I have been so happy to have my family together for Christmas. This is what I've been needing, the missing link. I'm pretty good (at least I think so) at getting by when Steve's not here, but I miss him so much when he's gone and it's difficult to get into a celebratory mood without my favorite person here to share it with.
But right now? While he's here with me and our children? Bliss.
We've had fun as a family these last few days and I look forward to another week of sleeping in, watching movies, playing games, baking, eating dinners together, and maybe even a little shopping. As I write, Steve and the kids are out rounding up what they need to do a little skeet shooting. I'm so glad they are able to spend some quality time with their daddy, too.
We had a very simple Christmas this year. It was different for us. Steve's mom is away visiting her family until after the first of the year, and so our annual Christmas Eve gathering at mom and dad's house became a gathering at our house. We opened a few gifts, ate a bunch of snacks, and toasted with champagne. It was nice and relaxing.
Christmas Day was quiet, too. When we couldn't hold Rachel off any longer - about 6:30 - we finally got up and Steve put the breakfast casserole in the oven to bake while we opened gifts. The kids were happy with what they received, and I was happy watching the looks on their faces when Steve and I opened the gifts they helped us pick out for each other. We got Steve a new Gerber multi-tool and a new belt. They got me - God bless all three of them - a Keurig one-cup coffee brewer. I have been eyeballing them for months, but it's one of those things that I just couldn't justify buying for myself. I'm in heaven!
Now that all the scraps of wrapping paper have been taken out with the trash and grandma's Nuts & Bolts snack mix has been safely hidden away for munching on later, it's time to sort some laundry and empty the dishwasher (again). I enjoy these days following Christmas, though, as much as I enjoy the days leading up to it. Every time I turn around there is a reminder of Sam's and Rachel's thoughtfulness, my husband's presence, our blessed life. Barring the days following the births of our children, I can't think of a time when I was happier than I am today. I'd like to bottle this feeling, but since that's not possible I'll just bask in it ... enjoy it ... soak it up.