California Christmas

Our first Christmas away from home if you can call it that since we do have family in the area whom we spent Christmas with. I got off work thirty minutes late which I didn’t think was too bad considering the three deliveries I had last night. The only thing that kept me going besides the appreciative patients were my kind co-workers and some amazing chicken enchiladas. The last couple hours it was harder to give myself completely to the task at hand. I was ready to be done so I could go home to my family and just be with them making some special Christmas memories.
Chad and the kids still in their pjs picked me up in front of the hospital at 7:00am. I told the kids that I was so excited that there was only two days left until Christmas to which they quickly corrected me that it WAS Christmas. We talked to my mom on the way home from work. We then opened stockings. The kids were so cute with their stocking stuffers, exclaiming their joy with each gift. We normally wait until after breakfast to open any gifts and go about it slowly, but we were to have lunch in Fallbrook and I had to take a shower to wake back up and freshen up before our 1.5 ( due to traffic >2) hour trek down the hill, out of the mountains, so we opened the presents after stockings. The kids were so cute in their eagerness to see their siblings open the gifts they had picked out for them. We have been blessed with such cute and thoughtful kids.

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/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/03e/32120513/files/2014/12/img_0886.jpg Chad made a special breakfast for us and we talked on the phone with Grandma and Grandpa Owens. Eve showing off her make up she got in her stocking. She was so hilarious. We did miss our traditional family gatherings and celebrations, long talks with most of our family on the phone today were a special treat and made for a reasonable substitution for getting to rub shoulders. I don’t remember any of the drive besides the two times I woke up with drool running down my cheek to my shoulder. Feeling pretty ruff by the time we arrived I was glad that Uncle Richard was running late and grandma had some jobs in the kitchen for me to do that helped me wake the rest of the way up.
We had tamales for our Christmas dinner, some enchiladas, and taquitos too. Probably the best tamales I’ve had although they in no way compared in size to the ones you can buy between Shiprock and Farmington NM. As the food settled most of the grown ups fell asleep in the living room. I escaped to a back room to call Suzanne. We had a good long heart to hart discussion the kind that makes you feel like you have truly connected and leaves your heart feeling full. You know the kind you are lucky to have maybe once a year or less. After a while I felt a little guilty secluding myself to talk, so we ended our conversation and I made my way back to the living room to join the rest of the gang. I was surprised that the only ones awake were the kids and great grandma and grandpa. I joked with grandpa saying, “What am I doing awake when all these guys who slept all night last night are sound asleep?” We gave our family gift (the whole extended Lawhead family gift included) to Grandma and Grandpa. It was a compilation of favorite Grandma and Grandpa memories from each of the kids and grandkids. Grandma read the first two but then the adults started stirring and waking up. She was eager to make sure that she was tending to all the hostess things she does so well, but stated that it was probably the very best Christmas card they had ever received. We played some Hand and Foot and then enjoyed banana splits for dessert.

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After everyone had left we (Chad, Grandma, Grandpa and I) sat around the table talking. Grandma and Grandpa sat together looking through the updated family pictures that had been sent with the memories. Their laugh lines well defined as they smiled and shared each picture between them. Then Grandma read the memories out loud to Grandpa. They smiled and laughed and reminisced about the memories that were being surfaced by the loving words of appreciation, funny moments and occasionally serious ones that added depth. Then they stayed with us sharing memories of their own, early memories of their marriage when less than a month into it they, non Christians at the time from rough home lives not even out of high school yet, decided that they would get a divorce just as soon as they could save up enough money. When just two months later still married they had been invited to a Christian rally where they met Jesus for the first time and determined that they wanted what they saw in the lives of another young couple they met. We talked in all for 4-5 hours. Yes we missed our family in Oregon so much! But all in all it was one of the best Christmases. Thank you to all the Lawhead kids, and grandkids who took time to write down their favorite memories. I wish you all could have been here to see how much your loving words meant to grandma and grandpa. It would not have been a good gift at all if you had not taken the time to write down a few of your favorite memories.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts
Merry Christmas!

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