Monday, December 12, 2011

Overjoyed and a bit Overwhelmed

After much excitement and a bit of waiting, my new laptop has arrived! It was also an exciting morning as our Christmas box from my in-laws arrived so Branden and I felt a bit like kids on Christmas morning today! We also got our first Christmas card in the mail. It was from my grandparents which was sweet. I have always been close to them and it's always hard this time of year to be away from them. From the time I was born, every year my family would have Christmas Eve dinner with my grandparents and dad's family, go to the Christmas Eve service at their church, and then spend the night at their house so we could have Christmas morning with them. Since my sis and I were the youngest of their grandkids, they loved getting to continue the fun of having Christmas with little ones. We always had so much fun and Grandma and Grandpa loved to sit back and see Katie and me get all excited over our toys. We had the year when I was 3 that we got our kittens, then a bit later we had the year where we got our baby buggies, and then a little later we had the year that Katie and I confused all the adults by eating the cookies and drinking the milk before they much fun and so many memories. I spent Christmas Eve night at their house every year until I was 22 and at that age, I lived only 2 houses down from them but still walked over to keep up the tradition.

After Christmas morning at Grandma and Grandpa's house, we would then drive over to my mom's side of the family to enjoy more presents, food, and fun with my Granny, Aunt, Uncles, and cousins. We were quite close to both sides of my parent's families, especially since most of them lived in the same area, and I feel very blessed for that. Now we are all grown up and have a slew of little ones taking up the next generation. My grandparents on my dad's side have (if I am counting right) 24 great grand kids and Granny on my mom's side has 6. We are a bit more spread out now but we still have a deep connection filled with lots of great memories.

Fun with some cousins: (from left to right) Me, Bonny (our Irish Setter), Colby, Katie, Jennie

This will be my second Christmas in a row being away from family which is a bit tough since I do miss them a lot and we had such a great tradition of being together at Christmas. Branden and I won't be alone though. We will be spending Christmas with friends and their families so we do feel very blessed this Christmas as we did last Christmas when a friend from the US stayed with us. As some of you may have figured out by now, I love Christmas music and one of my favorite Christmas albums is Third Day's Christmas Offerings. There is one song at the end of the CD though that manages to make me cry EVERY TIME I hear it! It's about adoption but it always makes me think of how my parents must be feeling to not have me or my sis home for Christmas and so I can't help but lose it knowing how much they miss us. Dang! I can't even write about it without losing it!

*tissue break*

Anyway, I do feel very blessed this year, especially now since I'm sitting on my bed, surrounded by blessings bestowed on me by such wonderful people and the mail service didn't dropkick through my front door! It's been a tough year for Branden and me but we have grown so much, made such wonderful new friends, and seen miracle after miracle and blessing after blessing. If you get to be with your family for Christmas this year, give them some extra hugs. There are a lot of us out there who wish we could simply do that on Christmas day.

Oh, and if anyone thinks that I have turned into a Country Music lover, I will chuck a candy cane at you because Third Day isn't actually a country band (they can just get a bit twangy every once in a while!).


  1. I have a copy of a Third Day demo CD from when they were still a garage band. Be jealous of me. I also have the Much Afraid album in vinyl form.

    But the real question: Was this post done from your "new" laptop? Did everything arrive in working condition? I was especially worried about the "Human Interface Device" (or "mouse") getting crushed. Questions? Concerns? Email me!

  2. Awe, what a wonderful post. I am so glad you have these memories to carry you and Branden through the holidays away from your family.

  3. PS - More proof that we are blogger sisters...I just downloaded Jane Eyre on Kindle as well! One of my favorite books.

  4. Joshua...feel the jealousy! That is awesome! I love Third Day.
    Sadly this post is not done from my new laptop because it has that 'traveled in the cold' dampness to it much like your check in luggage does when you fly. I'm making sure it's totally dry before firing it up but the mouse looks fine and everything else looks great! I'll let you know later how things are when we give it a go...I'm so excited though! Tomorrow, I will expect to be posting from it ;)

    Stephanie, thanks :) It does help get us through but we do miss everyone terribly. Family is such a blessing and we both were blessed with wonderful ones!

  5. Stephanie, it's such a fabulous book! I actually finished it but forgot to take it off. It's so perfect to read around this time of the year too! Blog sisters for life! :) *Hugs!

  6. So this made me cry and miss my boy horribly. I haven't had Christmas with my family but once in the last 20 years. I understand this post very well and this year my boy will be gone.. I'm struggling.

  7. Melynda, you understand this post even more than me in a lot of ways! Goodness, once in 20 years! Hugs to you my friend and still, a big thank you because you do give me strength to keep going :)

  8. I know the missing family part of living abroad kicks into high gear during holidays, birthdays, and that sort of stuff. Sorry you can't be with your family during the holidays, but when you do get a chance to visit, it will be that much sweeter. You are going to have such amazing adventures to tell your kids some day!

  9. How much fun is that--such great memories.

    Congrats about the laptop :)

  10. You made me tear up thinking mama Penny and Chubs wont get to see their kids for Christmas! I guess I better take the kids in and have a visit with them and hopefully it will make them feel a tad bit better.

  11. Gina, thank you girl! You are so sweet!

    Elisa, thanks :) I'm so excited about my laptop!

    Carrie, you must take the kids over to see them, they will really appreciate it! This will be the first year that they don't have me or Katie so I know it's going to be a tough one for them. Give them lots of hugs for us! (and eat some of Dad's candy for me...hehehehe!)

  12. Princess, I'll be so glad when you can say you wrote a post using your laptop. That Joshua. What a good guy. We are so fortunate to have a bloggy family. I could feel sorry for myself and say my ex-husband killed our family life, but it's much better to say that I've found other people who have taken me in and made me a part of their families. And the song is beautiful.


  13. I know you miss being with your blood relatives, but consider my definition of FAMILY: "A group of people who love you."

    Your blogging family loves you, Princess!

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Tech tip, from your old buddy Scope:

    Don't try to speed up the drying process by placing the laptop in the microwave or the oven.

    Glad I could help. ;-)

  15. Lola, we are blessed with a great bloggy family! I'm so glad you are part of mine :)

    Fishducky, I think it helps that I always gained 'extra family' throught my life. Probably 1/3 of my 'family' are people who my heart has adopted. My blog family is the same way and I am grateful for every one of you! Thank you for your words and your friendship!

    Scope, thanks for the tip! I was going to make cookies today and thought "Well, since the oven is already going to be on..." ;)

  16. Scope's comment gave me heart palpitations.

  17. Joshua, oh come on, you know that even though I'm computer stupid, at least I'm married to a nerd who would shoot me for doing something like that! ;) (I actually didn't touch it until Branden had played around with it for a while...that's what she said!) haha!


Does this straitjacket make my butt look big?