Wow. Those last few months of 2011 flew by so fast. It seems every time I get on to blog I don't even know where to begin! But I guess I'll just do what I've been doing since the fall - rewind and reflect. And since we can't go skippin' major holidays - let's talk Christmas!
(Mr. and Mrs. Claus from my childhood. They move their arms and heads in a slow, hypnotic way and have a magical quality of being both captivating and creepy at the same time.)
The best way to describe this Christmas is "Sweet and Sour." The sweetness being how precious it was to read "The Night Before Christmas" to Jet every night, hear him point to all his ornaments on the tree and say "tree!" at least 20 times a day whenever he saw that familiar evergreen on a window display, sweatshirt or christmas card. The sweetness of dressing him in his red and green santa pj's and imagine him dreaming of sugar plums.
The sweetness of watching Rudolph more than I've ever wanted to see a Christmas movie and hearing Jet sing along to with Burl Ives song in an adorable mix of "he's spot-on!" and "now what did he just say?" The sweetness of Christmas Eve morning when got up early to celebrate "Early Christmas" - so as not to be so rushed to church on Sunday morning, and because he's 2 and doesn't know the difference. ;)
Sweet because with every holiday tradition, every song sung, every gift opened - he was as happy and excited as could be. I just love life through his eyes.
These gifts (above) I've labeled "The Magnificent Seven".
1. Magical Wand (with blue glitter stars floating inside! Seriously - I had one just like it but purple when I was little and it was the most beautiful thing I owned.)
2. Toy Story Sticker/Activity pack (and it comes with crayons for you to throw on the floor as well! Oh...that's not what you do with crayons? Um...well someone needs to have a talk with Jet then. I've tried.)
3. Playdoh! (Not just for eating!)
4. Chapstick (Santa doesn't kid around. Those kissable lips need serious protection.)
5. The World's Largest Peppermint Patty! (or...a regular sized one that when compared to the mini's that Jet is used to seems, in fact, enormous. And wonderful. And you should have seen his eyes light up. And then the drool came. And yes he ate it before breakfast.)
6. Puzzles! (that look very cool and intriguing with Mickey Mouse and Lightning McQueen and Toy Story characters on them - but are in actuality way too complicated for 2 year olds. Awesome.)
7. Buzz Lightyear (Space Ranger. Number one gift. And "the coolest toy ever.")
Though there were other various books and clothing items - this group of primarily stocking-stuffers were by far his favorites. And they say a lot about our J-man and who he is at 2 and a half years old. And of course - 7 being the perfect number - Buzz was the perfect gift. A best friend for Woody, a space-ranger for Jet. He was almost as excited about playing with him as we were about buying him. Who could as for more?
The gift-giving continued at my parents house. Where we spent a relaxing morning with family, just enjoying staying in.
And I will say Jet was apparently very good this year.
David and I? Not so much....maybe we were unknowingly naughty this year. For although we were blessed with wonderful gifts and surprises that left us in a childlike state of awe - that night we got a surprise "gift"...a horrible stomach virus. Yep. Merry Christmas to all.
(I don't have a picture of us being sick. So how about some pie? Much nicer to look at anyway.)
Thankfully Jet escaped the
plague virus and got to spend Christmas Day (and the day after that) and Nina and Papi's house. Being spoiled by grandparents 3 days in a row?! Jet was once again living the good life. Playing with his new toys, grilled cheese for lunch and watching "Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas" movie every day. He didn't miss us for a second. And I was thrilled! I spent all night Christmas Eve praying he wouldn't wake up with it and not only did he feel fine - he got to have a wonderful Christmas. It was a wonderful offset to our otherwise unfortunate situation. And by the time we were all well - we still had Jet's other grandparents' house to visit! And it too full of gifts and fun. Extended Christmas!! I mean seriously - Jet will be spoiled for all Christmases to come. Nothing will ever live up. ;)
Then the New Year arrived and with it came a visit from Jet's favorite red-headed playmate -Miss Jane.
And if Jet thought 1 red-head was fun...
He was beside himself with 2! Jet's other "cousin" Eliana (who lives in Ga but is usually in Pre-K) was on vacation and got to hang out with the family!
It was 2 against 1 - just how Jet likes it. Big kids = Awesome. Big kids who are also girls = Sliding-Down-Rainbows-Awesome. Something about his big-girl, baby-doll-playing, bossy-behavin, princess-dressin, cute cousins just makes Jet's day. He loved having them around. And they put up with him just fine. ;)
We took a field trip to the "Train Museum" (which is really "The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History" - but doesn't that sound like fun just died right in front of you) so we talked-up the train aspect and the kids had a blast! There's even a big red train caboose out front which is so cool.
Unless you are Jane who was apparently not impressed...
...or Jet who was unexplainably terrified. Go figure.
(seriously - he wouldn't get near it and cried when I did!)
And inside is a lot of neat history - but then also some very kid-friendly educational playrooms, which is of course where we spend most of our time. :)
(Not surprisingly, Jet wouldn't wear the conductor's hat...so I ask you...what choice did I have?)
And even though it was actually more like controlled-chaos than an educational-expedition -
- it was a memory.
And I love making memories with family.
Especially my littlest family members.
Speaking of which I have a new little cousin-niece! Baby Grace (Eliana's new little sister) was born to my cousins Justin and Andrea on January 5th, 2012. What a sweet start to the new year. :) I cannot wait to do her newborn portraits! And guess what...she's another red-head. Jet is going to be so excited. lol.
And so the holidays came to a close - Daddy, who had enjoyed a full 2 weeks off from school, had to go back to work today. But boy did we have fun while he was home.
I see more and more of David in Jet when they're together. They have the same silly sense of humor that cracks me up to watch. They also happen to be the most handsome boys on the planet. Just sayin.
We may not have had the Christmas we planned, or a year without hardship. We witnessed worries and anxieties of close friends and family, heartbreak and loss for those we care deeply for, and struggled with unanswered questions that we and others still face. 2011 was a mix of the incredible and unimaginable. But through it all, God was at the forefront. We were brought closer to Him than ever - through our own experiences and the experiences of others - and that is not something to be overlooked. So although I don't know what the future holds in 2012 - I don't think anyone could ask for more than we do have right now, in this moment. And with that in mind, I can say with confidence and hope - "Happy New Year."