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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

Merry Christmas from the Darling's! 

It ended up being a full couple of days which wasn't expected! Every year around Christmas we decorate graham cracker houses. I think I've written about this before. I've been doing it since middle school I believe and every year that Cale and I have been together we do it. 

Just because we're here I didn't want to skip out. While Cale was on pass with me this last weekend (I'm not sure I've written about that yet...) we went shopping for a whole bunch of goodies. Way more than enough for all the patients to join in along with the staff! 

It was a blast! 

We have our dog out front, our garden in the back corner, and the two of us smooching by the door. :o)

This guy watched to make sure we didn't eat too much of the candy before it made it on the houses!

The little village.

Last night I stayed at the hospital with Cale. I had made the decision but didn't say a word about it to anyone because I wanted to surprise him! When I was leaving he said as he always does every night that he wanted me to stay. I went back to the FH and changed into sweats, brushed my teeth and headed back. He was so confused when I showed back up! 

I quickly decided that staying in the little hospital bed together would have been much easier if we were elves! Our bodies are just a tad too large. I remember the nights while inpatient last time trying to sleep with him once all of his tubes were out...not so easily done! Haha! We did fine though. It was pretty wonderful to wake up next to him on Christmas! We were both slightly zoned for most of the day :o)

They had a nice lunch downstairs for everyone. It was basically same setup as Thanksgiving but different menu. We met a couple here that joined us for lunch. It was such a pleasure! The man is a Chaplin here and his wife was so sweet! They didn't get married until they were in their 40's and have now been married for 16 years. They still consider themselves newlyweds and we talked about all the years Cale and I have ahead of us! They were quite entertained with Cale and all of his silliness...

Chocolate fountain again...oh my! Cale's eyes are closed but it was the only shot we had!

...and do you see his newest hat?! It was a gift from one of the patient's wife. He has two one is the frog and the other is a dog. They are adorable and hilarious on him. He loves them so much! 

The man of many hats...literally!

We have eaten way too much. As always. I wish I could say I have control in this area...but I really don't. Food is just so good! Sweets are just too tempting! 

We are thankful and blessed. 

As I walked to the hospital yesterday, I couldn't believe it was Christmas Eve. December seemed to have gone extra quickly but not with the normal this and that's of the holiday season. In fact, it didn't feel like Christmas at all! The last two days ended up being full of Christmas-like things though. 

I was reminded with such a great point by a friend this morning. I listened to her message; it was a reply actually to a message I had left for her talking about how it didn't feel like Christmas. She said, "It is cool that even if you don't have presents or anything like that, you can still celebrate that Jesus was born." There was more said about how we get so wrapped up in all the doings and forget the reason for Christmas and no matter how many times we talk about how we know the true reason, is that really our focus? Or are we so focused on the holiday hub blub? Hub blub was definitely  my word. ;o) 

It was such a duh moment for me. Not because I've never heard it or thought about it that way, but because I so quickly thought about how I didn't get to watch a bunch of Christmas movies with Mama or bake yummy cookies. I didn't get to decorate our home with holiday prettiness or make all the gifts I had planned. I didn't go caroling or eat a plate of Emily's Christmas cookies...all things that I love and that are good but couldn't come with us here. But the real reason Christmas is such a big deal in my life is not because all of these things but because we celebrate the birth of Christ...

That reason just happens to be universal and can go anywhere! AND, it is a big deal!

It was nice to make the candy houses, eat good food, and play games with Christmas music going...

yep, those were good too! 

Cale had a few struggling moments today but for the most part we had a great day and enjoyed our Christmas here at the hospital. 

We hope that you had a Merry Christmas too! Did you get to do all the fun holiday stuff this year? Did you also have to remind yourself what Christmas is all about? Do you have traditions you do every year?


  1. Merriest Christmas Kathleen, Some Christmas are harder than others but God is ever faithful to make his glory shine around us (if we will just look for it ) - Blessings to you !!! Always today and in the new year to come !! ((()))) hugs for you and Caleb!!!! Reenie

  2. Oh, my sweet Kathleen, I so needed your words on the "Reason for the Season". Thank you. I was complaining about our Christman Eve service because it wasn't what "I" thought it should be like. Totally WRONG focas. My favorite picture was the one in front of the chocolate fountain. I am so grateful for what Father gave us in His Son Jesus, yet I sometimes forget it's ALL ABOUT Him, not what we do or get under the tree. I love you and am grateful for the gift of you in my life. You are a treasure, Marion

  3. Yes, we have several traditions we do, such as reading the Christmas story in the morning, praying, and singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus before we even head to the tree to open gifts! We sing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve and have a big meal on Christmas Eve too and eat on that for several days! We made Christmas cookies during the week and it is fun because now my kids are old enough to make the Sugar Cookies themselves and CLEAN up afterwards....YAY!! We had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed celebrating the birth of our Savior...just the four of us. We live really far from all our family and often visit them in the summer so we love being home together for Christmas! I so enjoyed seeing all the pictures and hearing what you did for Christmas! I loved the candy houses you all made!
    Thanks for sharing with us!
    Emily J.


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