Happy 2010

I had to write that number in the title just to make it seem real. I can’t believe we’re already a decade into the new millenium. I apologize for such a long lapse in updates. Catching up is going to require a few separate postings, because so many great things happened in December.

One of the big highlights was welcoming Chase home from college.  We were happily surprised at how much he had matured in just 2.5 months….and thrillingly shocked that he got a 4.0 his first quarter at school!  Abbie was very happy to have Chase back, as she had been getting impatient for his arrival for the last week or so before he came home.  I’m glad that Chase has a late December birthday so we could celebrate with him.

There may be 19 of them, but these candles looked straight out of a Dr. Seuss book!

Can’t believe this is his last “teenage” birthday cake!

The week of Christmas was wild: Kyle got his wisdom teeth out (12/21), we celebrated Chase’s  birthday (12/23), and attended a wonderful Christmas Eve party.  But, in the end we enjoyed a quiet, beautiful Christmas morning at home. As always, the kids went through their stockings by candlelight. This year I focused on getting video, which has not been our strong suit through the years. So, I don’t have a ton of pictures from Christmas , but here are a few:

The host of the Christmas Eve party made an appearance as Santa.  Unfortunately, this did not go over well with the under-2 set in attendance.  The chorus of wee howlers made me grin as their mommies tried to snap “happypictures.  I was glad to have a nice picture of my sons — with no tear-stained cheeks!  My, how far we’ve come.

Abbie was tuckered out by the time Santa came to visit, but I wanted to get a photo anyway.  

Christmas morning found Abbie snuggling in her new snowman nightgown, surrounded by the world’s most faithful elves.

The boys were especially caring with Abbie that morning.  As we were doing stockings, Kyle leaned over and said, “Abbie, would you like your glasses so you could see better?”  He got a resounding “yes” to that question, and the spectacle of Christmas morning came into clear focus for one smiling little girl.
The brothers had asked for just a few things, and so we opened their presents first while Abbie waited patiently (we thought.)  When they were finished we asked, “Abbie, do you want to open your presents now??”  She straightened and raised both of her arms as if to say “Helloooooo!  What do you think? Bring it on!”  She had so many delightful surprises waiting for her….a snowglobe with a ballerina in it, a huge Tinkerbell stickerbook, many cute “school” clothes, an embellished piggy bank, and a scroll fresh from China, with her name in kanji and English.
As we talked about the scroll, a precious gift from friends recently back from China with their new daughter, I was once again impressed with Abbie’s memory.  She was enjoying looking at it, but when I told her that it came from China, where Ping the duck lived on the Yangtze River she lit up and began smiling.  We read the Story of Ping last May, and still she remembers…
Yes, there was still tugging on my heart, and thoughts of “how great would this day be if she were ‘normal’?”  But, the reason for the celebration soothed my spirit and yet again encouraged me that now is not all there is…we celebrate that which we only know dimly.  When we see in full, any twinges of disappointment or shadows of grief we’ve experienced will vanish forever.   And…my ballerina will not be in a snowglobe!