"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."


Merry Christmas!!

I can't believe Christmas is already over! I'm not ready for it to be over just yet. I want to hear more Christmas songs on the radio, feel the Christmas spirit at stores, on the road, outside. It just seems like this entire year flew by.

The past two weeks have been filled with tissue boxes, cold medicines and cough drops. The 'chest cold' ran through our house, even afflicting me. I was terrified at first, having a deep cough always takes me back to when I was sick with the Hodge. Of course, I kept saying I didn't care what happened, I was getting through Christmas and then going to the doctors. :) I did not want anything to ruin the holiday for me and luckily, we were on the tail end of it by Christmas Eve! My body was able to fight off the cold and not turn into a serious infection. Yay! The 100 day period from my sct is critical. They say you make it to 100 days without any serious complications and you'll be ok. To say the least, I was a bit anxious battling this cold out. The Hodge was always in the back of my mind. It will continue to be this next year as well. I just have to get through it one day at a time and before you know it I will be at the one year mark with clean scans!

So, we finally made it to Christmas relatively healthy. Another major milestone! We seem to have sick kids around holidays and birthdays. Don't know how we do it, but we do. :) Impeccable timing on our part. We normally spend Christmas Eve with Gabe's dad and step-mom, but this year they stayed in Saudi - well, actually Amsterdam for Christmas. So, we let the kids open their gifts from them Christmas Eve. At first, I thought maybe just one but that quickly turned into all of them! :) As you can see, they loved all their gifts!

The kids can't wait to see what Grandpa Ramon and Grandma Martha got them...

Olivia victoriously holds a Hannah Montana gift!

Valerie pointing out the beautiful Barbie horse!

Seth checking out his cool, new tent!

After all that excitement, trying to get the kids to sleep at a decent hour was futile. Gabe and I fell asleep before Olivia and Seth. So, we pop up at around 2am and start helping Santa put all the gifts under the tree and in their stockings. You know you're old when your kids outlast you at night. lol. Normally, my kids sleep in 'late' (7am). Not Christmas morning. I woke up to Olivia and Seth looking at the tree in awe at around 4:30 am. Since the babies were still sleeping (yeah, that's it!) I suggested we wait a few more hours to open the gifts. To my surprise, they didn't even try to open the gifts and waited patiently until around 6:30 am when they decided it was time to get everyone up. Who can blame them? :)

Merry Christmas Nicholas!

Valerie riding her pony from Santa!

Olivia realizing she got High School Musical...

Olivia trying out the Hannah Montana wig...

Seth the next Sith!

Nicholas riding his bog boy bike!

I love Christmas Morning. I love seeing the excitement and joy in their eyes and in their squeels. I love putting out the gifts in the middle of the night. I love leaving the reindeer food outside and then sweeping it up so they think it was eaten. I love making Santa cookies and leaving him milk. I love that they really believe in Santa. Well, I think Olivia has caught on. Santa brought her a Hannah Montana dress in a Macy's box and she was shocked that Santa shops at Macy's. Ooops! lol! It made me sad when she questioned him. Must they grow up so darn fast?

We are thankful for so much this year. Loving family, great friends, awesome doctors and God's love. I know 2008 is going to be a fantastic year full of good health and wonderful memories.

Wishing all my family and friends reading this a blessed 2008 filled with peace, love and happiness.

Brandy, Gabriel, Olivia, Seth, Nicholas and Valerie


The Bowers Bunch said...

Hey Brandy I have been following your blog since I received an e-mail from one of the fellow Pi Phi's. I am so glad everything is going so well for you all at this point. Your ability to stay so strong and positive through everthing is an inspiration to us all! It looks like you and the family had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all the best New Year ever!

pi phi love and mine,
Tamara Bowers (Hazelton)

Brandy said...

Hi Tamara! I'm so glad you posted a comment, it's so nice to hear from long lost sisters! One positive from all of this is the friends I haven't heard from in ages! Hope all is well with you. Please keep in touch.