was pretty active today. Baby E was disappointed in his present- I had gotten him a Maui outfit from Moana, but he was upset that I didn’t get him a Moana dress. Go figure. At least he enjoyed having Maui’s hook. I’m pretty sure his favorite gift from the day was the balance bike he got from his grandparents. He is going to enjoy that!
The rest of the day was pretty quiet until the evening when the rest of the family showed up. Then the decibels went through the roof as all the cousins ran around and played. Marrying into a large family makes evenings like these so fun and interesting. There is no lack of conversation or good interaction. We are very blessed with such a huge and loving family.
The only hard part today was when I was struck with the realization that this would have been Hazel’s first Christmas. I found a quiet spot in a dark room to just take a moment and acknowledge that even though I never got to hold her, I still miss her. I always will. But God has brought me a long way in the past year, and while I ache for her, her loss does not consume me. We will meet again.
The highlight of the day came this evening after everyone left and the house once again fell into silence. I was holding C as I sat by the fire. She curled up in my arms, her head tucked under my chin and we sat there as she drifted off to sleep. Eventually we moved to the couch, and finally Tim put her to bed. The kids were happy and exhausted- the results of a wonderful day. 🙂
After Baby E woke up this morning he came into our room and crawled into bed next to me. As I cuddled him close, he suddenly sneezed directly onto my face. With my face covered in Baby E spit, he smiles and says, “I blessed you, Mommy!”