Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year

It's been a while...

The drive to CT was LONG. Katie ended up not being able to fly down to FL so that she could drive with me because of a blizzard in the Northeast. Instead, my Aunt Sue flew down a day earlier so that I would have some company. We drove for 14 hours the first day and 9 the second but finally made it to my parents by 5pm on Saturday. We woke up on Sunday to a blizzard! It was beautiful but Duke didn't know what to make of it. Poor thing couldn't go #2 for a few days because he couldn't find a patch of grass to do his business in.

Liam loved taking Duke out for walks!

I've lived in Florida for 15 years and have never spent a Christmas here. I can't. I don't have any family here and I can't imagine not being with the people that I love the most. We have always spent Christmas with my Mom's sisters and their family's. Everyone comes to my parent's house and we have a blast. We have a lot of traditions - it starts at Katie's on 12/23 for her annual "night before Christmas Eve party". We eat, drink and play a game called "pass the parcel". It's a great way to get the holiday started.

On Christmas Eve we go to an early mass and then to my parents for dinner. It's always been our family and "everyone else that doesn't really have anyone or anywhere to go". There's no telling how many people will be there! For as long as I can remember, my parents have opened their home to those that are less fortunate than us and Christmas is no exception.

Once we get my five year old godson to bed, Santa comes! Unfortunately, Santa is usually a bunch of adults that have had too much to drink and are trying to put together toys with a million pieces :o)

Christmas morning we all meet in the kitchen for coffee, tea and the best coffee cake I have ever tasted (it comes from a bakery in NJ). We gather in the living room to read the story of Jesus' birth and to place the baby Jesus in the manger. My Dad reads the story from a book he got when I was a teen. Each year is written on the inside cover with the name of the child that placed baby Jesus in the manger. It's really neat to be able to look back to see when each of the five kids in my family did it as well as the names of others that have been with us through the years. After the story, we head to the basement to see what Santa has brought and to open our presents.

I can't wait until Maggie is here to start sharing these traditions with her as well as create our own. She is already so loved not only by me, but by all of my family. For the third Christmas in a row, there were presents under the tree for her. Although I loved everything she was given, my favorite was bath towels with her name embroidered on them from her Aunt Katie. I have a feeling my girl is going to be very spoiled :o)

All the kids with the giant "parcel"
at Katie's Christmas Eve Eve Party

Beautiful towels from Maggie's Aunt Katie
I had a great time being home with my family and the drive back to FL was long. My Mom drove back with me and we were able to spend some really good one on one time together - something we don't often get to do.

And now it is 2009. If this first week is any indication of what is to come, I'm not sure I'm looking forward to the rest of the year. I've been sick since New Year's day, 10 people in my office got laid off on Monday, the rest of us were given a 10% pay cut on Tuesday and a close friend and co-workers wife passed away this morning. Oh yeah - my 28 LIDaversary was on Sunday. So far it's kind of sucky.

I'm ready for some good news - bring on referrals :o)


Special K said...

Your family tradition sounds nice. What a fun way to celebrate the holidays.

Sorry about the bad news at work. Hope things turn around. That's no way to start off the new year.

Briana's Mom said...

I'm sorry your year isn't turning out so well so far. I hope things turn around soon.

Your Christmas sounded wonderful though!

PIPO said...

Glad you got your family time..that is so important.

Love those cute 'Maggie' towels.

Yeah, not a good start to the year for you but things will start looking up....they gotta :0)

Pug Mama said...

I have a crush on Duke. Don't tell Jeter.
So funny that he couldn't find a patch a grass, so he couldn't do potty!

Rhonda said...

Hugs and prayers,

Alyson and Ford said...

Home with family is wonderful. We just made that same driving trip after getting home with AA, Florida to Maine! It is long!

Alyzabeth's Mommy for 16 Weeks!

Michaela said...

I wish you a Happy and Healthy 2009! And, of course, a speedy referral!
I'm in Florida, too (Orlando), but lived in MA for 12 years. Our LID date is 05/24/06.
Best wishes,