No matter how scattered and ill prepared I am due to dealing with one sick child after another after another, we still manage to have a beautiful and memorable time together. Slowly but surely, I am learning how to relax, and that is no small thing for a recovering perfectionist. The truth is, reality almost never aligns with my expectations – and quite often that is not only fine, it turns out to be even better than I’d planned.
I’m sorry I didn’t get a group photo of everyone in their Christmas finery this year, as is such a lovely custom, but Paul and I had to attend separate Christmas Eve masses, and several were too sick to go at all; and then on Christmas day, several spent a good part of the afternoon napping, so group photos weren’t a high priority. Jon tried a quick few right before everyone split up, and we’ll see if any of them turned out well when he gets them done.
At any rate, Christmas Eve was absolutely beautiful at the Cathedral. It’s been several years since I attended the Midnight Mass, and it was a real treat to go with Jacob, Natalie and Mother this year. You can see it here:
We had our family Christmas in the morning on Monday, and I only took a few pics due to holding the sick baby an awful lot during that time. Here’s a taste of our joyful gathering:
Christmas morning we headed down to Sun Lakes a little early so there would be enough time to cook tamales. We were gifted with a big batch of tamales by our dear friend Joanne, and though it was my first time ever cooking them, I did not mess it up. They were absolutely out of this world! I now understand the Christmas tamale tradition. Yummm!!
I spent both the dinner hour and the gift exchange rocking a precious child who had a fever, so my pics were few. That I had any at all was by the grace of my brother in law. Jon, who lent me a memory card when I discovered I’d forgotten to put mine back in the camera.
Later on in the afternoon, he let me try out a Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 lens, and it was a mind blowing experience. I don’t have any lenses that fast. I look forward to the day when I can have one full time to practice with and really improve. The best shots I got were ones where my subjects were still, of course, and I was so happy to get some good ones with Geneva, who I haven’t seen much lately, and Laurent and Jacob who have birthdays this week.
I was also very excited by how well it worked on action shots. We went over to the greenway and the kids threw a football around for a while and I tried my hand at “sports photography.” I’m very inexperienced with that sort of thing because my lenses just don’t cut it. But since I am usually shooting my kids, who are always in motion, it would be great to work on those skills with a good lens.
As you can see from the pics, the kids have a blast together in Sun Lakes. I didn’t get enough shots with some of the other cousins, as they didn’t come over to the greenway, but I am delighted when we get together by the beauty of our blended family. Thank you, Lord, for what you have wrought in bringing us all into one family, and binding us together in love. Everything we are and have is because of your gift of self in coming to earth as one of us. May we never forget!