Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What do the holidays mean to you?

What do the holidays mean to you?

Sweet in so many ways, especially as the girls are now a little older and get so excited about all the festivities.  Santa of course.  Just being together, though is the main excitement.  Daddy took his vacation over the winter break (two entire weeks=wonderful.)  We had a wonderful kick off with eight or so inches of snow dumped on us.  We spent the day together, sledding, shoveling and drinking hot cocoa.  Great memories I will cherish forever.
We weren't able to travel to Dubuque, due to the weather, but Matt's family understood and knew it was best to be safe than make the two hour drive.
Christmas Eve has also been tough the last seven years for my family.  Great Papa Paul passed away on Christmas Eve 2003.  I was pregnant with Chloe still, so none of the beauties ever were able to know him and how wonderful he was.
We always begin the evening with a visit to the cemetery.  which may seem a bit sad to some, but we feel he knows we are thinking of him this way.  This year we pulled in right behind my parents, and my brother and his family.  My brother brought the shovel and he cleared the path and the area around his resting place.  Chloe placed a special ornament she made for him on the headstone and also the "little peanut people" that the triplets wanted him to have.  We share memories, share tears and share hugs.  I think it is a perfect way to highlight all that the holiday season stands for.  I cherish that time, even when it's cold and snowing.  I also hold close to my heart how much it means to my Dad that we all meet there and remember Great Papa Paul.  He was and always will be such a huge part of my Dad, of all of us.  The beauties will have these memories and someday they will understand. 
I know the tradition is also bitter sweet for Matty.  Great Papa Terry, (Matt's dad) passed when Matt was in junior high school.  It brings back memories for him because Papa Terry was born on Christmas Day.  Matt feels closer to my Dad because they both lost their fathers.  My Dad helps Matt with things, that a Dad would help a Son with.  It makes me realize how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family.  Again...what the holidays are all about.

Next stop, Nana Reta's for dinner.  The house was busy with giggling, talking and trying to get a prayer out without crying before dinner.  The beauties love getting into things that Nana doesn't want them into.  This year, I even had the privilege of going through the trash to look for the pie servers that Nana was "just sure someone threw away or took."  Of course they were not in there, but located later on her bathroom vanity, where she must have placed them for "safe keeping."
Oh well..again that's what the holidays are about. 
Beauties tucked into bed...not a peep...hmm wish every night was that easy.
On Christmas morning, Matty was the first one awake.  He says it was Chloe, but I think he may be fibbing.  We woke the triplets and discovered that Santa had in fact made a visit to our home.  The beauties were thrilled to find gifts with their names on them placed under the tree.  They took so much care in their gifts.  Patiently studying each one and smiling with pure delight that Santa had come through and brought them their special wishes.
We headed out to Grammy Pam and Poppys, to have brunch with my brother, Dee and Molli, Great Gramma and Papa "Bush."  The beauties were beaming with excitement, but managed to eat breakfast.  They had a ball, watching Grammy pass out gifts.  What fun, what fun to watch them open their gifts and also get excited to see what cousin Molli was getting too.  After the gifts were opened, we lounged around watching holiday movies (does Home alone count as a "holiday movie")  I think it does.  The beauties played with their "leapsters" the entire day!  Score big Grammy and Poppy!  It was a wonderful day.  When we arrived home the beauties dressed their "baby Janes and Clara" in their new outfits and played with all their shiny new toys.  It's safe to say, they were asleep before their heads hit the pillows.
The next morning we woke and headed to Gramma Val and Dave's, to be with Matt's sister Ande and cousin Haley.  Dave's daughter and her family were also there.  We had a holiday lunch.  With full tummies, it was time to play Santa.  Chloe and Haley got to share the task this year.  I always love watching how much fun is had handing out the presents.  The beauties opened and smiled and played the afternoon away.  Then took a rest during a movie on their new sleeping bags and special blankets.

Christmas was a wonderful whirlwind.

We enjoy being together and no matter what we are doing, where we are or what we are looking for, all that matters is that we are in fact, together.

It's not for presents, or lavish meals, or days getting paid to not be at work.  Not for fancy clothing or going somewhere exotic.  All those things are nice of course, an added bonus.  Just being together is what matters.
I know in my heart that Matt and I are instilling that importance in our four beautiful little girls.  Family.  Love.  That's what makes the holidays...and everyday we have together so precious.

We are truly blessed.

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