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Oh Happy Day!

So much to be grateful for today, where shall I start?

Here's a view of the living room in the fading afternoon light with the tree ablaze with white lights. This year, instead of Bruce and I doing it together, we opted to go out with Dana after the market, leaving the decorating to me. How I remember those days when there were many hands to decorate! Several memories always flood back while doing the tree. One, a real standout, is the year Bill and Dave were getting close to two years old. They were so darn inquisitive (pc for they got into EVERYTHING!), that Bruce built a large wooden box and bolted the tree down for safekeeping. Secondly, the year Matt was nine, meaning the twins were six, and Jonathan was two, we moved on December 16. Can you imagine that? We were young ourselves! Anyway Matt insisted we needed a tree; once we purchased one, he proceeded to decorate it himself. Crazy huh?

Some of you know this, some don't. When the boys were quite small, I read somewhere about a family whose Christmas morning tradition sounded like something I'd like to adopt. Basically it works like this: last one up gets to open the first present, followed in succession by those who got up earlier. As a child I remember dragging our parents out of bed as early as 6, something I was hoping not to repeat as a parent myself. What a blessing it was, becoming quite a contest between the boys to see who could stay in bed the longest! Isn't it something how you read something somewhere and incorporate it into your own life? Off topic, but once I read that Madonna used to love to clean the lint screen on her dryer. Don't ask me where I read this please because that I can't tell you. What I can tell you is that almost every time I clean the lint screen that silly thought comes into my head. If only I could remember important things!!!

Ok, so what does this have to do with my title? Well, if you will please, notice the lovely bouquet of roses on the coffee table, a gift from Angela for shooting their pictures.

That is small potatoes compared to what I'm fixing to write. David called and guess what???? In arbitration the lawsuit was thrown out!!!!! Additionally his record is expunged! Isn't that fantastic!!! I knew in my heart David has only his client's best interests at heart, and would not willingly do anything wrong. Although he claims not to have any spirituality anymore, almost fifteen years of Sunday school classes are still buried in there somewhere. Not to mention, he wouldn't want to disappoint his dad for anything. Oh happy day! (For those opposed to the overuse of exclamation marks, please forgive me, however they are the only thing I have to convey my excitement)

And here's this news. Remember last week I mentioned Bill had some job news. I decided to back off a bit then because everything was not finalized. Well, now it is. He began working as a Business Banker for JPMorgan/Chase this very day. In his former position with Wachovia he was happy enough, but once Wells Fargo bought Wachovia, the proposed changes in his compensation package were not to his advantage. Thus, when a recruiter called asking him to interview with Chase, he jumped at the chance. Fortunately, they liked him, offering him a position along with a salary increase. Hopefully, he'll blossom, and if you know Bill, you'd assume he would because he is a hard worker when money is involved.

Here's Maddie and Clara from our photo shoot the other day. Polly wants to use this one for their Christmas card. After taking these we got serious again. The girls proceeded to place their antlers on my head while we took the remaining photos. I suspect that when I was younger I would have felt self conscious walking around with two sets of antlers on my head, but no longer, I've got no pride left!

One thing I love, love, love about Christmas is the songs. This is one of my favorites:
Listening to: Amy Grant - Emmanuel, God With Us
via FoxyTunes
Not only is her voice spectacular, both the lyrics and arrangement are wonderful. And of course there is my beloved "Christmas Magic" by Fred Waring. Love it!

Tomorrow is Bruce's department Christmas party which should be fun for him. A potluck luncheon, gift exchange, as well as a White Elephant exchange. We found a funny gift for that part. I'm headed to the kitchen now to prepare macaroni and cheese as his contribution. Imagine that until I began making "The Flying Biscuit" mac and cheese Bruce hated the stuff; now it is his favorite. I believe he'd be happy if I made it several times a week.

Speaking of Bruce, it takes him a little while to get in the Christmas spirit. He worked from home today a bit, but once he was caught up I suggested he watch "Love Actually", his favorite. It was a joy to hear him laughing out loud at parts and of course if you've seen it, you know there are some real tear jerker moments. His step is just a little lighter now.
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