Thursday, December 25, 2008


I'm sitting in my quiet house, with the flicker of the christmas lights on the tree, the soft echo of my grandma's music playing in her room, and the sound of my brother sleeping on the couch. I can't help but think about how great this Christmas was. First, after some difficulties and anxiety, my brother made it home from Colorado Monday night, so he's been able to spend this week with us. Also, after much more anxiety and stress, my brother-in-law was able to make it from North Dakota and made it home through the ice and freezing rain on Tuesday. Adding to the excitement was the fact that we have Baby Karter to share Christmas with. This time last year, we joked about having a baby around for next year's Christmas, and sure enough-- we really did. He's just to the age where he's starting to grin and coo now, so he makes the time he's at the house so enjoyable! His first Christmas is filled with memories we won't forget.

Here's my favorite picture from Christmas morning. I think the expression on his face is just TOO cute!
Our large family got together tonight, as always. Our families always do our own thing on Christmas morning and afternoon and then the aunts, uncles, and cousins get together with grandma in the evening for dinner. This year, many of the family members were able to make it--- we counted 58 that were there. Cam's parents were even able to join us. I hope they didn't think my family is too crazy! haha

The past few weeks have been a challenge for some in my family. The economy's status has become a burden to a few, some are facing large medical situations, and others are facing personal struggles in their own lives. But, tonight was a chance for everyone to get together, talk, laugh, share gifts, and forget about the struggles and hardships that will probably return in the morning.

The gifts I received this year were great. I got a couple of movies that I really wanted, two cookbooks so that I can learn to cook (haha), some clothes that I picked out for student teaching next fall, some other items I put on a list and two framed photos. The two photos meant the world to me. One of them was a picture of my family soon after Karter was born. My sister had edited it, added a design and the year and put it in a pretty frame. It's so cute! When I'm at school during the week, my family is on my mind constantly, so it will be nice to have a framed photo of everyone to keep at my apartment. The second picture brought tears to my eyes. My cousin Megan and I have exchanged gifts between the two of us for years. This year she gave me a picture frame that she had "Aunt" engraved into and then put a picture of me and Karter in it. It was so cute. For anyone that talks to me very often at all knows that Karter is the highlight of my current life! So this picture and frame was a very thoughtful gift because I miss him so badly when I'm at school.

All in the all, for 2008 to be filled with so many hardships, burdens, and struggles throughout my immediate and extended family, this Christmas was probably one of the best ones I remember. I'm finally to that age where the meaning of Christmas is starting to change for me and I look at everything in a whole new light. I'm so grateful for everything I have and I'm starting to realize just exactly how amazing my family is.

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