Saturday, December 22, 2007

The mornings, the days, and the nights of this past week have simply flown right on by us. We've been ever so busy! We're happy to say that Shawn is doing good now, is home from the hospital, and back to work as of yesterday. He did suffer a mild heart attack which thankfully, did minimal damage to his heart. A heart cath was performed and he now has two stents to repair the 100% blockage. He is in for some major lifestyle changes as his family history warrants it and his sudden decline in health this year alone. When we're not working, visiting Shawn in the hospital, assisting in Alexxis' care, finishing up our Christmas shopping, we've managed to find some time to spend with our families.

The other day, Amber and I went shopping for Christmas and groceries for our dinner here last night. Just when I thought I was through purchasing presents for Alexxis, I saw a beautiful molded plastic sled with a safety belt perfect for her. Wouldn't you know our snow would begin to melt right after I purchased it, LOL! I'm certain, however, we'll have plenty of snow before the end of winter and get to play with it yet.

After dropping off our groceries here, we continued on over to Amber's and I finished decorating their Christmas tree. I wish I'd taken my camera along as it is so beautiful! Last year, they purchased a beautiful white tree and added strands of colored lights to it and decorated with all of their glass ornaments. This year and since Alexxis is older and more mobile, I loaned them a set of silver and blue shatterproof ornaments. After purchasing a few more ornaments while we were out shopping, I set out to putting those on the tree. We lucked into finding a 100 ft. roll of a soft, sheer white with glittered blue swirls of ribbon which I then hung around the tree, drapping it softly over the entire tree. Since there was so much ribbon leftover, I set out to creating more bows! I really got the knack for them now after creating so many for our wedding decor! Anyways, I created and added two big beautiful bows for the tree top and many smaller ones to place onto the branches. A smaller spool of blue with white velvet embossed snowflakes ribbon was used to create even more bows and provided a beautiful contrast to those already on the tree and with the silver and blue ornaments, this tree really packs a punch! While working to created some creased-looking pleats in the ends of the bows, I accidently began creasing the ribbon we used as garland and instantly fell so much in love with the effect it created that I decided to do the entire ribboned garland in the same way. I couldn't get over how such a small touch could have such a big impact on the appearance of the tree! Amber and Chris began joking and teasing about how they intend to start up Cathy's Tree and Holiday Decorating business complete with me gift-wrapping presents. We laughed and had a great time decorating their home before Alexxis finally whisked me off to provide her with a bedtime bath. Afterwards, her and I cuddled on the couch and while snuggling her soft little body, smelling heavenly sent of baby lotion, soaking in the lights of the tree, I realized just how much my family has blessed my life! It is truly the little moments like this that make celebrating Christmas so magical!

In the early evening yesterday, we had a nice dinner here with Amber, Chris, and Alexxis. Our menu consisted of a cheeseball and crackers for an appetizer, stuffed pasta shells, a childhood favorite of Amber's, a fresh garden salad, wine, and apple pie for dessert. After dinner, we proceeded to exchanging and opening our Christmas gifts for one another. Alexxis' health is continuing to improve and she is once again her bright, shiny, bubbly self! At first she was a little uncertain of this "opening presents thing", after just days before being told "No.No." when attempting to touch or pull the bows off the packages. However, it wasn't long after discovering that there were toys, clothes, and other goodies inside them, she couldn't quite open them fast enough. Her favorite gift was a baby doll that Santa brought complete with a few outfits, booties, a bib, a bear, a pacifier and a bottle. And heaven forbid that Grandma attempt to throw the box she came in away! Oh no! We can't have that, LOL! After visiting, playing, laughing, making preparations to pack up and go home, I had a fight on my hands attempting to put a coat and hat on a near two year old, squiggly and squirming body that all the while screamed, "Baby! Baby!" as Mommy picked up the box and the doll to take it home. I don't believe we've ever laughed so much or so hard as we did at that moment. What a character she is becoming!

Tonight, little Miss will sleepover at Grandma's and Papa's; let's hope Mommy and Daddy don't forget to bring that baby along! Grandma and Papa have one last surpise up their sleeves and are planning to take her and her doll out to look at Christmas lights! She loves to look out our window and see the lights at the fairgrounds all lighted up; just wait until we actually get to drive through them. I can hear the squeals and screams of delight already!

As I sat, late last night, enjoying a cup of Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha, soaking in the glowing lights from our Christmas tree, I suddenly realized that I am not quite ready to let go of the Christmas spirit quite just yet. Thankfully, I don't have to. We've still Christmas to celebrate with my parents on Christmas Eve and will enjoy a wonderful Christmas dinner with Don's side of the family on Christmas day. It truly is a magical, mystical time of year!

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