After realizing that the connection to my camera is most likely the reason that I cannot get my photos from my "good" camera, I found another way. A memory card reader. Picked one up at Target for $12.99. Easy peasy.
Christmas is never easy for me. Not just because of Rett syndrome and the losses that brings. Christmas reminds me of other things I have lost. Namely, my parents. I have such wonderful memories of Christmas growing up. We always hosted a Christmas Eve party at our house-a small party that typically consisted of my parents, my brother and me (and usually my BFF). Plus several of my parents close friends who almost all happened to be Jewish! Kind of funny, right? But it was just a time for friends and family. We laughed a lot, and ate fantastic food which I have yet to try to recreate (the only one I can do is the cream cheese topped with cocktail sauce and lump crab meat-served with crackers. its ridiculously delicious!) It was the one night that everything seemed to be perfect.
It was the most wonderful time of the year. I loved spending time with my parents and older brother. loved it. So much so that I used to wish the power would go out during thunderstorms and we would bring out the board games and play scrabble by candlelight.
Once we had our own children, I decided I would carry on the Christmas Eve tradition and host our family at our house. We have done it now for a few years and I love it. Its the one night we can try to forget about the crap in our lives and all hang out, eat, drink and be merry. It's usually about 10-11 people-which is just right for our tiny house. This year we were joined by baby Jackson-Avery and Nolan's new cousin! He is 2 and a half months! Two of the group were missing-our newest niece, Rowen Grace (born 12.22.10) and her mommy Kelly! Kelly is Red's youngest brothers (Charlie) fiancee and we are so happy for them! Charlie made it over for a bit which was awesome!
This year, instead of trying to do it all on my own like my mom would have done, I had everyone pitch in a bring a dish and pretty much everyone brought wine. It was wonderful. I made Chicken Marbella-so easy. After dinner and dessert we exchanged our secret santa gifts with each other (we draw names and just buy for one person). Then we do our yankee swap (or white elephant). It's always a great time with some seriously funny gifts and stealing galore. I ended up with one of two shake weights-and I love it. Nolan liked it too! I really think its going to do a number on my arms this year! It's hard!
The kids had a great time, especially Nolan. He was really into opening gifts. We always got to open one on christmas eve growing up too. The kids got great Christmas PJ's -thanks Barb!
After the kids went to bed, our house became Santa's workshop. Uncle MT and Sarah helped (pretty much did it all) put the play kitchen together. We left some cookies, milk and carrots out and that was that!
In the morning, Avery woke up and we had to wait on Nolan. He was so excited to see that the cookies had been eaten, milk was gone and carrots nibbled. Then he went right up to the play kitchen and got to work! It was a huge hit. Nolan opened all his presents. We opened Avery's. she is unable to consistently show us her feelings so most gifts went unnoticed. She only wanted to watch her Baby Babble 2 video for the trillionth time. This brought tears to my eyes because it is not how it is supposed to be. But that feeling passed because this is just the way it is. After we opened at home, we went to gramma's and opened more there. then off to Red's aunt and uncles for a fun family dinner with extended family, cousins and 2nd cousins. We did get some cute pictures from the morning and I will end this post with those. Im thinking that every Christmas from here on out will just get better. You never know how things will be different in one year! Here's to 2011!!