A Christmas like no other.....

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Confession: I was not totally looking forward to Christmas this year.  We were on a small island in the Gulf of Mexico and would be heading into a very, very cold Vermont winter.  We are in a new house that I had never decorated for Christmas before, and other than my precious ornament collection, I really didn't know where my decorations were. AND...most importantly 5 of our 7 children were not coming home for Christmas.  With 7 kids between the ages of 18 and 25, it's not surprising that this would happen. We want our children to create their own lives in their own places. We are so proud of them and feel good about their independance. It just kind of stunk.  We knew how missed they would be. Colin is in the Netherlands in graduate school with a lot on his plate. Very exciting things happening for him in the next couple of months, he would however be taking exams right after the first of the year. It made sense for him to stay. We were so grateful when an invitation from his school friend Freddie (who we love) came in, to spend Christmas with Freddie's family in the Hague.  Jasper is on a "walk about" and his currently in Tokyo. I can't wait to hear more about his Christmas adventures!  Willie and Adam live on the west coast. Having just been here in October, they decided to try spending Christmas together in Oregon (SO grateful for the short flight to connect these brothers.) Our youngest son Scotty would be spending Christmas in Baltimore in his own apartment with his girlfriend, darling dog, and her family nearby. I spent a couple of days right before Christmas getting him situated with supplies for his first holiday there.

Christmas table in the barn with a white out snowstorm happening out the window

Christmas table in the barn with a white out snowstorm happening out the window

As the holidays approached we realized there were some other guests who might like to come to Vermont and some Vermonters who might like to join us. Daughter Brooke and boyfriend Ethan brought home their friend Nick from Boston. My sister Puddy and Phil came up to stay with us. Daughter Courteney and her friends from college are all home and in and out of the house constantly. Since this Christmas was Ethan's 26th birthday, we invited his family to join us in the evening for a birthday party.

Holiday drinks table all ready for a house full of people and winter storm Ethan! Needlepoint stockings are hung on the kitchen mantle because the living room fireplace has a roaring fire at all times.   

Holiday drinks table all ready for a house full of people and winter storm Ethan! Needlepoint stockings are hung on the kitchen mantle because the living room fireplace has a roaring fire at all times.

 

Brookie and her Aunt Puddy in the cozy kitchen

Brookie and her Aunt Puddy in the cozy kitchen

Two things completely and utterly changed our Christmas.... "Winter storm Ethan" .....seriously, couldn't make that up if I tried....was going to dump a snow storm on our little loved Barn in Vermont....and Ethan's older sister was pregnant and in Burlington with her in-laws for Christmas.

As our household headed to our favorite restaurant for a big family Christmas eve dinner we got the news.... Ethan's dearly loved older sister had gone into labor. In between Christmas poppers, magic tricks (in the poppers), and the most delicious meal  chef Michelle at Chanticleer prepared....I got to explain the stages of labor as texts came in from the hospital. With the impending storm headed to dump a lot of beautiful fresh powder on our sleepy little Christmas village, several of Ethan's family members headed to Burlington to beat the snow and welcome their new baby.

We woke to the news that baby Bowen had made a middle of the night appearance in the early hours of Christmas morning. Twenty six years after her mother had delivered what the family dubs the "christmas miracle boy", daughter delivered a second "Christmas miracle boy". I'm still so in awe of this!!  Mother and daughter, both delivering Christmas babies on the same day!! Having received my own first neice on my 21st birthday, I completely understood the joy that Ethan felt about sharing his special birthday with his nephew.

After a fabulous Christmas morning filled with laughter, joy, and a holiday breakfast of Uncle Phil's famous praline french toast (With Vermont syrup of course), eggs loaded with veggies and Vermont Cheddar cheese, and amazing bacon.....Christmas was removed and the table was set in a non-red and green manner for a celebratory birthday dinner.  Long time friend of my husband's, and father of Ethan, Chip, joined us for the festive celebration. Champagne was popped and we celebrated the birth of a young man we all hold dear in our hearts, and a brand spanking new gorgeous little boy. 

Our hearts were full as the snow fell on us and we basked in the glow of a very magical Christmas.

Custom needlepoint Brooke designed for the arrival of baby Bowen.

Custom needlepoint Brooke designed for the arrival of baby Bowen.