Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry! Merry!

The holidays came upon us fast along with the second year of being in the throes of the big 'C' yet again. But, that didn't stop the holiday spirit, parties and the neighbor's annual 'Ugly Christmas Sweater' party that we crashed a couple of Saturdays ago. So, in preparation of our week-long holiday celebration and before leaving for family celebrations in Northern California, we made sure that our own home gave a nod to the big man in the red suit and all that goes with it. Between the reindeer and the wrap-fest, it was a good kickoff to Christmas 2012.

First stop up North was my brother-in-law's house in East Bay, where the theme seemed to be games, games games. From Candy Land to a 2 hour game of Cranium for the grown-ups, this stop was full of fun, food and my 3 1/2 year old nephew making comments during our Christmas meal about my missing eyebrows as he pointed out that everyone at the table had eyebrows until he came to me - "....and you... don't have eyebrows!" Followed up with a toddler laugh a mile long, I simply said - "It's called chemo buddy...and I also lost half of my eye lashes too!" Again, he just stared at me, paused and then let out his cute belly laugh.

After finally arriving to my mom's house in Monterey, we took a couple of hours out of our Christmas day to visit my fab cousin Dee and her family (mom to Chris) one canyon over from my mom's house. Within 5 minutes of arriving, that Barker spirit kicked in and next thing you know, we were at their kitchen table for a 90 minute gingerbread house decorating competition to which the comments started flying as we were all trying to one-up and intimidate each other's creative process. In the end, mine and Hil's house, the 'Swiss Chalet,' won the finale from the four off-site judges (AKA, my family). So, next year, we're getting serious with personalized aprons, special tools and a year of Google-ing some top secret, decorative ideas.

And finally, four days of some much needed R & R at my mom's house was as always, full of wonderful family time, movies, laughter, crocheting and amazing food. My mom put on a great holiday as usual, made sure there was a fire in the fireplace, kept the coffee and tea coming and filled the house and my heart full of love.

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