Monday, December 30, 2013

It All Started With The Fireplace Party

We also call it "Christmas Adam"
because it happens the day before Christmas Eve.
Family gathers about 6:00 and we enjoy
each others company for several hours.
A blog post about our fireplace party tradition.
Emma always reads "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."
It never gets old. We love it.
It's always a great evening. We had a LOT of fun.
Chris Ruoti visited as he always does. We love him like a son.
 Ian and Jessa were here.
Only Chris slept by the fire this year.
Then came Christmas Eve.
This year we went to my Mom's house.
She always likes to set a nice table.
Elisa and my Mom
Emma was with us too but everyone else was gone or working.
I love these girls.
It was a fabulous dinner.
(You can see from my eyes that I was not feeling well).
My Mom made a magnificent antipasto.
Emma and Elisa had a good time.
We all did.
My Mom asked Jim to read the Christmas story from Luke.
Emma led us in Christmas carols.
That was fun.
It was a nice evening.
The presents were out and the day was over.
(I have no idea how this picture is doing this but it's cool).
Then it was Christmas morning.
A car emergency kit for Ian
which he had to use twice the next day because his battery died. :)
Elisa was sure excited.
She asked for flatware to set a nice table.
She seemed to like it.
A big foam roller for me to ease my sore muscles
from Ian and Jessa. Yeah.
And something beautiful in pearls and silver from Jim. Love it.
Jessa is a delight!
Christmas breakfast.
And the HIGHLIGHT of the day...
a SKYPE call from Seth!!!!!
He looked WONDERFUL!!
It was SO good to see and talk to him.
He loves being a missionary.
40 minutes went way too fast.
Elisa must have snapped this during the family prayer with Seth.
I always miss my missionaries.

We finished up the day with a nice Christmas dinner.
My nephew Jonathan (Rob's son) came. 
It was great to have him.
He recently returned from his mission in Arizona.

It was a quiet, simple Christmas this year but it was lovely. I was sick most of the time unfortunately with very bad, very painful swollen ankles and feet and felt seriously unwell the entire time, something systemic I suspect that really knocked me for a loop. It's easing up a bit today thankfully. This was the first year when most of my children were gone. It was the first year in a long, LONG time that we didn't have Christmas Eve dinner at my house. I knew this time would come someday and it has, but I'm really OK with the transition to empty nesthood. We will have other big Christmas' again as the years go on. There will be other years when our home is filled to capacity and overflowing with visiting children, their spouses, and grandchildren. In the meantime, I have sweet memories of all the years we had everyone here. Either way, I feel blessed. Like the song from Fiddler on the Roof reminds us, "Sunrise, sunset...swiftly fly the years." And they have.

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