The first evening we just hung out and socialized. Foster brought hommade venison chili that was killer! I was afraid I wouldn't like it, but it was delicious. He made it just a little too spicy, but a little bit of sour cream and saltine crackers helped cut the heat a little bit. We spent time with his sisters for a few hours and caught up on life in general.
The second day we took the kids to Chuck-E-Cheese. I forgot how much fun that place could be. I even had fun as 29 year old! Foster and I worked hard to get the kids extra tickets by playing numerous games of skiball and football.
Foster decided he had to go get a quick bite to eat and disappeared for an hour. I was starting to get worried, and then on accident, I move the pillow from the back seat and found three wrapped gifts. Foster had said he wasn't getting me anything for my birthday or Christmas because he had purchased my camera for me, but he must have changed his mind. He was trying to hide them from me, but didn't do a very good job.
That night we had dinner at a local restaurant and then headed to Foster's older sister's place to open gifts. I was thrilled when I received a gift card to Wal-Mart for items for Roses from Rosalynn, and a new pandora bead. My niece spent her own money and picked out beautiful wine glasses for Foster and I. I hope she doesn't think we are alcoholics or something. Of course I had to get some pictures of my nieces and nephew, and they seemed to LOVE all of their gifts!
|This niece, we will call her "Guinn" LOVE penguins more than life itself!!!|
|She wanted one thing: a nutcracker!|
|Niece, "Queen", LOVES Barbie just like her Aunt Erin, so I got her one!|
|I love how Guinn is reading about a sheltie while 2 shelties play behind her in this pic!!|
After work on the 26th, Foster and I headed to my parents house. When I got there, Bug, Ky, JJ and Mr. JJ were already there. Papa JJ was there also. As soon as I walked in the door Papa JJ handed me my gift. It was a $5 scratch off ticket. I was really excited, because although I don't buy them for myself, I still love scratching them off. I started scratching, and we got excited cause it said I won $5. Well, the more I scratched, the more I won....$50 total!!!! Can you believe it? Foster won $10, so I figured that $60 is what I will use for the poker game I am playing in on New Year's Day. I am already on a lucky streak, hopefully it holds up.
My mother is a saint! I swear to you! She is a Catholic school teacher, gets paid way too little and is under appreciated. She loves her little second graders, and they love her too. Along with her own contributions to Roses from Rosalynn, she did something amazing this Christmas season. Most teachers are used to getting gift cards and mugs and ornaments from their children every year. This year she sent out a letter to all of her parents asking that instead of these gifts, that they donate items to my project. Their giving spirit was shown in the massive box of items. Receiving blankets, hand sanitizer, gift cards, teddy bears, checks, hand and feet imprint molds, the list goes on and on. My mother included some beautiful outfits with embroidered roses that she picked out from Macy's. She was so excited to show me all the goodies. I feel like Rosie's grandma got to Christmas shop for her and do grandmotherly things. I feel like this is something that has been both healing to my mother's heart, and to mine as well. I feel like every gift I received from friends, family, and strangers alike were gifts to my Rosie.
The next best gift I got this Christmas was my Lady of Guadelupe necklace and angel wing necklace from JJ and my aunt. I opened my gift from JJ and I could not believe my eyes! It was exactly what I had been looking for in DC, a beautiful OLofG necklace. I had seen one in Macy's and had offhandedly mentioned it to JJ. When I opened it, I figured Foster had something to do with it, but it turns out JJ is just very observant and had realized how much I had admired the necklace over a month ago. I love her so much, and I will now feel comforted wearing it every day the next time I get pregnant.
The angel wing necklace was given to me by my aunt. She could not make Christmas this year because she was so busy with her plays, so we missed her dearly. It just wasn't the same without her here this year.
So, although this Christmas is not what we had imagined it would be a year ago, it was so amazing. Rosie's presence was felt everywhere this week. It was definitely a blessed Christmas.