I spent the night at their house and the next morning we were up at 6. As I watched their three daughters come downstairs I was struck with how incredibly blessed these girls are. The house was all aglow with candles and twinkly lights and a fire in the fireplace. An enormous tree highlighted the room. Christmas music softly playing. Hot chocolate waiting in their own special cups. And presents! Each girl was met by their mom and dad with a big hug and a "Merry Christmas". Once we all were settled with coffee and hot chocolate, Nate read a portion of the Christmas story out of Luke. We opened the morning with a prayer of thanks and acknowledgement for the gift of a Saviour. And then the grand opening of presents and sheer delight filled the room.
We then loaded ourselves up and took the twenty minute drive to my daughter's house for breakfast. Beautiful home baked blueberry muffins, fruit salad, frittata and bacon....simple she said. With a few more presents opened and a time of lingering, I went home and actually took a little nap. I didn't mind this time alone on Christmas. I wanted it. I had all afternoon before everyone was coming to my house for dinner. I had most of my preparations finished the day before, so my afternoon was very stress free. I took apples to Red and shared with every horse there. It felt nice to be alone at the barn. Magical. And then they were all at my house and the activity began. From there, back to my son's for dessert and more presents from me to all of them. It was a fun, very fun day. And I was happy, not sad. I think Kenny would have been pleased.
I had also made it through another big day. Ken's birthday was on December 19th and he would have been 51. I knew the day was coming of course, and although I had not planned it this way, I ended up having a little party of my own. My son and son-in-law were going to the 49'rs game that night, so I had the girls and grandkids over for cookie decorating. We started out with a bowl of soup to counteract the huge amount of sugar we would be consuming later. We made our mess, ate our cookies, and had our fun. Kenny would have been pleased with that as well.
And so now....it is over....but the Christmas spirit still lingers and that holiday feeling is still in the air. Strange as it may seem, I am finding myself more and more grateful for everything. Overwhelmingly, surprisingly, grateful.....for everything. I have been blessed. Truly.