Well, it was never my intention to let a whole week go by without a single blog entry. This is such a wonderful time of the year for photo-taking and reflecting that nary a day should pass without something. But, alas, a week has passed and here I am. And, to make it even worse, I forgot my camera, so I can’t upload all the adorable pictures I wanted to share. Anyhow, in brief, here’s a short summation of the past week.
Last Thursday was sweet Emma’s fourth birthday. My faithful readers will remember that last year she proudly declared, “happy my birthday” throughout the evening (and Natalie took a series of scalp pictures). This year Emma was quick to remind me and Jeff that it was “her party.” We couldn’t have been happier to help her celebrate. She disappeared near the end of the party…apparently she just needed some alone time with her new ponies. She was busy playing by herself in her room when Jeff and I went up to say goodbye. Sweet, sweet girl.
Last Friday afternoon I drove north to Jamie’s for our annual Christmas extravaganza…a weekend of cookie-baking and crafting. It was also my first time to meet Silas so the anticipation was especially great! We allowed ourselves Friday night to just eat some Emeril’s soup (tradition), chat a bit about our baking plans, and admire Silas. Then, on Saturday, the extravaganza really began. We started baking around 10 a.m. and finished around 11 p.m.! 450 cookies, my friends! Sugar cookies, each individually frosted and sugared; spritz cookies…some red, some green, and some flavored with orange peel; chocolate-peppermint cookies that, sadly, required chilling and weren’t started until quite late on Saturday night (we were weary by the time they came out of the oven); and white chocolate cranberry cookies…you know, the ones everyone skips over on the cookie trays because they’re afraid of fruit. Jamie and I think they’re delicious though, and they look so festive, so we made them anyhow.
Sunday I got some fun snuggle time with Silas before church and then we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of stamping. Silas was a perfect addition to our extravaganza…well behaved and very helpful! I can only imagine what fun he’ll be next year!
On Monday the mood changed a bit when I learned around lunchtime that my grandmother had passed away. I knew before I left for Jamie’s that she wasn’t recovering well from a bout with the flu, but I was hoping she would rally back to good health, as my grandfather had done many times. This is certainly one of those situations where you don’t want to see your loved one suffer even one more minute, but you can hardly stand the thought of life without them. It’s been a sad week for me in that regard. My grandma and I, as she liked to say, were “very good friends,” and we enjoyed many happy shopping trips, cajun catfish meals at Cracker Barrel, and walks around the family farm together. I will (already do) miss her very much.
I was reminded this week of the blessing of family. My brother came home from California, and it was so nice to see him. We spent time with my Aunt Barb, one of my favorite people. And, my cousin John, who I don’t see enough anymore, was around with his oldest daughter. Of course, I have the best parents, and they were a source of comfort and encouragement during what was certainly a difficult time for them as well. And, outside my immediate family, I felt much love and support from my church family. I am blessed. (Did I mention my sweet husband? He is wonderfully sensitive, gracious husband, and all the Bertrams adore him…especially me.)
So, now I’m wrapping up a rather disjointed week at work and looking ahead to two full weeks off! Tonight, Natalie and Emma are sleeping over…our first overnight with them and their first sleepover in several years. Oh boy! I have much merriment planned…cookie baking and decorating, painting, movie watching, and sleeping (hopefully!) under the Christmas tree. Then, tomorrow night, we’re hosting our small group for a Christmas open house. It will be great to reunite with those friends for a few hours; they were such an important part of our fall.
So, there’s the wrap-up, but, sadly, without photographs. I trust that each of you are well and wish you a wondefully joyous holiday season!