We have been making the most of our time just the two of us, though.
Yesterday we went for a hike in a nearby nature preserve, since it was in the mid-sixties (!) and sunny:
|Out on the trail, I don't even need a jacket.|
|All throughout the woods, someone has placed ornaments. I wanted so badly to put a little light blue blanket wrapped around the base of this tree, which got a fair number of sparkles on its spindly branches.|
|Handsome, handsome man on the trail by the creek.|
|The picturesque waterfall. I can't get over how much this looks like March, not Christmas Eve.|
|Lone snowflake on a pine past the creek|
We had our Christmas morning breakfast:
|All festive and coffee'd and ready to go!|
A few of our favorite things:
|Hogwarts for Christmas!|
|A perfect picture book from Bryce. It's not about THAT kind of waiting, but rather a celebration of anticipations big and small, with beautiful minimalist art. It made me cry, just a tiny bit. In a good way.|
|Fun fun fun, ignore the incredibly abused table|
Bryce makes a duck breast that is ah-mazing, with a brown sugar orange zest cinnamon crust on the seared skin and a blueberry-port reduction sauce. It is so fun to see him at work in our lovely new kitchen. Having a gas stove really helps sear up that duck so it's a perfectly crisp and juicy crust. I made some beautiful red Swiss Chard, some of which was downright aubergine. It was so fresh and earthy and tasted great sauteed with butter, olive oil, and garlic. We had roasted potatoes with rosemary and thyme that we can still harvest from our garden at the end of December (unheard of in Western NY!). And a lovely dusty bottle of St. Joseph that we bought at Christmastime in Vermont in 2012. That was a little bittersweet, too, because that was the Christmas vacation where Bryce gave me our beautiful little bookworm Buddha statue that honored our miscarriage. It's all part of the story though, and the wine tasted gorgeous despite the grief we felt at the time we bought it.
We feel like this year is so different from the grief-filled, desolate holidays of the past, where we had just suffered a loss of one kind or another and weren't quite sure where we were headed, family-wise. Last December was particularly rough because we'd really lost hope in the process and were at that crossroads where we were trying to figure out next steps while still keeping our toes dipped in the seemingly-tainted IVF waters. But this December? There's a nursery upstairs, a feeling of hope that maybe this could be our last Christmas just the two of us (with a dose of reality that there are no guarantees and next year may be a bit more bitter than sweet if we're still waiting), and a sense of appreciation that we can have this time together in the meantime. We are sucking the marrow out of our wait, enjoying all that we can before our life changes dramatically, possibly at the drop of a hat (or a ring of the phone). We are feeling 90% celebratory and hopeful and 10% empty-baby-shaped-hole sadness. This time--our amorphous status, and the mercurial feelings of hope and fear that we cycle through--is a limited one.
So, join Bryce in a toast to the holidays and all the hope and joy and anticipation that goes with them. Merry Christmas to you if you celebrate, and joy to you regardless. May each year be ever more sweet than bitter.
|Cheers to you, friends. Happy Holidays!|