Christmas in West Tennessee

We made to Pappy and Papa Rod’s house by about 4:30 Christmas afternoon.  Not bad after our full morning/lunch!  Neither kid napped well on the way, so I knew we could possibly be in for trouble before too long.  When we got to Mom and Dad’s, they were just getting in from B-Bob and PawPaw’s.  Dad wasn’t feeling well, so he laid down.  We tried to get Chloe and Cole to lay down as well, but to no avail.  When Dad awoke, we called Grandan to come over, and Austin and Dana came over.  We ate dinner, but it was quite chaotic.  Chloe’s gotten the hang of this “Christmas thing,” so she knew she had presents awaiting.  If dinner was chaotic, opening presents was even more so.  Chloe screamed and squealed over everything she opened.  Where in the world did she learn that?!?

Matt started the festivities with diaper duty.

Hmmm….. I think someone should have listened to her mommy and taken a better nap!

As usual, Cole was crawling/walking/falling down in the middle of everything getting in everyone’s way.

Chloe was very proud of her new princess shoes and skirt.

After opening most of the presents, we had to call the night short, and everything ended up falling apart all of a sudden.  Dad was not feeling well, so we got him to bed, packed everything up, and prepared for a trip to Vandy leaving the next morning; however, getting sick on Christmas day/weekend is not the best time to get sick.  After talking to the on-call doctors, we decided not to leave and to just stay put and monitor Dad closely.

Austin and Dana came back over Saturday for lunch, and we woke Papa Rod so he and Pappy could give Chloe and Cole their big present…. So, we dressed the kids in their gear…..

and they were getting tired……

But they perked right up when they walked outside to see what was waiting on them…. a Jeep from Pappy and Papa Rod!  The radio was blaring and it was ready to go!  Matt said their battery-powered Jeep was nicer than his first car.

Austin and Matt really worked with Chloe teaching her how to drive, and she did pretty well.  She likes to punch the gas for a couple of seconds and then stop.  It was difficult trying to explain to her that if she held down the gas, she would continue to move.

Cole’s little feet don’t even touch the bottom.  Ha!

We had to go inside because it was so cold, and Chloe cried.  She was not ready to come in, but it was naptime.  Once Chloe settled down, she, Cole, and Papa went to bed, and they all got a good nap.  After naps, we all decided we’d like to head out and eat some Mexican.  Good ol’ family time over some good ol’ Mexican food.  Does it get any better?

It was a nice weekend, and we all enjoyed being together, but it was different.  It was very different.  Christmas just wasn’t the same.  Cancer was with us this year at Christmas, and oh how I wish it would just leave us alone.  But it was there…. when we ate, when we opened presents, when we talked.  It was there and it robbed us.  I want it to go away.  It affects everything, and it let us know it was present.   Dad wasn’t feeling well the entire weekend or the week before.  Cancer wouldn’t even give us a quiet Christmas.  What a cruel, ugly, terrible thing it is.

But, I don’t want to end on that note.  It’s Christmas, and even though cancer is amongst us, there is a lot cancer can’t do!  We still have each other, and we were still together this weekend through all the mess thrown our way.  Cancer can do many things, and try as it may, but it can’t and it won’t destroy our family, our love, our togetherness, our hope.  We are bigger than cancer and we are better than cancer, and we are showing that every single minute of every single day.  Go Dad and Merry Christmas!

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