1. My mom finally got a bed for us to sleep in when we come visit. For the last 3 years we've been sleeping on the futon mattress on the floor. We put it on the floor because somehow it's more comfortable than trying to sleep on the actual futon... it's weird, I know. So, it was really exciting to actually have our own bed!! However, the futon is still in the guest room (mostly because to get it through the doorway you'd have to take it apart), so that's where Sadie slept. She NEVER slept with us in our bed! What a big girl we have!
2. The second part of that is that Sadie gave up her pacifier. When she got sick, just before we left, she got some canker sores in her mouth and it made her not want the pacifier. So, I used that as an opportunity to let it go. I know that a lot of children with CP (or other neurological special needs) continue sucking on the pacifier, um, forever? I'm not really sure how long, but I know some 12 year olds who still need it. So, it's a big deal for Sadie to be able to sleep without it!
3. Usually, one of the first people I see when I get to Oregon (besides my mom) is my best friend, Anna. Often she will show up at my mom's house within hours of us arriving... with 3 little boys in tow. However, this year her family left to go up to Washington for Christmas before we even got there. I made a comment the second day we'd been there that it was weird to have been there for 2 days and not seen Anna. They were supposed to come home the day before we left, and she was considering even taking the train by herself and coming home earlier than that, but (fortunately?) they all got sick and came home early anyway!! I got to see her 3 different times (instead of just the day we were leaving), and her boys came over to mostly play with Brian. (I'm boring because all I do is sit and talk to Mommy!)
4. Another thing I always make sure I do when I'm home is to visit the Johnsons. The Johnsons are like extended family. When I was living in my mom's house because she was in Korea, and my dad lived here in Arizona, I spent every holiday with the Johnsons. Plus I spent at least one evening a week over there just hanging out. I love them and I consider them family, and they're always busy busy busy, but I force my way over there anyway!! We didn't get to enjoy our usual kind of visit where we come over for dinner and then they make me brownies and we sit and talk for hours and hours until it's almost midnight and we force ourselves out the door and back home. Instead we came over in the middle of the day. It wasn't a short visit, but it felt sort of like it. The best part, though, was that Joel rocked Sadie to sleep. He was holding her, she was fussy, he started rocking, eyes closed. Since we gave up the paci, sleeping without it is a new thing. We were amazed that this happened, and of course, he loved it!! It was so sweet to see.
5. Christmas morning was also different this year. Instead of my brother's family coming to my mom's house and us all eating brunch and opening presents, we went to their house! They also just moved... from Portland down to Eugene the first week of December. They found this cute little rental in South Eugene that has a studio for my brother to work and record, and a big beautiful back yard. It was a nice change, and I'm sure much more comfortable for them, having 2 small children to watch out for and keep an eye on! My sister-in-law made us quiche and cinnamon rolls and we pigged out and opened presents and laughed and played and had meltdowns and rocked and then went home!!
6. Another friend of mine, whose actually a friend from High School, but who lived in Phoenix for a while also was visiting her mom for Christmas. Tanis moved to Colorado last May and I haven't seen her since, so when we learned we'd be in Oregon at the same time, we made plans to get together. It was so good to see her! I really miss having her here.
7. Tanis and I made plans to meet at a restaurant, sans children (she has 2 little boys) while we were in Oregon together. But our little Mommy's night out turned into something way better. First of all, Brian and I got to go out without Sadie. We were able to leave her with my mom and enjoy a couple of hours to ourselves for the first time since we'd gotten there. But second of all, another High School friend, who I didn't even know was in town, happened to also be at the same restaurant! I hadn't seen him in probably 3 years, and never met his son (who is such a charming 3 year old!). We all had a great visit/dinner together, and after Sean and his family left, Tanis and Brian and I sat there another hour or so just catching up!
8.Every year at Christmas my mom plays in the Opera. She is a professional violin player and the Eugene Opera usually does a show on New Years Eve. This year they did Carmen. It's fun when she does this because we have the opportunity to attend the dress rehearsal, which I've been going to since I was little (I used to bring my homework and sit there while they rehearsed). It's just like the real performance (they stop once in a while, but not much), but it's less formal. And we can bring Sadie if we want. And it's free. Brian loves doing this, but it's hard with Sadie. And this year I was just so tired that I opted to stay home, and Brian went with my mom by himself (which was probably more enjoyable than having to bring Sadie). He really enjoyed it and I'm glad he got to go. And I really enjoyed my boring screamy night at home!
9. Sadie got her first pair of shoes for Christmas. When I was buying them, I couldn't help but think of this story someone sent me. It wasn't easy to find the perfect shoe. We needed a toddler size, but a baby bootie sole. We got the last pair. And they're pretty too. Having no idea what size Sadie wears, we brought them home not knowing if they'd fit. They're a little big, but that's okay. They keep her socks on, and they'll fit her for a few months. And I love them!
10. On our very last day in Eugene, my friend Andria came to visit and say hi. She brought with her Jennifer, who was the youth pastor's wife growing up, then became my piano teacher, and now is an adult friend. I haven't seen Jennifer since my baby shower. When Sadie was born, Jennifer wrote a song about the situation. About trusting God no matter the circumstances, and she brought it over and sang it for us the day we left to come home. It's beautiful, and true, and worshipful, and I'm really glad she shared it with us.
I hope everybody reading this also had a wonderful holiday, whichever one you celebrated!!