It's Monday, and our long extended-due-to-ice six day Thanksgiving vacation came to an end about 5:30 this morning.
There's piles of laundry to do, a basement that needs organized, and a tree in our living room waiting for little hands to hang ornaments on it tonight. Christmas music is in CD player, Nutcracker posters sit by the door ready to be distributed, and the calendar is filling up fast. December is coming, but not yet.
Not before I write about Thanksgiving. Not before I tell you about a very special someone meeting another very special someone.
Grandma-Great meet Adelynn. Adelynn meet Grandma-Great.
It was love at first sight.
It was a bittersweet moment for me, seeing Adelynn with her great-grandma, wishing with all my heart that my grandma was here to hold her too. Grandmas are good at holding babies; great-grandmas are really good at holding babies, and my grandma was a star among stars in holding babies.
We spent Thanksgiving with Jason's family, and part of that blessing meant seeing his Oregon family. Though the cousins weren't with us, we had an aunt and uncles and grandma, and they all were meeting Addie for the first time.
And I was grateful.
Grateful for little girls who show off paint chips while having their picture taken.
Grateful for four-generations.
Grateful for family, grateful for grandparents and great-grandparents, and grateful for a little baby who changed my heart in more ways than I can count. Six months ago I couldn't have imagined myself enjoying this day, a day in which I sat with a daughter on each side and one in my arms. As my right hand helped one daughter cut up her turkey and helped prevent another daughter from spilling milk poured into delicate china glasses--in between sneaking bites of sweet potato souffle and passing plates of cranberry sauce and green bean casserole--my left arm held a snugly baby who just didn't want to be put down. Who could blame her? She wanted to be surrounded by family just like everyone else.
And though Addie may have been a tiny star in the Thanksgiving show, the older sisters were beautiful and charming and entertaining as well.
Sydney entertained us with her repertoire of songs.
Her hands-down favorite is "Jingle Bells." That girl loves her Christmas songs.
She can't read notes yet, so I write out the letters on paper for her. Even when she's not playing, I can hear her practicing the notes as she sings, "E E E / E E E / E G C D E." I love that girl.
She drew us pictures and danced and refrained from too much mischief. I love that girl too.
Our Thanksgiving gift to the girls was letting them wear the Christmas dresses that have hung in their closet since we bought them on clearance 10 months ago.
All through the spring and summer and early fall, we held fast and didn't let them wear those dresses. Probably we should have hidden them away, but things that get hidden away are sometimes forgotten, and I did not want to forget about these dresses. At any rate, the girls loved to just look at them hanging in the closet.
Thanksgiving morning, I told them they could wear their red dresses.
"We CAN? REALLY?!!!" and then they ran around the house screaming and laughing, and jumping on the bed for good measure. "Red dresses! RED DRESSES! REHHHHHHHHD DRESSEHHHHHHHS!" All day long, they never stopped commenting about how much they loved their new dresses.
If there's anything I've learned this past year, it's that the wait may nearly kill you, it may bruise your shoulders and dent your resolve, but when life gives you a Red Dress to wear, it fills you with gratitude and makes your heart pop. You can't stop talking about how much you love that Red Dress.
This year gave us a lot of jeans and torn sweatshirt days.
A lot of days of over-sized sweatpants and ill fitting shirts.
But thankfully we got to wear the Red Dress a few times.
On June 17--when Jason found out he got a teaching job. I cried again just now when I reread that post.
On September 12--when Adelynn was born. More tears of joy.
Thursday reminded me that when you get to wear the Red Dress--the one you've seen hanging in your closet and are just hoping the right day comes along eventually--you'll never forget that day.
Never ever ever.
Thank you, God, for Red Dresses.