Friday, December 30, 2005

Note to Self: More Pictures

Me: Did you read Chickenblog?

Him: Yeah...

Me: Was it a good one?

Him: Yeah. I like pictures.

Me: Oh. Okay.

Holly brought a family tradition to our home for Christmas Eve. Don't let her sweet smile fool you. She stayed only long enough to get us hooked, then she left us to toil and puzzle on our own.

FINISHED. I do not share the same obsessive drive to succeed that Geoff does, but I knew if I didn't help him we would never make it to Pasadena in time for Christmas dinner!

Aunt Becky and Grandma serving up the Christmas dinner. We stayed over night and shared the company of Paul, Ruth, Larry and Lupita, Julie and Rebekah, Dan and Olivier. Julie made fudge. Mmmm fudge. We all made Merry.

Last Friday we met Tamsyn, Carol and Gene for downtown skating. Alex and Tamsyn are campaigning for skating lessons. They were quite dedicated, inspite of uncomfortable skates and a very, very wet rink.

I think it was this rubber tree that first attracted me to this house. Soon our lease will be up and Max will not be able to call to me, "Can I go up higher? Please?"
Everyday I think of things to write about. Most days I don't manage to get to the computer and to share all my brilliant insights and reflections of gratitude.
Everyday I cook and clean and play and strive to accomplish tasks and chores, and I seek fulfillment and understanding, and sometimes I stay up to 2:48 a.m. playing
S-C-R-A-B-B-L-E against the computer. I am a busy woman.

I wish I had taken the time to write more about the activities and pastimes we have enjoyed this month.
This month has been about Christmas and time off from work for Geoff, it's been about having a lot of time to spend together as a family, and figuring out where we are headed. I can list the things we did: We ice skated twice, we rented the big bike, we went sledding at The Wild Animal Park, we made tamales and decorated gingerbread houses, we watched favorite holiday movies and sang Christmas songs while driving the neighborhoods in search of great light displays, we even went on an official caroling expedition, we played at parks, hiked and traveled, we met with friends... I can list all of these things, but what I wish I could do is capture in words the frequent moments when I was consciously, gleefully aware that I was enjoying a genuine, golden Christmas, quality family experience. Again and again I thought "I really must blog about this... I want to remember this moment forever... this is wonderful." It wasn't about perfection or great expense, or fancy place settings. Usually it was in the midst of laughter, or even in chaos, like when we were with friends decorating gingerbread houses... frosting and gumdrops, spills, elbow to elbow with children and sugary concoctions... bliss.

Geoff and I tackled the making of and baking of Bourbon Pecan Cakes, a task so huge and onerous that I only attempt it every four years. We even dared to double the recipe. Geoff's arm cramped twice while mixing the batter. I loved that he was in the kitchen with me. I loved that we took turns scooping up Maria when she tired of cooking in her own kitchen. I loved that we debated about the measuring of flour, or how dark the cakes should be when they are done. I loved that the smell of this recipe takes me to my childhood, my mother, my ideals about Christmas and sharing and giving and enjoying.

Today is my 39th birthday. Alex stayed up late last night and secretly baked brownies. They all went shopping for me. When I came to the kitchen this morning I found balloons and crazy straws, chicken napkins and presents, some wrapped in Star Wars paper. The sink is full of dirty dishes and I am still trying to recover from Tuesday's late night of Scrabble, we are agonizing over our destiny options. But I have new socks in my favorite color, and lucky bamboo, and Katamari for PS2 and a daughter that wakes up playing peek-a-boo. I have time to sit down and reflect with gratitude about my life, and good health, good friends, the many Christmas cards on our hall wall, the sound of the dishwasher running, the call from my brother and his wife wishing me a happy birthday. Alex wants me upstairs now to see something cute Maria is doing... this is going to be a good day.