Ahhhh, what a very merry Christmas in Portland. We ate, we lounged, we doted on those two irrestibly sweet little girls. ‘Tis indeed the season for joy and love and all kinds of thankfulness.
We arrived at Mitch and Kathryn’s on Sunday afternoon, and as usual, Morgan and Elise were quick to warm up to Uncle Shane. Also as usual, he was wrapped around their little fingers in a matter of seconds – I think he read Good Dog, Carl a total of 14 times in three days.
I had to work a little harder to earn their affection, but it wasn’t anything frosting and cookies couldn’t handle.
We ordered Thai take-out for dinner, played a round of Quiddler, and then were ready to put a bow on Christmas Eve Eve – it had been quite a day.
We were thrilled to see sunshine on Monday morning and headed over to the park for a couple hours of sliding, swinging, and playing in the sand.
Uncle Shane clearly takes the cake as best swing-pusher ever.
The grown-up girls headed out during naptime for a coffee break and a little shopping. Kathryn, my mom and I strolled down Williams Avenue, ogling the perfect wares at Ink and Peat and then sipping pretty lattes at Ristretto Roasters.
This double-decker dress shop/bus was so…Portland.
My mom whipped up a tasty pot of red lentil and veggie soup for dinner, with some extra special help on the chapati flatbread from two dear little elves.
After dinner, Kathryn, Shane and I loaded the girls in the car and braved the crowds at Peacock Lane to take in all the brightly lit houses and yards. Morgan and Elise both got a kick out of the whole ordeal – I mean, does it get any better than giant glowing lollipops?
The girls were tuckered out by the time we got home – there wasn’t much resistance to bedtime that night, as we assured them that Santa would be on his way once they were fast asleep.
Elise burst into our room bright and early yesterday morning to shout “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” and urge us to come check out the loot Santa had delivered. We spent the next hour watching the girls tear into their gifts – Morgan was quick to cuddle and feed her new baby doll and Elise was raring to go on her new roller skates.
The rest of the day was spent lounging around the warm and cozy house as rain fell on a cold, wet Portland. We played games, we painted with Elise’s new watercolor set, we snuggled up on the couch to watch basketball and doze.
Oh, and for the record, Shane is the favorite for a reason – the lengths that guy will go to for an extra cuddle… No shame!
I’ve prayed a lot lately for a spirit of gratitude – I’ve mentioned before how hard it can be for me to keep the “don’t-haves” from overshadowing our multitude of blessings. But my blessings were made so abundantly clear yesterday – a house filled with the giggles of little girls that I love so much it makes my heart ache, the company of a family that makes me feel whole, the tenderness of an incredibly kind and loving husband. And looking down on all of us, a Savior that came to earth so many years ago to dine with tax collectors and prostitutes, to turn the world’s notion of justice on its head, and to give the ultimate sacrifice. Because he loves me.
My parents left early this morning and we headed out right behind them. One final stop at Barista for what may be the best latte I’ve had all year, and then we were homeward bound.
I spent this afternoon in the office and spent this evening unpacking – back to business as usual, I suppose. I’m hoping my post-holiday letdown can be warded off with chocolate and a living room screening of Love Actually. I’ll let you know how that goes…