Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008!

I am alone in a little cabin in the woods, watching the ball fall in Times Square, New York, toasting in the New Year with a glass of wine.

It was just this morning that Kate left this place to go back to New York and Kim called from Florida on her way back to Atlanta. It was just a week ago when I hugged Mike and his family as we left for Tennessee to share a bit of the day with extended family. It was a rare and special Christmas morning that Kristin could be with us, all the way from California, and although I talked to Shannon that morning by phone over the noise of excitement, he called a couple of days later to catch up on holiday news. It was also during those happy moments Christmas morning that Beth called from San Francisco to wish us a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It was just a week ago that all but two of my precious grandchildren were standing close around me, waiting for me to open a gift; a beautiful gold charm that said, "Very Special Grandmother." It was a few days before that Keegan and Aidan called while they were having an early Christmas with their mother and Beth to thank me for gifts we sent and Merry Christmas. Aidan said, "I'll see you at the beach, Mimi, if not before!"

I've touched you all in the last few days and it was memorable and glorious! Thank you for staying close. I wish for you another year of Great Family Moments!

I watched the ball drop here in this lovely cabin by the creek. I heard no sounds of fireworks or people shouting "Happy New Year!" as others kissed at crowded parties, but my sweet husband did call and loved me into the new year by phone. Kate called with best wishes and to let me know she was safely home. I talked to Mother earlier tonight and I know she too is safe at home where she has been for the last 50 years (you can't imagine the comfort that brings). Having these things is the perfect start to not only every year, but to another day. For me, I wish more of the same in 2008...HAPPY NEW YEAR, dear family, Happy New Year!


The order of things...

It’s New Year’s Eve Day in the Valley, all have gone from Northcroft but me, the sun is bright and the air is cold, and it is so very quiet, except for the crackle of the fire in the fireplace. Thoughts are zooming through my head…what should I do first? Start the wash? Write thank you notes for my Christmas gifts? Study the new pictures left on my camera, dust and sweep, replay my new CD that Jeremy and Kate made for us as a gift? I could take a nap or go for a brisk walk with a fresh mug of steaming coffee in my gloved hands, which would clear the cobwebs in my head. It sure would feel good to shower and wash my hair, but not until I get the house freshened up. Maybe I should call Mother. What were the names of those two books that I brought to read? I got an email from high school classmate, Nina Dunn, that I really want to answer... I could paint!

It sure is beautiful outside the big window, at eye level across from my desk…I think I’m going to need a few days to get all of this worked out. -Mimi

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Journey North and Beyond

Getting to know each other and Northcroft together, thinking about nature and wedding plans, reflecting on the past and the future, not to mention eating great food! That's what we have been doing since our joyous Christmas Day with the rest of family. Kate and Jeremy go back to New York tomorrow. Terr heads back to Atlanta and football on New Years Day... Me? I think I'll stay here and climb a mountain with God. I've got a lot to say thank you for.
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Thursday, December 27, 2007

I'll Be Home For Christmas...

All that was missing was the snow! We had mistletoe and presents under the tree, and most of all we had you! At Nana's we went around the room and talked of our Christmas memories; the children said it best when then they said, "Every Christmas is my favorite!" Thank you, thank you, because, for me, this year was no exception to that rule.
Click bottom left for captions. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Christmas to Remember

It was a very early morning in the S-C household today. It began with Andrew squeezing my hand at 4:00 a.m. to let me know he couldn't sleep because he was so excited. Shortly after, my sweet Emily sprung into our bed hoping it was morning as well. Later, as I was taking a shower to help get myself awake, I was struck with emotion. My childhood came flooding in and I, too, could remember....anticipation, waking up early, chill in the air, that first peak under the tree, the smells that now comfort me with familiarity. But most of all, I remembered the love that surrounded me that day. From our early mornings together as a family to our trips both to Nana's and Greatma's. The entire day, packed with travel-surrounded with lots of love.
As the kids made their way downstairs this morning, I was humbled by the abundant outpouring of love that was under that tree. And it was at that moment that I was reminded just how very much I was loved as a child. The abundance of our Christmas morning was no different. Yet the sacrifice was perhaps much greater. The sweet memories of Christmas have come full circle and the tradition of it all is now being passed down to my little ones. What a blessing. Thank you, Mimi for that gift of tradition. 
Tradition runs deep. For me, it shapes a legacy. Today I was reminded of that legacy we are shaping. And I thank my mother for her gift of tradition. For the familiar smells she creates, for the thoughtfulness in each and every gift she gives, for her outpouring of love
that surrounds our Christmas morning together. I see her work of love in the way she wraps her gifts, squeezes the orange juice, to even making her coffee stronger for her guests to enjoy! I am so proud to be part of this family. I am so proud to be Mimi's daughter. Thank you for your love that fills our hearts with joy-every day really, but a sweet reminder especially at Christmas.

Merry Christmas sweet family. 
Happy Birthday, Jesus. May the legacy of this families tradition bring you honor and glory!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Counting down the days...

