Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas time

Merry Christmas, friends! And happy new year. And happy six days in between.

The holiday thing we looked the most forward to was Zoralee meeting her Aunt Rachel and Uncle Cam. They had actually driven over from Portland for the birth when my waters began leaking in early December, but they had to return home a couple days later, before the delivery, on account of work and responsibilities. So, this was their first, much anticipated, out-of-womb meeting.

All of us kids and the three spouses were home, and we were joined by Cameron's mom, Linda, and Jason's mom, Barbara. The star of the show was our very own Zoralee Rena; it has been quite some time since there has been a baby around. She put forth a veritable plethora of facial expressions and bodily poses, which warranted taking, oh, roughly 4,937 photos. It's kind of sad to see the focus switch so suddenly and thoroughly away from the family's dogs, but Gunther and Molly wore jingle bell collars, and Murray and Peanut wore a Santa beard and an elf costume, respectively, so the cameras were turned on them for at least a few minutes.
* * *
We always read the Christmas story as recorded in the Gospel of Luke before delving into gift opening, and this year I was the reader. New things struck me, having just given birth myself. What a walk or donkey ride that must've been as Mary and Joseph approached Bethlehem, she being very close to delivery. For months ahead, I prepared my surroundings for labor; Mary had to take what was available. In this case, a stable. I was surrounded by family, she by cattle. The image of a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes is so fresh to me. I've seen or heard the line a thousand times, but now I have a swaddled baby myself, and I know the feel of her so securely wrapped, so sweetly scented, and in my arms. Mary received visitors, worshippers who knew her babe was special, a gift to the world. I watch my baby receive extra love and attention too, because she's the first of her generation in our family, a symbol of hope, of the continuation of our ways.
* * *
And Mary pondered these things and treasured them in her heart. Me too.

(Jason took this last photo tonight)
* * *
Our Christmas time activities were playing Tripole, Risk, and Scrabble, watching movies, shoveling snow, piling into a borrowed van to tour Christmas light displays on common houses around the Valley (it was a pretty measly showing "in these hard times"), experimenting with having the horses pull sleds, eating seafood chowder and other delights, and passing the baby around.

pouting babies: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em


Christi said...

Whoa..that's so crazy how her looks are already changing so much! She looks so much older in that last picture. She's SO cute!

handfull of johnsons said...

I love what your sweet Zora and I love what you said about Mary. I wrote a skit at Christmas time right after Blake was born and I was hit with the similar compairsons...What Mary must have felt when her finger was first grasped by the hand of God.
In the skit, I started to cry at that point, thinking of the first time Blake grasped my finger. Once you're a mom you just get stuff. Plus you become a sobbing idiot!
And kudos for using varitible plethora in a sentence, Lori, you're amazing!