While in Charlotte, I was trying to envision Christmas without our extended family nearby to celebrate with us.  Today, having returned to MICHIGAN, we enjoyed a small feast prepared by my parents and Erick and the girls said all the way home from a full day, This was an amazing Christmas.

I must admit, with the moves and all the changes in their lives, I didn’t expect this to be a holiday they’d remember.  There were plenty of distractions, even a bit of tragedy earlier this month, and it seemed impossible to think of anything but the day-to-day and yet, somehow, we all found time to pull it off.  That’s the thing that makes a family strong – unity.  

As we drove home from Grandmas, Erick looked over and said, “I’m glad you’re here to celebrate with me.”  He never forgets to remind me why we fought so hard for this, and when he does, it helps me see how lucky I’ve been all along.  I married my best friend.  Someone who reminds me I am loved.  Not in the same excited way Celli does – tail waggin’, tongue flying…  but in a softer, gentler tone.  And I know he means it, which is the greatest gift I received this season.