Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What the Elf? It's Christmas already?!

I recently had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with the two elves above - Ben Jr. and Nathan. We took them sledding, then to Starbucks for hot chocolate and coffee (the coffee was for me...). For the past few years the boys have come by for an afternoon or evening at our house while my sister Jackie and her husband Ben do a little Christmas shopping and spend some time together. It's becoming a new tradition. One day they won't want to hang out at Aunt Kimberly's house, but for the time being, they seem to find it fun. I'll take it.

I don't know how the holidays came up again so quickly. The older I get the faster the days pass by, it seems. I feel like it was just spring, and now I'm scraping ice off the windows of my car, and wrapping Christmas presents (okay, truth be told, I haven't wrapped a single present yet, but I will...I will...).

For many, many years, I would put together a Christmas CD compilation to send as a Christmas card to family and friends. Sometimes I would even include an original recording on said compilation. I'm afraid, this year, it's just not going to happen. I have a track list, but the work just never got done. Maybe next year...that said, my Christmas greeting will come in the form of a blog post this year. Hey, I know it's not the same as good old-fashioned hand-addressed Christmas cards, but it's what I got...

I don't know about you, dear readers, but I'll be happy to see 2010 go on its way. This year has been a difficult one. And I know I'm not alone in that sentiment. It's been a tough time for many. Most notably, my mother passed away this year, and I am missing her terribly. We lost one of our darling birdies, dear Pumpkin. I have friends who have lost parents, and other loved ones this year. Friends who have lost jobs, suffered illnesses, broken hearts, disappointments. It has not been the best of years, and I, for one, will be happily celebrating on New Year's Eve when the clock strikes 12:01 am, January 1, 2011.

Yet, despite the trials and tribulations of this life, I have much to be thankful for. I have a new appreciation for my family and friends. I have a renewed love for my sisters. Each one special and magnificent in their own way. I am grateful to have them in my life.

I am grateful for the friends and family that were there for me this year, when times were tough and my mom was slipping away. I'm grateful for my niece and nephews. For the spark of life they bring to the world, and the hope they instill for tomorrow, and the day after that.

I am grateful for my husband, Joe. His patience is limitless, his love always there, his sense of humor often tested, and his arms ever warm and comforting.

I'm grateful for my flock. Sure, I have to wear "poop shirts" on a daily basis, but what's that compared to the sunshine they bring to my day? Just watching them play can make me feel better after a difficult day.

I know there are good days to come. Bad days, too. Still, I'm blessed. My virtual stocking full, come Christmas morn. And every morning thereafter.

Wishing you blessings and strength of heart and hope for the coming year.