Monday, January 2, 2012

Holiday Update Part II

Although we enjoy our Christmas together, we always look forward to my sister and her family coming in for New Year's. She likes spending Christmas in her own home with just her family, as it should be, instead of travelling. So for years, they have come to us sometime during the week between Christmas and New Year's, and this year was no different. We DID miss Steven (my nephew) though. After he graduated from Penn State, he got a job as a meteorologist working at Accuweather. He doesn't get much time off, so he was not able to make it down here this year. We Skyped, which was nice and we are hoping he will be able to make it down next year!

My sister actually surprised me on my birthday by telling me that she got an extra day off and they were able to spend 3 nights with us instead of two (and I was able to give her something toward their hotel bill thanks to the kindness of our friends at Zucker Hillside). It was such a great surprise!

As usual, we always have a great time when they come down. We have Christmas Part II as we all exchange our presents. This year they gave our family a Keurig coffee machine. While the kids and I don't drink coffee, we have been enjoying the hot chocolate and hot apple cider, while my mom and brother take advantage of the coffee. It was the BEST present.

As for my sister family, they all got the token Quinnipiac apparel, a tradition that began when my nephew first started Penn State. Freshman year each respective family would take trips to the school book store to buy Christmas presents for the whole family. Next year, all the colleges will be covered, so we'll have to come up with a new idea!

I have included a picture of Mike in his New Year's hat. Another one of our "traditions" is taking a family picture (via self timer) with whatever New Year's accessories we have that year. We all took our positions and Courtney set her timer. Unknown to us, it didn't just take one picture, it shot out 10 rapid fire pictures. I posted one serious picture and the other a crazy shot that was captured as we had fun with the paparazzi type photography.

I pray for a New Year filled with good health, love and strength. Come this April, Mike will have Alzheimer's for 12 years. I never know when the last Christmas/New Year's will be, so we celebrate each one as if it will be our last.

This year was special and quite emotional for me. When the clock struck midnight, as we all raised our glasses and toasted with the sparkling cider, I snuck into Mike's room and kissed him and wished him a New Year filled with no pain or struggles. I then came back out to the living room and enjoyed the craziness that only my family can create.


1 comment:

Kathy Knowles said...

Karen, I love your wish for pain, no struggles. Heaven will be a wonderful place for our loved ones who are whole again. I understand your emotions. This time of year is so special for family - a time we express our love for each other. I know that Mike loves and adores the woman and children who have cared and loved him unconditionally for all this time. You are an inspiration to so many, Karen.
Love and peace for 2012.