I told you yesterday about Christmas Eve Past, Present, and Future so today is Christmas Past, Present, and Future.
For the record, Christmas Eve yesterday was really simple and beautiful. My friend Jen and her baby Jack were not feeling well so earlier in the day she had messaged me to let me know they would not likely be going to Christmas Eve at her parents. I’m not sure if they did or didn’t, but we made the decision to just hang out with the three of us last night. It was a great decision, and if you won’t judge what you are about to see, here were a few highlights.
I went to Macy’s, and there wasn’t a dress for Samarah. Then I went to Carter’s. No luck there. Finally, Target, and this was, quite literally, the last 2T dress I could find. But I swear this little girl is an angel in everything she touches.
My mom sent me a text, “That’s what you wore to Christmas Eve church?” Obviously, Mom, I mean my boots are splashed in red with the cross. This is what looking festive is all about!
We realized once we knew we wouldn’t be going to Jen’s parents that we really didn’t have anything planned for dinner. My Thai to the rescue. We called to see if they were open, and when they said yes, we headed there right after church. Christmas Eve’s past included traditional food options: oyster soup, mocha cakes, egg rolls, fried rice and more. But c’mon, nothing says Christmas Eve food like some good old Pumpkin Curry!
And finally, by the time we got home it was 7:30 pm, but we let Samarah stay up a bit longer. We cuddled her on the couch while Ryan played his guitar. It was just super sweet. We put her to bed around 8 pm, and then we lit our fireplace, enjoyed this Christmas tree, (our main one is in a different living room) watched TV and relaxed. This main living room could look so put together and classy, but Samarah likes to have as many of her “friends” around as possible. The clutter of toys must go, but for last night, it felt cozy. Or wait, maybe it was the red wine and Puppy Chow. So, so good! I swear you must try it.
This was our very first Christmas together as newlyweds in 2008. I’d gather we had a very similar day that year as we will have today.
The next year, in 2009, we were in Minnesota. I remember that this was the first year I ever thought, “Christmas would be really lovely with a baby.”
I didn’t do a status update in 2010, and that’s okay, but it has reminded me that on Christmas Eve + Christmas Day each year I really want to do these status updates so I can look back on them and know where we were, what we were doing, etc.
2011 is my reminder for what a typical Christmas Day is like back in Minnesota. Many Christmas mornings, we would either spend with Ryan’s family or mine at my mom and dads. Either way, by the time we got to my house, there would be margaritas and snacks galore and extended family would come over for a large meal and maybe some cards and just fun and conversation all around. My cousin, who is my best friend, and I always seemed to take a picture in this exact same spot.
In 2012, I had the flu on Christmas, but it’s not what you think. I was sick all the time then because I had begun various procedures and drugs with the hopes of getting pregnant so my immune system was super weak. As a matter of fact, I think I also had some sort of the flu on the plane ride back to Minnesota in 2010 or 2011. People thought I was pregnant, but I wasn’t. I had simply already started drugs and procedures which made me susceptible constantly. In 2012, though, around this time, I was hitting the drugs really hard, and as you know, just a few short months later we would end that phase of our lives with the final culmination of a failed IVF cycle. Regardless, we powered through in getting my mama the little love of her life, Vinny (or Vinchenzo/Chenzo as I call him). He was born from the same breeder as my Peekepoo, Fiona, whom my mother and father adored. I think that even though she wanted him for so long, she was terrified when we actually followed through with it. She is so thankful today:)
Just one year later, on Christmas in 2013, that baby my heart had been longing for at Christmas time since 2009 was finally with us! We spent the morning at home cuddling her, and then later in the day joined friends for their Christmas just prior to picking up my mom, dad, and brother at the airport so they could meet Samarah for the very first time. It was the second time my dad had ever gotten on a plane to fly to California to see us. I loved every single minute that year.
And last year, in 2014, we returned to Minnesota once again for Samarah’s first Christmas being in the home skillet with us. One of my highlights, which I don’t have on Facebook, is the picture we got with my grandma, Verna. I can only hope that Samarah will see grandma Verna again, but if not, I am so thankful we were able to get some great pictures like this. That was my grown up Christmas list last year, and it was just beautiful. (Side note: As promised once her adoption was finalized, I have updated this post with full images.)
I awoke early again today, even though I told myself 800 times that I would sleep in until 6 am, but then I heard Samarah cry around 3:45 am, and Ryan get up with her. I was awake, and then I can’t just stay there, so I got up. I lit my Christmas candle, made a hot beverage and began writing this because even though it seems like a lot, I have enjoyed all these Christmas memories.
I still have a few gifts to wrap, and I’d gather Ryan won’t read this before he opens them, but I stole Jen’s idea for both Samarah and Ryan and went with the theme: something you want, something you need, something you wear, something you read. Practical. I failed to get one of the gifts for Samarah, and it’s the something you want gift. My plan is to take her shopping tomorrow to let her pick out anything she wants. Does a 2-year-old even know what they want?!
Ryan is finishing his Lefse this morning. I am going to make the Perfect Paleo Banana Bread because Samarah loves it (me, too!) If I feel ambitious later, I may make my grandmother Josephine’s donuts. We will consume a lot of coffee (sorry, dear adrenal fatigue) because it’s tasty and comfy, and then we will let Samarah dig into all the gifts people sent for her.
We don’t have any other big plans, and that is exactly what we intended for. I will tell you, though, that for certain, I will spend some time with Jesus through His Word because this is His birthday and the reason for the season in the first place. Today, our Savior was born.
As I mentioned yesterday, this will be our last Christmas with just the three of us.
Next year at this time there will be four or five of us, and only Jesus knows that outcome.
We will soon know that outcome, and because you and I are such great friends now, you, too, will soon know that outcome.
We have so many amazing past Christmas memories. We are creating so many of our own in the present, and we have so many to look forward to in the future.
You will heal. I will help.