A Stunning Christmas

I know Christmas falls on the 25th of December. I know a lot of you are still out shopping and scrambling and wrapping. Let me tell you….it feels GOOD to be done. I know! I am as blown over as you are. I am never done. NEVER. Not until Christmas Eve anyway. I am one of those – wild eyed, and frantic – picking through the scraps of the leftover endcaps. I abhor shopping. But I REALLY abhor the crowds of shopping.

But this year was different. See, I met Jason’s mom at the beginning of December at Kohls. It was about 1030pm at night. I was helping her shop for her son and naturally we ended up in the little girls section (ha). We shopped hardcore til MIDNIGHT. I broke my Christmas past buying a few presents before Christmas Eve.

Well then, Sydney was leaving for her Dad’s. He moved to the great state of Mississippi in July. Biloxi/Gulfport where his sister lives. It has been a BIG change for me and Sydney. He has always lived within a few miles of us. To suddenly be 9 hours away – WOW. It has been very difficult. Sydney is now a Southwest Rapids Rewards member. We have Love Field airport down pat. (even catching a flight with nary a minute to spare, but that’s another post – you have five minutes to get to the gate -aahhh!)

Christmas with Sydney would need to be on Friday evening the 18 December. Her flight was the 19DEC at 925am. As you know, with large families, and especially divorced families; children have many Christmases. This was the First Christmas of the season.  Jason got the little girls for the evening. I packed my car with LOADS of presents (and that’s not even all of them). I swear I don’t remember the shopping bug biting me, but it got me good. We headed their way.

Now imagine, Molly and Bridget, ages five and three helping cart inside bag after bag of presents (a lot of it was wrapped dollar store stuff). Their eyes were shining. They were giddy and hopping. I told them, “It’s Christmas. We get to open presents! Unless you want to wait until it’s actually Christmas? Do you want to wait?” Screams and cheers of Noooooooooo resounded.

Can you imagine the thrill of that? A whole week prior to Christmas? It was very exciting, as it should be – It’s freakin’ Christmas! We donned our Christmas hats for pictures. The girls weren’t having it. Molly wanted to pretend to be a dog. My “real” camera died, err the battery did.  We had to use the backup iPhone camera. I don’t know if you know much about the iPhone camera, but basically, it takes great pictures as long as you don’t move. Please note – impossible with a three and five year old – just sayin’.

And since we are talking about photos, I entered a GREAT giveaway on my friend, Weezer’s site. It’s for 100 photo postcards from Uprinting.com. This will open up a new window so please, CLICK away —->Post card giveaway.

Me, Salem, Sydney and Molly the hound dog.

Sydney with her pile.

Molly with her stash.

Bridget with her presents. By far, the most excited, happy child about opening presents. It is the greatest thing in the world when they hit that age of “gettin’ it”. Oh, she got it all right.  Every gift, she would exclaim out loud, then pick it up and hold it while grinning ear to ear. It was precious!

A book, some soap. See! It doesn’t matter what they open…They love it!

The aftermath was the girls burying themselves under pounds of tissue, bags, and wrapping paper.

Sydney opened ALL her gifts. She had asked for a new cell phone for Christmas. Her phone freezes up and she has to take the battery out to restart it. The keyboard doesn’t work very well either. She saw how much Jason and I love our iPhone. She really didn’t care what kind of phone, iPhone or not,  just as long as it was a phone that worked.  After much shopping, debating, and finding out neither account qualified for an iPhone upgrade. Grrr. We ended up getting her one anyway. We do LOVE our iPhones. We knew she would love it too. Jason bought it. We activated it the night before. So not only did Sydney’s phone freeze up previously, now it didn’t work AT ALL. She thought it had finally died and I agreed. Crappy phone!

So here she had opened all of her gifts up and guess what? No phone. She didn’t say a word. In fact, she looked happy and loved all her stuff. I said (like in The Christmas Story), “Is that all the presents? Because I think I see one more.” I pulled a little wrapped box out of the tree.  And she opened her iPhone 16GB 3GS with a pink cover. (no, he didn’t buy the cheaper one).

Well, that is a teenage girl’s Christmas dream.

