“When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens.” ~Anne Lamott

We just got back from a trip to KC for Thanksgiving.  We spent Turkey Day with Dan’s parents, a joyful day-after-thanksgiving at Union Station and Crown Center with the Barmann clan and a Saturday full of swimming at a community center while it snowed outside.   Throughout the holiday weekend I had moments of feeling the fullness and joy of life unfolding while being connected to the city we grew up in, the places we used to go when I was little, and choosing how to spend the holiday with our growing nuclear and extended family.  This feeling didn’t come from the things that were planned (many of them didn’t work out as planned anyway) but from moments in between.  We are thankful for so much, including:

  • the opportunitycimg4022 to parent two healthy kids
  • getting to go back home to KC to see our big family then coming back home and decorating our christmas tree
  • volunteers at union station in kc who return kids who have lost their parents
  • lifeguards who jump in to “save” a four year old going down a big waterslide backwards
  • people who put up wild holiday decorations year after year
  • our jobs, our house, our cars and all of the material blessings which keep us comfortable and healthy
  • parents, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, life long friends, new friends, being married to our best friend
  • many chances in one day, week, trip, holiday, year to laugh

We got back home yesterday afternoon and made a big dinner, ate in the dining room, put holiday music on loud and hung ornaments on the Christmas tree.  It was totally unplanned and just perfect.  While we were decorating our tree, we found some it-bit ornaments that I forgot we had (My friend Carolyn calls little babies “it-bits”, short for itty-bitty.  I love words and this makes me laugh).  And then we found some mini-it-bits and some tiny-mini-it-bits.  There was joy at the core of my soul when Grace referred to the ornaments this way with a twinkle in her eye.  She is one of us.

I tell my kids as often as I can how happy I am that are with us and that they belong with us.  I hope with all of my heart that they feel through their life that they do.  I know it will evolve and change and hope that I can always see them for their individual souls as well as their part of us.  We are certainly all connected and the holidays give us a chance to enjoy that, struggle with it, laugh about it and then clean it all up and resolve to do better next year.  But before we get there, we kicked off the 2008 holiday season and we’re ready to go!