Kate is home for Christmas. Jeremy and Kristin are coming on Sunday. We will join the Regas and Sabonis-Chafee families Sunday night for the S-Cs'annual Caroling party. All but Shannon and Bethann will be with us on Christmas morning before we leave for Tennessee for our extended family Christmas Day dinner. I am so pleased that so many can make it home for Christmas. For those who can't, we will share our day in phone calls and pictures, enjoying the gift of family no matter where we are.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Finding Christmas

December 19, 2007's late at night.

I’m still working on Christmas, I’ve been working for over a month, and I still don’t feel as though I have done enough. Will each child know how much I love them? Will each person on my list accept my gift as a token of my high esteem for them? Will I disappoint them with my choices? Have I touched enough people?

Tonight, I wept because I really miss Christmas. I miss everyone saying, “Merry Christmas!” as I walk through the shopping centers. I miss Christmas carols playing in every store and on every radio station. I miss the feeling of excitement that something special is coming. I miss the smells of pine and cinnamon. I miss my Daddy’s joy. I don't think I have seen one "Babe in a Manger"! Obviously, I've been going to the wrong places! (The disappointing Internet, for instance.)

Oh, I guess it’s the children that make Christmas exciting, and when that special day arrives and you all come walking in my door, I’ll find what I am missing. As for my inadequate gifts…I thought of the one perfect gift, the one that God gave to man. He gave all he had, and even then, some reject the priceless gift of love. I too want to follow the example, I want to give the perfect gift of love…

With each gift I wrapped, I filled the package with all the love that I had. I dwelled on each person, their personalities, their accomplishments, their sweet spirits and I prayed for you as I decorated your package carefully, with beautiful paper and ribbon. I have given you my best because I love you so much. You are my gift from God and I cherish you and pray that you have all the blessings that come with Christmas.

Now, he lies in his manger,
Speaking with infant lips,
Calling to all, to you and me,
"Whatever troubles you,
whatever you lack -
Release it, dear brother:
In your Creator's fullness,
I bring everything new again."

There, I feel better and the manger was here, in this house, all along.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Tour of Homes

This past weekend, Nana's dear friend Nancy drove her down from Murfreesboro to see the lights in the homes, and in the eyes, of her Atlanta children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Christmas is always so busy that this was the first time she has ever been able to make this holiday trip. Many thanks to Nancy for coming along and doing the driving! I got what I call a twofer: 1) I got to go on a tour of the Sabonis-Chafee home and the Regas home with them and 2) spend some time with two very special women. We all were delighted to see the beautifully appointed and perfectly decorated homes of these dear ones. Our tour guides did a great job and we had delicious coffee and brownies baked in the shape of a festive wreath!

Shannon said we could come to his and Molly's house too, but the only lights he had up were from Halloween! :) Well, we would have gone, and wanted to, but time and Friday night traffic got the best of us. By the time we picked up Granddad, had dinner, and made our way home, it was almost 11:00. As luck would have it, Molly and Morgan drove up just as Nana and Nancy were about to leave, so they got to see them, too! We had more treasured moments.

This might be a good tradition to start - a night to tour each other's homes in Atlanta. We could have drinks and appetizers at one house, small sandwiches and chips at another and something sweet at the last. Could be the start of something good.

Hope your Christmas activities are going well. What did you think of the beauty Tom captured during their Christmas trip to Berry? WOW!

P.S. I understand Molly and Morgan left here Saturday to pick out their Christmas tree. Hope you found the perfect tree. You should send us a picture!

Oh! And I have had a delightful devotional each morning, since they left, read from the lovely gift Nancy left for me on her bed. If you are out there reading this, Nancy...please come back!

Setting aside the bustle...Isn't Christmas a lovely time of the year? :)

<- the top mimi and grandad's tree.

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Happy Tune

In memory of Dad tomorrow, I am posting his picture with me, in sepia. First because I want to remember being with him and him with me, and secondly because although his color left this world, his wonderful memory most certainly did not. This is the 2nd anniversary of Daddy's birthday into heaven; see: Thursday, December 07, 2006 God's Angel turns One. It makes me happy to imagine him celebrating his birthday with Jesus. I think he must be in charge of flocking a million Christmas trees - not because they need artificial snow, mind you, but because God knows that he is enjoying it. Can you hear him whistling?

P.S. If this picture were made today, my hair would look just like his!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Kid News

These children spent five weeks this fall on a hiatus from their regular Sunday School classes to be part of our church communicants' class. In addition, parent-supervised weekly homework was an "extra" that was required to complete the course of study. They are spiritual leaders of the next generation. Our precious angel, Emily (second row, right), was among this group of bright faces presented to the church, recently. Andrew also finished this class a couple of years ago.

*Be sure and call Mimi and let me know what my other grandchildren are doing. I would love to tell the world!....or at least anyone who reads the Chatterbox.....

Ford is doing really well swimming for the Woodward Swim Team.

After a singing audition, Andrew got another part in Wesleyan's upcoming musical, "Cinderella".

Morgan is raising money for rock climbing trips and scholarships at her local rocking climbing facility, by getting sponsors for each climb she makes to the top .

Emily is learning how to play the bell chimes and Joe is taking tennis lessons.

William is helping his mother a lot these days, but he will start his new school in January.

...And I understand that academics are going well for all! Yea Grandchildren!!!

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