I promised you guys the second half of this story, and I don’t break promises. If you haven’t already, be sure to read Part one here. Alright, now that you’re all caught up, ladies and gents, please to enjoy The Heartwarming Holiday Hipster Brunch of 2011: Part Two.
Jen and I blew Gram away with our delicious culinary creations. It’s kinda important for me to impress Gram. I want her to know that I can cook and take care of things. She’s an old-fashioned gal, and I truly respect that. Jen shares genes with Gram, so it seems natural that she can cook, but I have to work harder. My mom cooked everything in Country Crock. Honest engine.
Jen mentioned that our meal had a cheese theme with the mac n’ cheese, quiche, and cheesecake that Gram brought for dessert. Cheesy bacony goodness. Topped off with my amazing blackberry pie that Gram was oh, so impressed with! Booyah!! Gramps even had seconds, and he’s only got a third of his stomach left! Who makes da bomb pie? Me. Yep, that’s right. Moi.
It should be said that Gramps is not at his best these days. He’s been struggling to put on weight and heal up after having two-thirds of both his esophagus and stomach removed due to some cancer in his esophagus. He’s doing okay, but he gets tired pretty quickly and can’t usually eat much, considering the size of his stomach. It’s always wonderful to see Gramps. He’s the kind of Grandpa that everyone wishes they had. I know I would have been a happier kid, had I had a Gramps like Chris’s. I feel so lucky and blessed to be able to call him Gramps. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Gram, too, but Gramps is just truly something special. I adore him muchly and it meant a lot to have him over to celebrate the holidays.
So, after we stuffed ourselves with pie and cheesecake and coffee, we opened presents and said our goodbyes to Gram and Gramps and to Jen and family. Gramps was tired and was ready to head out before we even ate dessert, so I was glad he stayed that long, and bummed they were leaving, but understood.
Just as Gram and Gramps were leaving, John and Mary showed up to steal Chris’s boys from us. They are spending the holiday break in VA with their mom. John and Mary are Simon and Finn’s grandparents. Parents of Chris’s ex wife, Colleen. We are all on amazingly good terms, and we’ve grown pretty close over the past year. They are incredible people, and have always treated Lucas like one of the family, even though they owe him nothing. They also came bearing gifts, so there was another round of tearing paper and excited, smiling gremlins. There was also some humility from me and Chris, because John and Mary also gave us gifts that were extremely thoughtful and generous. Again, they owe us nothing. Chris is their ex son-in-law, and I am the woman who, in a way, took the place of their daughter 10 months out of the year.
It takes a certain kind of person to be able to handle such a situation so gracefully, and we are so lucky to have John and Mary in our lives. The boys couldn’t ask for more devoted, loving grandparents, and I feel so blessed that they are also a part of Lucas’s life.
Mary also ate a piece of my delicious pie and GUSHED about it, making me feel all awkward and stuff. I have a hard time believing that it was really THAT good, but hey, I suppose anything is possible.
So we all said our goodbyes and Chris was sad to see the boys leave. Simon was grumpy with me because I “kicked him in the head” earlier in the morning, so all I got from him was a very curt “Bye, Mommy” as he was walking out the door. It’s okay. One day maybe he’ll genuinely like me. I suppose only time will tell. At least Finny gave me a goodbye snuggle.
And no, I did not really kick Simon in the head, in case you were actually wondering. (shame on you if you were)
We spent the rest of the day at the house. Chris was all productive, and I was all sleepy. Lucas played some video games and I napped on the couch.
Another holiday family gathering over and done with, and I got a notch on my hostess belt. It went better than I expected, and all that fuss and stress was so not necessary. Hopefully I can use it as a learning experience and not allow myself to get so damned bitchy next time we have people over.
It’s important to remember why we spend time with the folks we love. It isn’t truly to impress them with our amazing blackberry pie baking skills (although, it is a bonus!) or to show off how well we decorate for the holidays. It’s not about the gifts or the quiche. It’s about making memories. It’s seeing those tiny faces light up when they open presents. It’s about treasuring the time we have with people before they are gone.
Hug your loved ones tight. Tell them you love them and that you are grateful for them. Enjoy your holidays, folks. They are special times. I feel so very lucky to have found Chris and to be a part of his amazing family. I love them all so much, and am awed by their kindness and their generosity, but what I am most humbled by is their ability to love me and my little Lucas like one of their own.
We are all so very blessed with so much more than we realize.
Love and light to you and yours.