Its finally the 4th Sunday of Advent... Christmas is THIS WEEK! Eek!!!
As we come closer to Christmas day, I have been reflecting on past years. This of course is the first without Nana with us, and with that comes a hint of sadness knowing that last year we surprised our family with the news of our pregnancy... I love this video, and I am thankful for it to show Xander how much his Nana was excited to know of his arrival. I am sorry she didn't get to snuggle him... especially since he is a mega cuddle monkey.
With thinking of Nana, I then looked back at old pictures of Ariel's first Christmas. Gosh, she and Xander really look alike when you cover up the hair. Hee.
The other morning while laying in bed, I realized I needed to bundle Xander up with an extra blanket because it was chilly. So when I got up I went to his room to get out a white knit blanket. This blanket was a gift from Nana back when I was engaged. We had gone to a bazaar together, I think it was the first Christmas perhaps after Mom died. We found this beautiful, hand knit white blanket and Nana bought it for me. 'Save it for when you have babies' she said. I did, and I took such care of this present. Carefully keeping it stored safely until the day Ariel came into the world.
I remember as I prepared Xander's room for his arrival, the blanket again came out and into the bottom drawer with other blankets. With Nana gone, it was even more special. I used it a few times, and then I forgot about it since it had been warmer and Xander was using a full body outfit for the stroller. So when I opened the bottom drawer looking for the blanket... it was gone.
I panicked, trying to retrace my steps. The only thing I could think of was Halloween, but I wasn't sure. I called friends in hopes it was around at someones house... but it wasn't. I was losing faith, I knew it was just a blanket, but it was still hard, I felt awful for losing it. I cried one night, then decided I had to let it go and got busy in my week. With all the excitement with class parties, dinner's out and preparing for Ken's family, I was in a daze. Then Saturday came and it was a packed day. Ariel and I were getting to meet one of our newest online friends, Aimee and her daughter Kailey. We met on a gymboree message board, yes yes, I know, more crazy people like me, haha.
So she drove up from across the border for lunch with us at the Old Spaghetti Factory. The girls exchanged gifts and we had a nice lunch... with some preschool antics as well. Haha. The girls pretty much trashed the table with wrapping paper, toys and lunch. Thank goodness for a very understanding waiter who just smiled and said he had seen worse, bless his heart! I gave him a good tip, haha.
After lunch we took the girls to Go Bananas so they could run around and play. Aimee and I got to chat for 3 hours and it was so much fun. We have a lot in common and I see this being the beginning of a new long term friendship. I love my friends, old, new and online, haha. I think Ariel loves her new friend too, can you tell?
We said our goodbyes and headed home to get Xander and Ken and head off to Dad and Rita's for Christmas dinner with my family. Dinner was amazing, roast beast with lots of yummy side dishes. Ken got a nice family shot of us all... and of course Mike wasn't about to stop eating just for a picture. Haha, classic!
We moved on to dessert after Ariel and Katie opened their stockings of cute trinkets. Dad made an apple and lemon pie, Ariel had a slice of both, good grief, where does she put it.
Then it was time for gifts. We had gotten both Dad and Rita and Mike and Jo these really cool cheese plates made from recycled wine bottles that were flatten into plates. Then they added personalized labels with their names and wedding year. We also had given some calendars of pictures of the kids to Dad and Rita, and Mike and Jo some ornaments for their tree.
We were given lovely gifts, I got some pottery to add to my collection. A set of 3 nesting bowls and a cooking light cookbook from Dad and Rita.
Ariel got a ukulele, and she LOVES it! She has been really into playing the little guitar over at their house, and Dad was told by the fellow at the music shop that it was a great way to start her off. So we have a sheet with cords, so we will see how we do.
Xander got some cute outfits, toys and Canuck mittens! Mike is always making sure his nephew has canuck gear. Haha! Xander of course was pretty confused by the whole event, but managed to get through it in a good mood.
We finished gifts and packed up the car to come home and get the kids in bed. It was quite late so we all slept in the next morning and missed Sunday school. I had to be there on time for the service to take pictures of the baptism and membership happening that morning.
While at church, Stella gave me a little bag with something in it, but I didn't finally open it until we got home. Inside was the sweetest ornament and I love it. I can't imagine something being more perfect and meaningful for this year. Our first Christmas as a family of four.
Afterwards we came home for a quick lunch and I went off to the store with my huge list in hand. I filled a grocery cart with all our Christmas food and realized I was there for over an hour shopping, yikes! The total nearly made me fall over too, I don't usually have big amounts like that. Gack!
I got home and working together we got everything inside. Ariel is great holding the door open for us. Yay. Then we checked in online with Ken's family and there is a slight crisis at hand. The passports are missing! They are going into an office tomorrow to look into fast replacements... of course the costs in that are HUGE, and my heart is breaking that this is happening to them. Pray things go smoothly in the next few days... I can't imagine them not being here now.
Ken then decided we needed to get some laundry done, so he and Ariel went down to do a load of stuff and came back with the biggest surprise! MY BLANKET!!!!!!!!!! I guess it must have fallen when I came inside one day and someone might have thought it was dropped by someone doing laundry and stuck it in the laundry room in our building. Of course I started crying, I am so thankful and blessed to know there was honest and caring people in our building that put it somewhere safe instead of chucking it or stealing it. My dear Xander now gets to snuggle in it... and is that much closer to his Nana.