Christmas was complete and happy. The girls first Christmas of the season. Wrappings all around. Opened boxes. The kids screeching and carrying on, hiding in their Dora tent, eating candy from their stockings.

I hear Jason say, “Is that all the presents? I think there is one more.”

I turn to see him next to me with a ring box in his hand. He opens it up to the most beautiful ring I have ever seen.  It literally took my breath away. He says, “Will you marry me?”

The tears flowed as I hugged him. Immediately Molly was there jumping up and down. It couldn’t have been more perfect. All our girls were  present.  This stunning gift, not just the ring, but our future.

Jason, I love you so much. I said from day one, you were perfect. Maybe not perfect for everyone, but perfect for me. I love your children and your family as I do my own. I am blessed beyond measure to be loved, and cared for by you.

All my life, I’ve seen the tragedies of divorce turn into triumphs of life altering relationships. I know this to be true. It is astounding what God has done to bring us to this place.

Merry Christmas. I’ll never forget it.

By the way, I said, “YES!”

Babe, This is better than a ring

This is a Costco membership card. MY membership card. Some of you know what this is, or maybe you are more familiar with Sam’s. They are actually similar, both are member only clubs to shop for bulk items at a great discount. Good deals. You can buy Sweet n Lo, in bulk,  it will last a YEAR. I’m not kidding.

I, usually, will buy toilet paper, paper towels, and trash bags. Being a single mother, it makes sense to try and save where I can. Jason has a membership, and I would go with him. We would figure out how to pay the other back for things bought or what not. His membership, he has to pay, or I pay. Only one can pay – one card.

Going to Costco on a saturday is like an adventure – you never know what samples they might be serving. You never know what wonderful books, toys, equipment, seasonal and otherwise, that they might be carrying. I LOVE Costco. It’s so fun and I hate shopping, so this tells you a lot.

Earlier this year, on a Costco trip, Jason mentions that his X is still on his Costco membership. REALLY? WHY? He says it’s free for him and he just never bothered to take her off. REALLY?

Quite honestly, it upset me. If it were HER membership, I guarantee you – he would have been taken off immediately. She divorced HIM. Why is he still being nice to her?

He tells me, he is a nice guy. I agree, BUT come on…..after everything? If she likes Costco so much, let her buy her own membership. It can’t be that much. It still ties them together. It still seemed like he was honoring his wifely commitment (and you remember that whole drama) which I thought ended at his divorce in December, or so I thought. It bothered me – GREATLY.

He didn’t understand, and I get that. I do. It’s harmless right? She is buying stuff for the kids – his kids – that he pays child support for. A LOT of child support, like what I lived on as single parent working full time AND with my child support added in, child support. But I digress….

What I am saying is – I felt like he chose her over me. That no matter what, I would always be second. She was the mother of his children. She came first.

Now, I do tend to overanlayze and read more into something than I should. I KNOW. You are all shaking your head. This is how it felt at that time. I stewed a half hour, came to terms with it, realized all the nice things I did for my ex husband Sonny – and still would do. I would have felt better if she was as nice as Sonny but still – I was fine with it. Stop it, I WAS.

On my merry way I went, without another thought (usually). Oh, I’d feel a twinge when we’d visit Costco. My mind would want to holler to me – I was SECOND. I didn’t listen. I knew, I was first. Get behind thee, Satan.

One of our last visits, we had the kids. We are having a jolly old time. Goofing off, trying samples, and playing with everything. I do mean everything. girlsincart
At check out, I took the girls along with Sydney and Kyle to get drinks at the little concession. We were sipping our smoothies, when I see Jason waving at me. I leave Sydney with the kids and go to him. He is standing there at the back computer behind the check out, smiling.

Give her your info, I am adding you to my membership. My JAW dropped. Huh? Really? He was taking X off and adding me. I barely recovered enough to give her my name, then as if in a daze, we head over to get my picture taken for my new card. My new card.

I don’t understand why months, and months later he had this change of heart. I will say it made me feel very, very special. Such a simple thing, but it was an act of love for me. It filled my heart.

I said to Jason, “Babe, this is better than a ring!”.

He says to me, “We’ll see about that”.