Thursday, December 25, 2008

Birthday Tomfoolery

Hailey turned 19 today.
We celebrated yesterday.
She is a lovely girl with an infectious laugh.
We are very proud.

Apologies in advance for the low quality video.
And even lower quality singing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What is a Christmas Spirit and How Do I Get One?

Here we are, on the very brink of Christmas, and I'm still not quite feeling it.

That's how I started this post last night around 7 or so. I couldn't finish. I stopped there and saved the draft, assuming I wasn't going to make anyone's holiday with the rest. Not sure what causes this type of feeling to pervade. No young kids in the house... Work that won't let up until the absolute last minute... Getting to be an official bearer of bad "now you can't make your car payment" economic news.

I'm back here again, because it all turned out okay... thanks to Tracy.

After giving up on the post, I went upstairs to join the others as they prepared to open the customary "one" present on Christmas Eve. Two actually. Somewhere along the line, pajamas were discounted as a present and instated as the uniform you are required to wear while opening your one present. Fair enough.

We cracked open the pajamas. Evan and I now have matching pants, the girls just changed while we turned our backs.

This still didn't do the trick. Hmmm...

Tree decorated and powered up? Check.
Stockings hung with care (hooks actually)? Check.
Pajamas donned? Check?

We just sat on the couch. Collectively not feeling it.

Tracy got up and mumbled something as she went into the bedroom. She emerged seconds later holding a single, folded, white piece of paper containing a collection scriptures and hymns. It was essentially just the program from our Church Christmas party. Knowing we need all the help we can get, we saved it for this very occasion.

We took turns reading the verses. It took just a few minutes, but changed everything. Feeling slightly more ambitious, we tried a few of the songs. Some a capella, some with Eden on guitar. Did it sound good? Probably not. But we were trying and that, I've found, is sometimes enough. We eventually moved from Christmas hymns to other stuff. Mirah, The Beatles, Songs from the Juno soundtrack. Eden appears to have actual, real live talent with an acoustic guitar. Hailey has a lovely voice. And Evan... he can make almost any medieval weapon out of Silly Putty. Simple, unsophisticated... a perfectly Rabdau moment. Tears came to my eyes (but no further) more than once.

Maybe next year we can get there a little earlier. We'll see.
Either way, I am grateful for who and what I have.

Cheers -

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pearl Harbor

No pictures today.
Just words.
I'll try and let them go without concern.

Every day as I drive home from work, I feel different than I did the day before. Not drastically, just a little. Not a revelation I suppose.. In spite of their seeming sameness, the days are their own. And there's a momentum underneath it all that started way back and has moved in just one direction ever since. Apparently today is the first day that I've ever felt exactly like this. I'm guessing tomorrow will be the same.

Dad turned 75 on a Thursday a couple of weeks ago. We couldn't make the drive to Boise until Friday. Mom planned a party for the day after that. Some family came, some friends. Genuine people I think, their kids too. They counted all the armadillos. Dad said they could keep them. Grandfathers do things like that. Their mothers said they couldn't. Mothers say things like that. Dad was a good sport about the armadillos, the party and everything else.

Have you ever been at someone's house and seen the kind of family portrait where everyone is dressed the same? Khaki. Denim. Ridiculous. I used to make fun of those.

Work is heavy. Christmas is close. It takes more effort than it did before.