December 2011

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Joy

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Snow Globe Econest.com

What a morning. Santa came and left so much. Above all, what warms my heart is seeing Little J on his new roller blades with the neighbor kids, doing what kids do on Christmas morning: make us wish we could freeze them in time, never let them grow older. Where is a snow globe that we could live in, savoring each moment, no need to press pause or rewind? With a tip of the fragile, glass-contained, watery world, we could watch the snow fall and the smiles broaden again and again and again.

Before the sun had even made its way above the frost-laden houses this morning, Little J cautiously made his way down the street on his newly wheeled feet. Princess M from across the street threw open her door and shouted, “Lookin’ Good, J!” Her sweet encouragement, setting the day in motion, still echoes after my second cup of tea.

Now Dennis cooks breakfast and Little J picks through his pile of surprises. I sit, with my fingerless gloves, trying to capture the sweetness, my heart warm and trying to guide me to the words. But I know, as does Virgil, who purrs and stares up at me: it is impossible to capture this moment, to wrap it up and share it with you all. So I’ll just sign off and snuggle back into the moment.

Hope you all are light of heart and filled with a joy you can’t express. Some things we cherish just can’t be saved. Enjoy the time, moment by fleeting, watery, sparkly moment.

Hugs and Merry Christmas,

Jennifer

Lights

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After meeting with Santa:

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Losing one of his two front teeth:

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And going on his first overnight adventure with the Cub Scouts:

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One would think Little J would have had enough excitement in the last few weeks to still have energy for sugarplum fairies and such. Not so. Though he and the neighborhood kids built a paper chain long enough to stretch across the street and though the house is still topsy turvy from not one, but two holiday parties, pre-Christmas cheer prevails around here, with Ho Ho Hos to spare.

Little J interrupts his simultaneous playing with Legos and watching of Rudolph, only to check the NASA website for Santa’s status and ETA.

He’s a little bit worried about going to Little Salty’s for dinner, lest we miss the rotund one’s visit. But we’ve convinced him that Santa and crew have all of Europe to traverse, not to mention the rest of the US east of Sugartown until he makes it to our abode tonight.

So we’ll dine with Leigh and the fam then perhaps drive around town to look at the lights and decorations. Perhaps I’ll post some pictures later to share.

Sugartown partly earns its name this time of year, you know.

I hope you and your families and friends are enjoying a peaceful time together. Sending you so much love.

Hugs,

Jenn

Kayla Rose

Kayla Rose

I’m sorry I haven’t posted since last month. When I go for a long time without writing, I get worried emails from some of you. I’m fine, and we’re all doing well. We’ve just gotten swept up in the joy of the season and all of the fun activities. A post and pictures about all that soon…

In the mean time, I wanted to share with you a story about something tragic that is going on here in Sugartown, something that will hopefully soften your heart and move you to enormous gratitude for all that you have.

A second-grade girl at Little J’s school began to have severe headaches a few months ago, and it was soon discovered that she had a tumor in her brain. After surgery, it was confirmed that the tumor was malignant. You know that now there is a tough road ahead for this beautiful child and her family. In the past few weeks, she has shown unbelievable grace and strength, inspiring her school friends and the entire community.

Please read her story when you get a chance. You will be moved to tears, I promise you. I hope that you are also moved to contribute a little something to help the family along. Kayla’s website includes a Paypay button.

For my part, I’ve also been inspired by Kayla’s mom’s friend Nicole. Nicole and I know each other casually through PTA, and she volunteers through a literacy committee I organize. Since Kayla got sick, Nicole has started fundraisers and has organized as much support as one person can for a dear friend with a sick child. Kayla’s family is lucky to have Nicole in their corner.

If you can’t donate money to Kayla’s family, and even if you can, please say a prayer for her, and only imagine positive outcomes. Picture her healthy.

When cancer affects a child, I feel a crushing bleakness. I feel fragile and wordless. And when I see pictures of Kayla, her tiny body in a hospital bed, I will admit that I question my own faith. I really do. But then, in those same pictures, I feel her undiminished little-girl spirit, the second-grader that still wants to color and open presents and Skype with her best friends, the part of her that reaches out from underneath the disease to connect with her family and supporters, to shine out in spite of it all. It’s her courage and brightness that gives me strength and faith again.

Hugs and prayers for you little Kayla,

Jenn