I'm back from Chicago, and the family feasts with PH's clan. A calorific time was had by all. StrongOpinions picked us up at the airport. What a nice treat, to not have to schlep the bags out to the parking lot in West Nowhere! I got back to the house and I immediately did two things: scooped out the cat litter box, and checked online to see if ReverendMother's baby had arrived yet. As someone who was expecting over Christmas some 22 years ago, I feel a kinship. No dice yet, but she and R and C and the baby-to-be continue to be on my mind and in my prayers.
Special moments on the trip:
-the smiles on my two little nephews' faces yesterday morning when they came down and saw that Santa had come and had eaten the cookies and drunk the eggnog he had been left;
-seeing how my eldest nephew has become such a good-hearted young man - not a kid anymore - in his first semester in college;
-singing in the choir at PH's home church with my dear FIL (doesn't a church feel so very different when you're up on the altar looking out rather than sitting in the congregation looking up?);
-watching my middle nephew and his uncles play ferocious and idiosyncratic games of Risk;
-my younger niece's utter joy at getting toenail polish as well as a boombox to listen to music in her own room;
-my elder niece's beauty and maturity as she gets ready to go off to college next year;
-the love and respect shared by the whole family.
Of course, my two-year-old nephew walking around asking for more of his new favorite drink :"Nog! Nog!" will stick in my memory for a long time! Plus the new kitten (Saniania is her name, courtesy of my five year old nephew) playing with her older aunt cats.
I'm afraid to step on the scale this morning. Many wonderful feasts. The Yule Log was eaten yesterday after the post-church ham dinner and several folks had seconds, always a compliment to the cook.
I'll be back after I make some coffee....I missed you all.