Dear Friends & Family,
Other than the glow from the fire and the lighted garland strewn across the mantle, the living room is dark. Curt and the kids are sleeping and here I sit on the couch, exhausted, yet excited for Christmas which is in two days. The house is quiet, super quiet, rarely do I experience such a quiet in our ever bustling house. I sit reveling in the silence and soft light in the room. I am mesmerized by the glow of the fire and the shadows it casts on the walls. I stare at the stockings hung from the mantle. Five of them. I always thought I was an even numbered person, but I realize four stockings would not look as good as five. You have to have a center and it takes an odd number to have a center. Curt’s stocking is in the center. He is our center. Our core. Our strength. I wonder about next Christmas. Will there be five stocking hanging from the mantle? Will he be here? If he is not, will I still hang his stocking? Will we celebrate Christmas as usual? Stay in the present, I tell myself. Live for today. But the house is quiet, I am alone, and this is what I do when I am alone. I try to figure out what life will be like when he is gone. Like if I prepare myself now, maybe it won’t hurt so badly when it happens.
Flash forward one week. I am in the kitchen updating our 2011 calendar when Curt calls out from the living room “the Popp family is here.” We open the door and are greeted by flying snowballs. Suddenly we are engaged in an all out snowball fight, the Popp family, our family, the Coyle family and whoever else dared to stop by. Wow, what a fun surprise! They had brought a truckload of snow to us from Big Bear. Once the snowball fight was over we built a snowman on the front lawn. It was a super fun night and continued for the next few days as our house was the talk of the neighborhood. People were stopping by to figure out how we had a “real snowman” in our yard. Thank you Paul and Lisa for the spontaneous fun! Its days like these that our life seems pretty normal and the thoughts of “how many stockings will be hung next year” are few and far between.
Our Christmas vacation was super busy. It began with some wild rain and loss of power at our house for a full day. It was fun lighting candles and living like Amish people for awhile. When things got dull Curt had Cayden fire up the generator and plug in the Christmas lights and then watch our neighbors freak out when we were the only ones with power! Leave it to Curt (and Cayden). Over the next two days we had a potluck at the office, dinner with the Popp’s in Acton, visited friends in Torrance, opened presents with my parents, visited with more friends and then prepared for Christmas Day at our house. Curt taught Cayden how to prepare his famous prime rib; it turned out great, along with all the food everyone brought. It was a really nice day filled with family and friends.
We made a quick trip to Lake Nacimiento for a few days. The boys and Clarissa had fun hunting quail. Johnny taught Cayden how to clean and prepare them for cooking. We returned home so Cayden could go motorcycle riding with Krystal in Ocotillo Wells. Clarissa spent her days coming and going with friends. Corbin was busy with friends also. Friday morning we met a big group of friends for breakfast and then celebrated New Years Eve with Bill and Carolyn Melanson as our families went to see Narnia and then to their house to ring in the New Year.
We know that 2011 will be another fun-filled year with all of you in it. Thanks for being our friends.
Cindy, Curt, Clarissa, Cayden & Corbin
|Christmas Eve at Mom & Dad's|
|Cayden made Curt these "handy glasses" for Christmas.|
He put velcro on the glove and glass, it makes it way easier for Curt to hold onto the glass.
|Our Christmas Prime Rib - Great Job Curt & Cayden!|
|Clarissa made Curt this cute frame.|
|The hunters - Johnny, Cayden & Corbin|
|Curt & Clarissa out for a ride at Lake Nacimiento.|
|Corbin is driving Curt/Cayden's truck. A little excited!!|
|Corbin wants Cayden to save this truck for him until he is old enough to drive (legally).|
|Paul Popp and the truck full of snowballs!|
|Celebrating the New Year with the Melanson Family!|