Christmas 2018

2018-12-25_19-46-57Another Christmas has come and gone, my heart is filled with love and my stomach with goodness.

Watching the joy of Christmas through the eyes of a 9-year-old and a 4-year-old is about as good as it gets.  Their glee-filled joy at every gift, while their kindness and appreciation for everything they receive is heartwarming and their genuine excitement to give the gifts they have picked out for others is even more of a blessing.

Christmas is my favorite time of year, we honor traditions that have been part of my life since day one and create new ones each year.  My favorite day of the Christmas season is Christmas Eve, now at my house, on that day I feel closer to my mother than any other day of the year.

I do my best to make it as special as she always did, I don’t come close to her expertise, but I do my best.

As a child we always opened our gifts on Christmas Eve and had Santa on Christmas morning, now, we have turned Christmas Eve into our “tacky sweater” competition, and like most things we do, we all compete hard to win!

Christmas Eve is also filled with lots of laughs, at some point everyone is the butt of a joke as we tell old and new stories on each other.  As the night ends, we depart, hopefully with memories of fun and love that will be called upon again and again in our minds and hearts.

Christmas morning, everyone heads to my niece and nephew’s house for Santa, breakfast and gifts.  An embarrassment of riches fills the floor of my childhood home, now made anew by my niece’s family.

The giggles and joy of sweet girls now fills the room where rambunctious boys once played.  More memories are made and heartfelt gifts with special meaning get interspersed with toys, clothes and housewares.

After breakfast, we all return to our respective homes, I usually take a nap while my sister-in-law is busy preparing one last Christmas feast.

In the early afternoon, we gather at my brother and sister-in-laws home for a traditional meal and more laughs.  Another new tradition we have incorporated over the last few years is board games after we eat and clear the table, once again we fight to win and play hard to come out of top.

As evening approaches and the sun sets on another Christmas we make our way to our respective homes, filled with love, laughs and stomachs bursting after the consumption of more food than humans should eat.

Now in my mid-50’s Christmas memories are even more precious than when I was young.  It no longer has anything to do with the brightly wrapped gifts, the real treasures I get on these days are the memories and gifts of time that I am able to enjoy with my family.

We aren’t perfect, we all know how to push the buttons of each other and sometimes do, but overall, I can say we do a pretty good job of celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, the one where love prevails and the joy of that first Christmas miracle is celebrated.  We’re definitely not Normal Rockwell, but we are about as good at being Rumsey as you can get!

I hold these memories close to my heart, I try to remember each word, each laugh and each expression of love, I hold these memories in my heart in hopes of many more with the people I love most.

Merry Christmas friends and to my family, thank you for another great celebration, filled with the magic of Christmas!

Here Comes the Bride

My niece Chelsea is getting married next Saturday.  I have dreamed of this day since she was born.  Not just the wedding but a lifetime of happiness that she would find my marrying her Prince Charming.

Chelsea has found her guy and together they will bring their two daughters together to form a new family.

Ever since she was a little girl, Chelsea has been an independent, strong-willed mix of tomboy and girly-girl and she has found the perfect guy to embrace everything that she will bring to a marriage.

I have always heard that girls marry their fathers, well Chelsea is definitely doing that.  Brett, the groom, is a know everything, right-wing, sports loving, debating, strong willed guy just like his future father-in-law.  More importantly, like his father-in-law, he is a hardworking, protective, dedicated family man who will move mountains for those he loves.

We are fortunate that Chelsea found Brett and thankful for the family he will bring with him.  His mom, Baboo and daughter Jaydynn complete us.

Chelsea and Brett have a great relationship that is built on love, respect and commitment, values that I know will carry them into old age.  They both have strong alpha personalities, so that love and respect will come in handy when paired with their stubborn streaks.

Brett’s only real downfall is that he is a Georgia Tech fan, but we are working on that and know that soon he will see the error of his ways and come into the light, we’re a DAWGS family and have a hard time comprehending blue and gold over Red and Black!

