March Inn

Why"March Inn?" March Inn was the name of that magic place where I spent my summers growing up. I have alluded to this place before, and I probably will again. March Inn is no longer standing. The waters of Katrina rendered it unlivable so my children will never know that "March Inn." That makes me sad. In fact it brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I want my children to have their own "March Inn," and I want to capture our lives as they are growing and changing. I invite you to "march inn" to our lives. My hope is that you will catch glimpses of the real world. You will see our creations. You will see our chaos. You will see our affection. You will also see our frustrations, fears, and disappointments. Enjoy your march!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Making Memories and Keeping Traditions

When I think of Christmas as I child, my first memory is of my cousins and spending infinite time with family going here, there, and yonder day after day and night after night for the entirety of my cousins stay in Mobile. My second memory is of attending church at All Saints on Christmas Eve and as an extended family taking up the better part of two pews.

Yes, I remember some of the presents I received over the years, and I have vague recollections of the excitement I had over Santa, but my main memories involve my family {particularly my cousins, but also my great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc} and the preparations for Christmas {the gifts we created, the recipes we used, the tables we set}. These are the same double first cousins I have alluded to as I reminisce about our summers over the bay. Mind you my cousins lived in New York and Tampa and yet I spent every Christmas with them in Mobile. Now as an adult with a young family of my own, I admire that my aunts travelled each and every Christmas for their entire lives.

As for church, there were two parts of that Christmas Eve service that I loved ~ the first was watching all of the excitement in the young children as they tried to sit and be quiet during the service. The second was the way the service concluded ~ the lights were dimmed, the candles lit and the congregation sang Silent Night. To me that was a very powerful way to bring Advent to a close and usher in the birth of our Savior.

As our family as grown and changed, many of our traditions have evolved, but family and hopefully Christ's birth remain central to all.

This year, we have a glaring absence in our family and in our lives. Norval, Frank's mom, was the epitome of all things Christmas. She loved doing for others, and the season of Christmas offered her the opportunity to do and to give so much more than she already did on a daily basis throughout the year. It was special! It was a unique! It was the way she showed her love! And she did it with expertise.

While none of us can emulate the things she did, Frank and I have tried to keep alive some of her traditions. Her pecan pie recipe was found, checked, and double checked though none of that can account for the changes she knew to make in her head. All we can do is give it a try!

The tree is laden with candy canes and her boot is filled.

The reindeer poops... let me tell you this was a bit hard for me. I am fairly straight laced ~ some might even say a prude so buying brown jelly beans to represent reindeer poop was a big deal and not something I would ordinarily condone. Of course my number two child has loved the reindeer!

The children have been busy...

They have created a gumdrop tree ~

and made a gingerbread house ~

and so much more, but no time to report here...
I hope for my children's sakes that we are creating memories that last a lifetime and they center around the time we spend together and not the presents that we receive.

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