Saturday, January 9, 2010
Christmas was a blast. Aside from the fact that my sweet Papa was in the hospital, which caused him (and us) much pain, it was a great Christmas. I don't think I've shared this on here, but Papa fell a few weeks ago and broke his neck. Once he got to the hospital they found out that he also had pneumonia. It's been quite a road for him and for my parents, aunts and uncles as they all try to determine what's next for Papa. He is such an amazing man and he's sharp as a tack. He's definitely a guy's guy with a tender heart...especially for his three girls and slew of grandkids. Ian and I went and sat with him for a few hours one morning while we were home. He was in a LOT of pain and was not excited for me to see him hurting, but as soon as he felt good enough to catch his breath he started talking smack with Ian. He LOVES to talk smack with the guys in the family. They talked about the two Carolinas, job stuff, and always always money. Papa loves to talk/joke about money - how much he doesn't have and how much his sons-in-law have and need to give him. My whole life I don't think I've ever spent time with Papa where he didn't grab the butt/wallet of the men in the family and talk trash to them about how much they make. It's a trip. So, at the hospital that morning, while he was in major pain, we spent a good bit of the time looking up and calculating what he made in 1974 and (with interests) what that would be today. Hilarious. Papa was trying to say Ian made so much more than he did, when in reality Papa was raking it in. Hand over fist. He was a salesman and he was really really good. I wish you could know him. He's incredible.
Now for the rest of Christmas. It can probably be summed up in two words: bouncy house. My parents rented one for about four days and the kids had a blast. It was pretty darn freezing outside, but they all just shed their shoes and hopped right in. There are nine grandkids in our family now, ranging in age from 1 to 7. It's like a big party. My parents had a blast too. They just were beaming with pride the entire time...well, when they weren't flipping exhausted from filling sippie cups and wiping hineys. We all went to church on Chrismas Eve and it just so happened that my parents were singing a duet (Von Trapp-esque). They have never done that before and they were really good. Anyway, it was sooooo funny sitting there, taking up the first three rows with our huge clan dressed in Gammy-given outfits. After church we closed it down by trying in vain to get a good picture of the kids and Gammy and Doc.
That night we went back to Mom and Dad's and all the kids opened new Christmas jammies and bounced around the Christmas tree. My Dad pulled out his guitar and we sang carols, interwoven by a couple performances by Nate and Maggie of their Christmas songs they performed at school and church.
As I type this I need to say that I fully and completely realize how amazing this is. It was a slice of heaven, really. I almost feel guilty for loving my family so much and enjoying being with them. It's not always perfect, but it just feels like a great picture of the way the Lord loves me and all of us. Fully and completely, warts and all, knowing the good and the bad. I am so grateful and only hope to love my own kids and husband as well so that one day we will be singing around our tree too...only we'll probably be singing around the Smokey Mountain Cooker.