December 26, 2010

the darker the night

My Christmas morning began at 4:30 a.m. when my eyes popped open and I knew it was senseless to stay in bed, what with everything that needed to be done.

So I got up and made this apple-and-date bread pudding for Christmas breakfast.
Then I made this red velvet cake.
About that time, the kids woke up, followed shortly by their groggy daddy.  Christmas morning commenced.  Many gifts were opened, from the favorites to the very odd.
This is the only picture we got of all three boys.  It was taken on Christmas Eve at our steak-and-potatoes dinner at John and Alisa's.
I had a rough Christmas this year.  It was probably the most emotional holiday I've had since Geoffrey Berens broke up with me on New Year's Eve in 1991 (in case your math is not so good, that would put me in the sixth grade).  I was just missing my family so much.  I kept thinking about them, and all their many reasons to grieve this Christmas.  I read my mom's blog and I cried.  I talked to my little brother at noon, midnight his time, and afterward I cried again.  I kept thinking about how far away I am, and how much we are missing in each others' lives, and how long it will be until we see one another again.  I just cried and cried, and when I wasn't crying I was griping at everyone (namely Daniel), and generally making things gloomy.  At one point during the day, Bright said, "It's Christmas.  We should try to be more caring."  By Christmas evening, I was soaking a headache away in a hot bath, nursing a cup of afternoon coffee, and dreading having to show my haggard face to the 10 guests we were about to welcome for Christmas dinner.

But then they all came over, in their sweat pants, bearing gifts and salad, and I found out that I was not the only one who cried my way through Christmas.  We stuffed our faces with spaghetti and meatballs and then sang Christmas carols in our living room.  I found myself crying again, but this time at the magnitude of the love G0D has for me.  After praising the newborn king, we popped in Home Alone II, and I fell asleep under a comforter on the floor among friends, where I was relaxed for the first time in days.

MoMo sent us a new storybook Bib!e for the kids this year and it is A-MAZ-ING.  It is called, "The Je$us Storybook Bib!e: Every story whispers his name" by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Jago.  During our praise and worship time, before Home Alone II, I read from it, of the account of the birth of Chri$t.  While trying to read the following lines, I - you guessed it - cried again.  

"This baby would be like that bright star shining in the sky that night.  A Light to light up the whole world.  Chasing away darkness.  Helping people to see.  And the darker the night got, the brighter the star would shine."