Yesterday's party was a huge success! I made lots of different recipes, and everything actually turned out delicious. I should have taken a picture of the table after I put all the food out. I never would have thought I could have pulled that off so well! Tons of our neighbors showed up, and some even brought their parents who were visiting for the holidays. It made me feel so good that so many people came, ate the food I prepared, and enjoyed each others company.
I loved having my house so full that you could barely walk from one room to the other. I loved hearing all the chatter with Christmas music playing in the background, and the loud noises from all the kids playing together. It reminded me of being at my grandmother's house for Christmas Eve when I was little. It was wonderful to finally get to meet my new friend Katrina and her four beautiful children. It was a blast playing Santa, handing out gifts to the kids, and seeing how excited they got when they opened them.
By 7:30pm, most of the kids were starting to melt down, and it was time to get them all to bed, so everyone had cleared out pretty quickly. It seemed like moments after everyone left, Santa and Mrs. Claus showed up at the door. I almost forgot there was a chance they were coming! I was pretty bummed that everyone missed the visit, though. I had just put Jacob and Sydney to bed, but fortunately they weren't asleep yet.. At least they were able to see them, and what a thrill they got. Santa and Mrs. Claus brought a bag full of toys specifically for my kids and the kids that I said were likely going to be here. They even brought the letter that Jacob wrote to Santa, and the drawing he included with his letter. What precious moments we had last night.
Today was enjoyable, too... I had some extremely conflicting emotions about the day, as expected. I woke up around 2am and couldn't fall back to sleep for at least an hour. I don't know if I should attribute that to excitement, or just thinking too much (most likely the latter), so by the time Jacob woke up at the crack of dawn, I was more tired than usual. He crawled into bed with me with a big smile on his face because he had peeked and saw that Santa had arrived and put gifts under the tree.
A part of me hated to start Christmas day - another Christmas without the love of my life. I can't share any of this with him anymore.
Another part of me was looking forward to Sydney waking up so we could all go into the living room together. I didn't want to wake her up before she was ready since I knew a nap for her today was highly unlikely.
Last night, I loaded my camera with a spare memory card so that I was prepared for pictures today. The battery had been recently charged, so I was pretty certain that I had it all together for once with the camera.
The kids were so cute walking into the living room... walking in there together in their pajamas, sleepy eyes and huge smiles. I took a couple of pictures, and then I heard that familiar beep - 'memory card full.' WTF!! I scrolled through a few pictures to see why this memory card that I don't remember using was saying that it was full, and it WAS full - full of pictures of Matt and me from when Jacob was a baby that I don't remember seeing. I haven't looked through the whole thing yet, but I'm excited to see what pictures are in there.
When I saw that first picture of Matt and I holding Jacob as a baby, I smiled and said, "Merry Christmas, My Love!" I felt as if it was Matt's gift to me letting me know that he was here with us this morning. I could almost hear him say, "Merry Christmas, Babe! Now put the new memory card that your brother just got you for Christmas in the camera."
Later today, we went to our friend's house where we spent the rest of Christmas day with more friends. Jane, her husband and daughter have become like family since we've been here, and they feel the same way about us. It was great to have them over last night among all the others, and to spend Christmas day with them, too.
One more holiday down.
Merry Christmas, My Love.