Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Memories -- Michael

When I began putting the Holiday Music channel on the stereo a few weeks ago, hearing the old familiar songs as performed by the artists I heard as a child brought back a lot of memories and feelings from many years ago.  Especially as Miaya is getting old enough to perceive music as more than just background noise.  With her sitting on my lap, I wondered at the long and circuitous route I took to be holding this oh so precious child, and how it must have felt for my parents to see us experience our first Holiday times.  I often think of the year our main gifts were toy trucks and tractors, for myself and my two sisters, which probably came from the local implement dealership.  To see the home movies of some of those years with the fireplace burning and the tree in the corner looks so like the perfect Christmas scene from a magazine, and for us kids it was certainly a magical time.  A simpler time it was in many ways, we had a television that got TWO channels reliably and sometimes a third, a party line phone, toted in coal for the stoves, carried in water from the well, and braved the cold to visit the privy.  Of course, as children we were really a bit too young to realize the amount of work it took to just meet the basics -- which were about what we had.

The the later years as we moved to a better farmhouse and more siblings arrived saw a similar though much less spartan setting.  It's strange the things that really stick with us, like the big bag of mixed nuts, in the shell of course, that arrived each holiday season and occupied us for hours cracking nuts and picking out the meats.  It was a very social thing and seemed that every house had a bowl of nuts that became the focus of most socializing.  Of course, the favorite and easy to shell nuts disappeared first, leaving the tough brazil nuts fighting a rear guard action against the onslaught. 

Yes, that music brought out a lot of emotions that alarmed Miaya a bit and she kept asking if I was sad, no dear, Daddy is really happy, and you're the reason.  I must remember to be a little better about building the memories that she will have to hold dear when we are gone. The holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas are about family and remembering what is really important.  What is really important is not the packages under the tree, it's the little girl who crawls up on my lap and declares "I love you so much Daddy!" and gives me a big hug, it's the wonderful woman who for some reason consented to be my bride those years ago, rescuing us both from our lonely lives. 

I now understand a little better the smiles on my parents faces as we tore into those presents on those magical mornings, the contentment and joy that is timeless.  And, we never really noticed how little they gave each other so we could have more.....

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Miaya's Christmas

Christmas with Michael's family in Illinois.
Miaya playing with cousin Jennifer.

 Miaya with Jennifer and Grandma Shirley (Michael's mother).
Grandma with all the grandchildren together for the first time.

Miaya's pile is outgrowing her!!

Christmas Eve at the Foster's

Christmas morning at home....

Kim's parents, her sister Katie and husband Tim and their son Rusty came over for brunch.

 Hard at work.....
"I can practice my word writing now".

 Is there another present for me?

 The wrapping paper is getting deeper, and it's all form Miaya!

 Kai Lan Dino Dreams, this one got a lot of play.

A nice soft fluffy blanket and pillow from Aunt Katie, this one was big hit with Miaya, she insisted on using it for her nap. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

We Have An Infestation....

Of Chocolate Mice!..........

Which have somehow become a Christmas tradition with us.  Just one of those things I guess........

I'm NOT Cousin It..........

Do you think Miaya's bangs are starting to grow out like we've been hoping?