(don't be afraid: this post will be way less wordy and ambitious than the title suggests. i'm just sweeping the past 10 days under the rug in one big whoosh.)
we left off with snowflake bidding us adieu ... we were off to indiana for the christmas holiday. harper was a bit worried about snowflake finding us, but never fear ... she awoke to gray kitty dangling outside her bedroom door on saturday morning, clinging onto a note from snowflake that stated she would meet us in indiana, after running a quick errand for santa.
10 hours in the car later ... we were at my parents'. and it was good. until we discovered at bedtime that harper had failed to pack her pajamas. this did not go over well. in fact, it's a wonder she calmed down enough to go to sleep. but she did, and i promised her i would find her some pajamas on sunday.
the next morning, harper was so excited to see if snowflake had, indeed, found us ... and sure enough, there she was: sitting on the fireplace mantle. WITH gray kitty.
and she had a note for harper, along with a present. apparently, santa had heard about harper's lack of jammies, and allowed snowflake to bring an early gift: harp's xmas eve jammies. (this actually solved a myriad of problems: how to dress harp for bed on the night before the night before christmas; how to give jammies to harp without giving some to henry, who had said he was "done" with santa this year; how to not raise questions from harp if wyatt and nora didn't get jammies, since the pjs are our tradition, not theirs.) harper was thrilled ... and even more so when she discovered that santa had also brought matching pajamas for julie, her american girl doll.
and there was peace.
later that morning, my aunts and uncles and cousins and their families from my dad's side were over, and there was a lot of noise and talking and catching up.
marc and the kids and i managed to sneak away for two hours to meet up with one of my oldest and dearest friends, katie, and her family. we had a great visit, wondered how we can get together more often than once every four years or so, and harper appeared to make a new friend of her own: their daughter, abbie.
monday morning, christmas eve, snowflake was again hanging out in a tree. her farewell ... watching over us all day long.
we went through all of our xmas eve traditions: last minute shopping (i had forgotten to pack harper's santa gift, among other things (like, practically every stocking stuffer, etc.), last minute wrapping, and then the fun stuff ... hanging stockings, writing letters to santa, reading "'twas the night before christmas," playing games and snacking and so forth. and then it was time for christmas.
amazingly, the kids let us sleep until 7:30 christmas morning. when they got up, they immediately went out to check their stockings. harp came running over to me: gray kitty was in her hands, and in gray kitty's hands was a rolled-up note. from snowflake. telling harper how much she will miss her this year, to be good, and to look on her ipod ...
harp went running to the bedroom and returned with her ipod. she turned it on and there, on her lock screen, was this:
her eyes were huge. "snowflake snuggled me?!" she asked. "how did she take a picture??" "i don't know," i told her. "maybe santa took it."
oh. man. she was over the moon.
(even now ... if you ask her what her favorite gift was, she'll tell you it is the picture of snowflake sleeping with her. so totally worth the riskiness of getting said photo.)
and then ... christmas. and all of its joy and craziness.
and to spare you endless scrolling ... here's the holiday weekend in one neat spot:
on wednesday, we were to have another gathering with my mom's side of the family, but a winter storm blew through, dumped a bunch of snow (5" is "a bunch" in indiana), so no one drove around, the gathering was cancelled, and we went sledding and ate snacks all day long.
then i got sick.
now it's monday, and i'm still sick. so much for new year's plans. i'm just going to assume that this means 2012 is going out like a lion, and 2013 will come in like a lamb.
or something like that. who knows. i've been drugged and napping for the past four days.
tomorrow we wake up with a fresh start, and on wednesday the kids go back to school and i will make eggs benedict for me and marc to celebrate a quiet house, and then i start making lists. because that's what i do every year on january 2nd. projects and cleaning and personal "to do"s and grocery re-stocking ... i have a brand new notebook all ready to go.
so, i raise my 2 tb of nyquil to you with wishes of a happy new year! see you in 2013.