Sunday, December 30, 2007

Holiday Greetings

I haven't been around much this week, for two reasons: the first is that at any given time during the day one of the young people in the house seems to be sitting at this computer. The second is that I've been struck...blind-sided...whacked over the head...whatever you want to call it...with this enormous load of sentimentality. If you've read my past several posts you'll understand why. And as a result, I've felt a need to spend every possible moment of this vacation week just enjoying those computer-hogging young people. I've put together several jigsaw puzzles and played countless board games. I've also washed several million dishes and swept the floor and wiped down counters hundreds of times - but few of my week's activities have involved this computer, which has been great.

Christmas day, in the evening, there was a moment where I was struck with a feeling of complete happiness. Snow was lightly falling outside; I had just finished talking to my son, the big guy in Mexico, for almost two whole hours! He sounded so good, it was amazing. The rest of my family was with me, all of them happy enough with their day and their gifts. Christmas dinner was excellent. Life was good. My heart swelled two sizes in that moment, and its' kept me going the rest of the week.

So here's wishing you all a happy new year - and if you've got a loved one in the house, may I suggest you click out of this page and go find a jigsaw puzzle or board game - you won't regret it!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My secret life of crime

I really don't have time to be spending on my blog. My Christmas shopping has had to be condensed into a couple of days since I took off all of last week, the week before that was spent getting ready for last week, and by my calculations Tuesday is the worst time for a Christmas to fall, because: one never wants to go out shopping on the weekend before Christmas (nightmare), which starts this Friday evening; Friday happens to be my birthday, and I'm sorry but fighting crowds is not my idea of a good day; Sunday is out for me anyway, even if it weren't a horrible day for shopping; Monday is Christmas Eve and one should really be done by then anyway; which leaves TODAY as my last shopping day! Yikes! And I only got started yesterday! And I have five kids! (ok, four if you don't count my missionary who has his gifts, but five if you count my son-in-law. Six if you count my dog. which I don't, but some do. But only dog extremists.) Anyway, the point is I shouldn't be HERE. Oh, did I mention that I have to help in my son's third-grade class with his Christmas party today? Yikes. Anyway, my dear brother forced my hand by mentioning a letter that I haven't had time to write about. I've been dying to anyway, so I'll make it short.

I just happened to be in Cancun last week. Just dropped in. And if you've been following my blog you might remember that my son is near there. Ok, he is there. It was my 25-year anniversary (thank you, thank you. Yes, we're considering cemetary plots for our Christmas gifts.) And we planned this trip long before he arrived, or we knew he would even be there. But he was.

And if you know anything about mormon missionaries, you know that contact is restricted, in order to keep the missionary focused. As in, emails or letters once a week and phone calls twice a year. That's it.

So I tried really hard not to see him. Really I did. But it is Christmas time, so I brought a Christmas package for him - much more logical than sending it by mail. And I made numerous attempts to get it to him without physically going there. Really I did. But none of them worked out. And when my son finally had to call me (a kind man who was supposed to come pick up the package thought his errand was done when he picked up a letter that told him how to find us. My son got the letter, which fortunately told him how to find us) and told me to just bring it, and that his mission president wouldn't care, well, I did what any person in the world would have done!

Isn't he beautiful? Whatever happens in the next few days, I've already had a wonderful Christmas!

More later - for now I've got to get to the mall!

(Oh and Vic - your crime was SOOO much worse!)

Monday, December 17, 2007

I believe...

I took my 8-year-old to the mall on Friday to see Santa. We stood in line for the obligatory 20 minutes, and I even shelled out the $15 they wanted for the little picture. I did it because my heart was being pulled by a million sappy heart strings. I held his hand in line and felt a combination of joy at his innocent excitement, and mourning at the loss that I know is going to come - probably by next year, maybe not until the next, of that Christmas wonder he was feeling.

While we stood in line, a little boy behind us decided to announce loudly that his little sister should be told there isn't a Santa by the time she's ten, since that's when he found out. I planted myself between that boy and mine, like a shield. He repeated his announcement three or four times before the mother came out of her stupor long enough to realize what her young charge was saying. She quietly chided him, and I wondered what effect, if any, his declaration would have on my son. Sure enough, with in a couple of minutes he asked me if I believe in Santa. "Of course I do," I said. "Yeah," he agreed, "parents would have to know. Since there are presents under the tree that they don't buy." And then of course I felt guilty. And sad. It's starting...the won't be long now.

But apparantly I've got a little more time. The next day, as we were driving in the car, he told me that when he grows up he wants to be Santa. I asked him how come, and he said: "For one thing, I believe in him. For another, he gets to travel all over the world. Plus his elves do all the work for him, he just sits around and eats cookies and hot chocolate all day. Besides, he gets to live forever."

"That does sound like a pretty sweet gig," I told him, "if you can get it."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


That's the word I thought of when I saw this picture. Have there ever been two more beautiful people? That's my girl and her hubby cutting down a Christmas tree this weekend. The picture came with a letter that told about a friend who told her how grateful he was that she made it and then told her a story about a lady who had a seizure after childbirth and is now in a coma. This is what she said, "I am grateful that I walked away from everything just fine, but that story really put into perspective what could have happened, and I am so much more grateful that I will still be able to live my life. I can still finish school, still have kids and raise them, still be with my loved ones, and the list goes on and on. It could have all been taken away from me in just a few hours like it was for the other woman. But for me, I still have a chance. I get to live..." I told her I hope she can always hold on to that wonder of being alive - it's a wonderful gift.