Between Mike's and my sidewalk run-in with a thug who seemed to be looking for a fight December 22nd, a hacker's theft from my checking account Christmas Eve and the ongoing hassle that that's caused, a round of food poisoning for me beginning December 29th, and a stomach bug for Mike that started New Year's night, the past two weeks with their combination of anxiety, illness, and lack of money have made our humble little apartment seem even more of a safe haven than usual. "Nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love," Billy Graham believes, and I nod my head in agreement as I type his words here. I believe that true love, in whatever form it takes, blesses everyone and everything in its path. It bettered our holidays, and it brightens our "everydays," and it is always bigger than our troubles and troublemakers. "What are we gonna live on this coming week?" Olivia Walton anxiously asks her husband in The Homecoming (one of my all-time favorite movies, ♥ any time of year) after he's spent his final paycheck on Christmas presents. "Love, Woman," he replies, cradling her face with his work-worn hands, making my spirit soar every time. John Walton is wise. And after a holiday season that's tested peace-on-earth-and-goodwill-toward-men for so many around the world, it is a blessing to start this second week of January still believing in the power of goodness and love.
This Christmas, our second together, Mike and I shared our now-traditional Christmas breakfast of cinnamon rolls and egg casserole and took special refuge in all the simple joys of home. The pink and white church was a gift from Aunt Laurie this year. The miniature pink tree was from my friend Madai last Christmas, and the snowflake tablecloth is a treasure from my younger brother. The vintage pink house, cream tree candles, small cream bottlebrush tree, and pink reindeer were all from my mom.
Mike and I opened our presents from family then ate breakfast before opening our gifts from each other. I made the cinnamon rolls and Mike made the egg casserole this year.
The tiny pink cupcake ornaments came in a surprise package from my aunt Heidi this year, and the gorgeous pink snowflake cookie ornament was one of my favorite gifts this Christmas. Mom gave it to me early when I visited the weekend of December 21st. Love, love, love. ♥
Pink and pink gingham always make me happy and just seemed right for this Christmas morning. Last year's breakfast table was aqua, and it was pretty, but I think I just needed the extra warmth of pink this time around. The cinnamon rolls saw a generous sprinkling of pink sparkling sugar and Mike's mom's recipe of buttercream frosting.
The pink quilted gingerbread mug and pink-rimmed dinner plates were Goodwill finds. I had had a similarly sweet mug set out for Mike's coffee Christmas morning but knew he'd rather use his usual navy blue one, so I switched them. That sounds trivial, but I had told Mike a few days before Christmas--the night of our encounter with the Sidewalk Thug, actually--that I don't want us to be a couple that argues over stupid things. Every couple does, I know, but as I told him, I just want us to get into the habit of shaking off dumb little things and not wasting time or energy fighting about them. If he wants a navy coffee mug instead of the prettier cream-colored one: Who cares. It's our Christmas morning and a breakfast together, not a photo shoot. I wanted hash brown-style potatoes in the breakfast casserole; he did not. If he was the one making it, who was I to argue?! The years I make it, I'll add potatoes, and the years he makes it, he can skip them: Big deal. We are blessed to have whatever time we have with our loved ones. Let's not waste it. FlowerLady, if you're reading this, please know that remembering you and your dear husband is what really made this click for me this Christmas. ♥ I've only been married a year and a half, and it is always surprising to me that just as it is easier sometimes to be good and kind to strangers and acquaintances than to one's own family, it is also easy to find myself treating others more gently than I do my own husband. My senseless complaints about the breakfast casserole--a dish that my husband had kindly and even enthusiastically offered to make for our Christmas--made me ashamed of myself. Hearing myself harping about hash browns and then remembering sweet Lorraine and Sandra and others who would happily eat glass if it meant getting to share a morning with their husbands again. . . .My goodness. I knew better, so why wasn't I acting like it? Navy blue mugs and potato-free casseroles: Fine and good.
We watched the Christmas Story movie while we ate. Both the cinnamon rolls and egg casserole were wonderful. The almost-bare wall around the hutch and tv is one of the new year's projects. We have an ever-growing collection of posters and photos of artists, writers, actors, musicians, athletes, thinkers, and people-in-general who inspire us, and once our frame-buying has caught up with our art-acquiring, the wall will sport more than Mike's Yankees baseball pennants. :)
Although we had a nice Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner too, it is our Christmas breakfast that has become my favorite part of the holiday now that I'm married. This year's found us more appreciative of the safe haven we enjoy in our home and in each other, and it saw me become at least that much better of a wife. Fine gifts, indeed. And love will save the day. ♥