it doesn't feel like 10 o'clock. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!! first last night:
was rushing around like crazy to get to church by four. didn't exactly work, but we were there by 10 after and we practiced "ding dong" and hung out and the trio practiced in the bathroom, making it harder than it was but it worked out well i think. we also gave presents, megs gave me a gorgeous necklace and bracelets and molls gave me a wonderful bracelet and another bandana... etc. etc. it was funny, around 10 til 5, austin crept downstairs trying to put his coat away without being seen (ha!) and mollie and i were shrieking and running after him. i love him so much!! then we of course went up and sang and did our thing verrry well may i say and got to process like wonderful usual and there was a real baby!! not like practice where there was a plastic one. i had never seen rae look so beautiful than when she sat up there in the spotlight run by her mother. :) gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous rachael. the trio went well. i looove looking out at the sanctuary from the choir loft with all the candles lit during "silent night". jim's guitar is the best way to do that, always has been and always will be. i looooooooove it that the whole service stays the same year to year. it's been the same since i can remember. which is a long time back really. all of my christmases except for one. which was when i was little little little. then we went downstairs and put away our robes and austin and david came downstairs and that was wonderful and we all went upstairs and katie was there and robert and so many other people. i love my church family forever. we then left and went to our house for xmas dinner with NN and PP. nice, quiet crowd. it was yummy. i seem to notice that i haven't grown sad that the old family traditions such as the huge elaborate NN-does-herself-in dinner have faded away... maybe it's just because i look forward to xmas eve more for friend reasons. not that i don't look forward to family dinners... i do!! but now that all my dear ones come back from far away from their higher education goals it is so much more wonderful. after dinner, NN and PP took my brother and myself back to the FH and david and austin scared him... :) then we all hung around and molls and katie and thomas and rob and chris came. and we took LOTS of pics with my and katie's digital cameras. i need to get them developed and send them to people. they're WONDERFUL! i don't wanna steal austin's soul though, hehe. then di and megs showed, as did ROB AND ELIZABETH! and clairebee, meg, rae, alex and the vinnys, etc. etc. 31 peoples. we practiced and it was the ALTOS TOGETHER AGAIN!!! come to the dark side... bwahahahaha. then we sang. actually, first, we stood in front of the congregation for nearly 10 minutes, smiling, holding our folders, ready for westopher the hunk to come striding out whenever... but timothy kept playing and playing and playing and we were all trying not to laugh. i loved seeing diane next to me just being her wonderful serene, calm self as she always is. grinning at the crowd. gorgeous hair. then we sang well, we sat together, and i read my gospel lesson- tried not to read too fast and i think i did well. knew most of it, it IS the xmas story after all. wesley's sermon was shorter and really good, i enjoyed it. had communion and then silent night and i sat there trying to take it all in and pray and realize how blessed i am to have this group of people around me since they usually aren't around me together anymore. then it was over and it was midnight and we all wished each other merry christmas and there were lots of hugs all around. i adore them for always. ALWAYS. after talking for awhile, went home and slept.
today: mase woke me around 8:30 and i wanted to SLEEP but i got some good CDs and books and dvds... and a RoTK calendar and such. and clothes! yay. we watched some of "young frankenstein" and went off to NN and PP's... everyone was there save simon who is working. gabe and bekah will be coming tomorrow i believe in time for reunion on sat. afternoon. should be fun fun fun. stayed around til 5:30 or so, ML and logan and dad and myself played "cranium". we went home and watched "adam's rib" and ate blimpi. now i have been talking to dearest eric, michael, and hal... and listening to irish music. logan and simon gave me GREAT irish cds!! and of course i got the RoTK soundtrack. i love the "minas tirith" theme best i think. i want to write some tonight but i want to get to bed a little bit earlier. I LOVE YOU ALL V. MUCH! god bless on this wonderful day.
-clarice, claire, clairey, clairepear, clee, clairebear, clairesy, clairesywairseypuddinnpie, etc. etc. whatever you call me