Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas in Leo Land

homemade yeast rolls

oh sweet baby jesus!!!

one of the amazing chefs for Christmas dinner!
 So, my first Christmas in Leo Land, and it was more than I could have ever hoped it to be. First of all, the dinner was exceptional, and I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Thanks to Dan's oldest two sons we were able to sit down to an absolute feast. There are no words to express my gratitude to both of them. They are amazing young men, and as they prepare to embark on their own journeys to other states, I will miss them terribly. They are not only talented and smart, but also so much fun. It's been great waking up to the bulk of testosterone that I haven't been around since I was a kid. This time though the boys are incredibly helpful, patient, and just so kind. It says so much about their dad because I see the very best in him in them.

I grew up with three brothers of my own. It was mortifying most of the time since I was the punching bag of the older two. Now I get to enjoy the company of Dan's three oldest sons before they all move away. I've been single and living without men in the household since 9/11/06. When I decided to jump on the next train to NY, the thought of living with several men again did cross my mind. What would it be like? What would they be like? Would we get along? Honestly, these questions lasted for seconds because I was so determined to be with Dan that I wasn't going to allow anything to keep me from him any longer. What I didn't count on was how easily we would all fit into each other's lives. I'm not going to speak for them, but for me, it was truly a piece of cake.

And, Christmas with Dan and his sons was more than I could have possibly imagined. Here's a picture of stockings I made for Dan and four of his sons. Dan calls me his Amtrak girl and he is my last stop, so on his stocking I made the Syracuse train depot with the train stopped right there. On each of the boys' stockings Dan helped me with the images that would mean something for them, so Ben got a sailboat. I cut up one of Nick's old t-shirts to applique the images on his stocking. One of Dan's pillowcases was sacrificed for Zane's, and I drew my own design of Calvin and Hobbes for the youngest.

notice the homemade biscotti brought to me with chocolates on the side...
Playing Santa while drinking coffee and eating biscotti in our bedroom was one of the greatest pleasures I've had on a Christmas morning. It feels as if I've waited my whole life to be here now with Dan and to share his life of boys and boxes and art and snow and everything else.

I've been here now for three weeks, met some of Dan's friends, been to his college, cleaned a few dishes, unpacked a few boxes, and just thoroughly enjoyed my moments here with him and his sons. I've been to parties, met artists, and visited the local quilt shop. I've spent many hours in the library and reading to my favorite six-year old. And lately the bulk of my time has been spent setting up my own space in Dan's house -- our house. Thanks to the oldest son, we made quite a bit of progress yesterday.

Tonight is the last night the oldest son will be here before moving back to TX, so we're having a family night. I am blessed, privileged, and ever so grateful to be considered part of this family. Not only is Dan an exceptional man, but he's also the best dad I've ever seen, and his sons are true testaments to that. In a very short time I have grown to love all of them, and tonight I get to celebrate with the finest of men anywhere.

And, to the oldest Leo boy, thank you for making me so welcomed in your home, in your family, and in your life. There will not be a day that goes by that I won't be thinking about you. Enjoy your adventure called life!

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