As the days grow close to their wedding, I am sentimental about the little girl who has overcome challenges, excelled as a mom and flourished through life.  I am proud of the woman Chelsea has grown into and look forward to seeing her in this next chapter.

The wedding will be beautiful, sitting on the banks of a river with all of Chelsea’s touches making the day special.

As they walk down the aisle to marriage, I hope they both think about those who have lifted them up through life.  The ones who celebrate their marriage in heaven and those who will be with them on their day.

I pray Chelsea and Brett have a lifetime of happiness and their girls, Jaydynn and Hadley know that they were chosen in love and good fortune.

I wish nothing more than a world of happiness for Chelsea and Brett.  There will be great times and difficult times for them to maneuver through the next 50 years of their lives together, but when their commitment is built on God, family, love and mutual respect there is nothing they can’t overcome together.

Except maybe that Georgia Tech thing….. he REALLY needs to fix that quickly!

Cheers to Brett and Chelsea, may your lives be filled with adventure and I pray the happiness you find as you approach your wedding will carry you through all the days of your lives.

Happy Birthday & Thank You, Chelsea Leigh Rumsey!!!!!!!!!!!!

On this date, back in 1990, the good Lord allowed me to begin the most rewarding role I have ever had in life….. Uncle.

Early in the afternoon of May 8th, 1990, Chelsea Leigh Rumsey entered the world and turned our families hearts upside down.  With her first breath, she had us all wrapped around her finger.

For the last 28 years she has taken life by the horns and gone for a wild ride.  It hasn’t always been perfect, but whose life is, what is important is Chelsea has relied on her family and trust in God to make it through the good times as much as the difficult ones.

Chelsea is a strong, sensitive, cuss like a sailor, business woman, tomboy, make-up loving, jewelry wearing, fashionable, creative, family loving, smiling, Jeep driving, never give up lady and as she has grown, she has been a wonderful niece and now I am honored to say one of my best friends.

Four years ago, Chelsea brought another joy into our lives when she became a mom to Hadley Rae, I have watched her grow as a mom and look forward to seeing her in her next role as wife.

Chelsea, my advice for you today, on your birthday, is the same as it has always been, DREAM BIG, don’t ever let anyone or anything stop you from realizing your dreams.

I wish you a lifetime of joy and know you will continue to find your resting place with God and family.

Happy Birthday sweet girl and thank you for giving me the title I cherish above all others, Uncle.

That’s What Neighbors Do…

This afternoon, sometime after 3, we heard a horrible noise in the store.  Our door had been open all afternoon as the springtime breeze was creating a wonderful cross draft through the store.

Chelsea went to the door and I followed, when she announced there was a wreck.

As we walked out the door, she went into a full sprint across the parking lot and to the accident victims.

Without going into a lot of detail, the accident involved an SUV and a motorcycle.

We were the 3rd and 4th people on the scene.  Meredith who works with us was on the phone to 911.

Within seconds numerous people were stopping to see if there was anything they could do to help.

Some people prayed, others stood in disbelief and others tried to comfort the victims.

After what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only a couple of minutes, police and paramedics were on the scene.

And then paramedics who weren’t even on duty started showing up to help.

What touched me most was the response of the professionals who were there to take care of the victims, the passersby who stopped to help, and the general public who showed concern.

I was in a serious accident once in south Florida and witnessed the same neighborly support when it happened to me.

Sometimes the worst brings out our best.  With all the craziness in our world, it’s nice to know, when we need each other we are there.

I share this with prayers for those who were injured, but also with gratitude for those who came to them as neighbors.

Short Notes – 5.8.13

Today is my niece Chelsea’s birthday and the playlist was for her.  Where on earth did 23 years go?

Charles Ramsey you have to love this guy!

The blog hit a milestone today!

Words to Live By

Benghazi, what’s the truth?  FOX NEWS; MSNBC; CNN …. probably somewhere in the middle.

The Voice just keeps getting better and better, while American Idol …… well, doesn’t.

Young and the Restless Star Jeanne Cooper has died.

GUILTY!  Jodi Arias convicted of First Degree Murder, JUSTICE IS SERVED!

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