it’s almost here! (or Santa! I know him!)

I expected to be at work this upcoming Christmas Eve night. As a Baylor nurse, it was part of my schedule as I had already looked ahead to the holidays this year and planned to work yet another Christmas.

And it didn’t really bother me to be with my patients on Christmas. Our family just worked around it and I felt like they needed someone to love on them too.

One year, the year I was working day shift, my husband even brought the kids to work to deliver Christmas goodies to them all. It was wonderful.

However, it turned out that I was not meant to be working this Christmas.

So, I am home, and, tomorrow, we begin our Christmas celebrations with our family Christmas at the lake, which is always just the best – lots of laughing, wonderful time together, Mom’s yummy food, so so much fun.

Then, Christmas Eve, we will all go to Highlands Christmas together, and Christmas Eve night, my better half and I will have our Christmas, like we do every year.

Then, of course, Christmas morning, Santa!!! (Yes, my kids are big – but, if it’s not from Santa, it’s socks and underwear, I say.)

Everything is wrapped and under the tree, and, as I look at our tree, I can’t help but think that there are a few new ornaments this year I didn’t expect at all.

I had no idea I would be adding an ornament for the most adorable, love-of-my-doggie-life, service dog Henry, who joined our family when I had to stop working:

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He has been amazing for me and truly for the rest of our family as well.

I also didn’t know I would be blessed to add an ornament for Highlands Kids. When I came home for good, I was able to begin attending church again and start serving as well. I can’t express how much I love my sweet babies:

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And then there is the ornament that just broke my heart. I never imagined in a million years I would be adding an ornament for our awesome friend Ryan. He went to the other side on October 24th and some days I still can’t believe it. We all miss him so freaking much but I know that I know that I know that I will see him again:

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I’ve also written about the difficulty and heartbreak that we’ve experienced in dealing with our oldest daughter this year. Well, as is often the case in people with BPD acting out around the holidays, the situation with her exploded last week. As a result, she elected to stay with her grandparents through Christmas.

It would not be truthful to say, as a mother, that there is not some hurt as a result of that. Still, I am familiar with this behavior as mental health professional and am choosing to enjoy the holidays with our family instead of staying upset. She is totally safe and in good hands and is making a choice. Therefore, we will have a good Christmas without her.

I had been thinking about new traditions to start now that our kids are growing up.

One, of course, now that I’m home and able to, is to attend Highlands Christmas together each year.

Another I am excited about is that Santa is bringing a silly family game to play on Christmas morning together. We probably won’t ever play it again – it’s really silly – but it will be fun.

And, now that I won’t be coming in from working a 12 hour shift, I am reinstating Christmas breakfast for all of us.

Even with some yuckiness (everybody has it), I am so so excited for Christmas! I am ready for family and church and talking and laughing and food and presents and games and just being together.

The Lord has truly blessed us.

Thank you, Jesus.

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Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Grace and Blessings.

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