Christmas, 2011.  I can't believe it's already Christmas!  My first inkling is to reflect on this past year, and go through all the emotions that represent the last 12 months of time.  It's SLOWLY getting easier (inch by inch) to realize that my mom really is gone from this world, that my kids will never know her in this life, and that I can't just call her up and chat on any given day.

However, instead of reliving those painful feelings, this year, I choose to reflect and count my blessings.  Here's how our Christmas's go: we fly up to WA to visit Brian's family; we finish our shopping, and we head up to their cabin in the Cascades.  We sit and relax, enjoy hot drinks, go for evening walks in the crisp mountain air, bake, cook AMAZING food, and the whole world slows down for a bit.

On Christmas Eve, their family tradition is to make lasagna.  My family tradition is to make Russian Spaghetti.  So this year, we are doing Russian Spaghetti tonight, in honor of my mom's family traditions.  After dinner, we get crafty and make stocking covers!  The family got to the point that they would fill each person's stocking SO full that the contents spilled out.  So to hide the gifts, they started taking paper sacks and decorating them to cover the stocking.  Tomorrow, we will wake up and my father-in-law will make Christmas Drinks (a spiked orange Julius type thing), we sit around and chat, waiting for the rest of the family to come.  We'll open gifts and laugh and have a wonderful time!  There are so many little things that mean "christmas" to me, so many little blessings and traditions.  Here are a few of my favorite things!

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