December 28, 2005

a tender texas Christmas

We are back from a great Christmas with Patrick's family in Texas. Reganne the magical niece is now eighteen months old, and spending Christmas with her was more wonderful than we could have imagined. She is very busy and is making new discoveries every day. Her sign language vocabulary is quite large now, and it's easy to see that her mind is extremely active. She is so loving and happy. We consider it a wonderful blessing to have her in our lives.

To save money and get a chance to see Jason and Erin, we flew into Austin on Friday. We ate lunch with Jason and Erin at Chuy's - a favorite hangout of Austin native Lance Armstrong. Afterwards, we headed north, and made a brief stop in Waco. We visited the Baylor Bear Pit and Starbucks. We arrived in Grapevine in time to enjoy the great supper that Mom had prepared.

On Christmas Eve, we went to Ikea with John, Michelle, Reganne, and John's friend Randy. We had a yummy lunch there, and Reganne entertained the other customers by dancing to the piped-in Christmas music. We went to church that evening, where Patrick maintained his tradtion of subbing in the handbell choir, of which Mom is a member. We had taco soup and tamales afterward, and the grown-ups exchanged gift cards. Reganne took over Allison's role as present distributor, a title which Allison has held for the better part of twenty years.

Speaking of Allison, she and Dave weren't able to join us in Grapevine in this year due to Dave's work schedule, but spent their first Christmas as a married couple quietly in Atlanta.

On Christmas morning, we went over to John and Michelle's where we had brunch with several of their friends, and watched Reganne play with her new toys, including the bear rocker that Grandpa Dave spent many months making for her. After brunch, we headed over to Allen to have Christmas dinner at Dan and Shari's. It was an extensive gathering of the Patrick clan from Jackson, MS and Houston. Dan and Shari prepared a tremendous feast for all 23 people who gathered.

We went to Fort Worth on the day after Christmas to see Hank, Lynne, and Holt - cousins on Dad's side of the family. They have just expanded their kitchen, and it is gorgeous. Hank fixed us a great lunch of grilled sandwiches.

We moseyed back to Austin the next day, stopping in Waco for lunch at Souper Salad. I can't remember a Christmas when I've eaten so well!

A note about the pictures: Reganne tends not to smile for pictures. When she see the camera, she becomes interested in what you are doing, and her main goal is to see a picture of herself. She really does smile all the time! When you tell her to say "cheese," she does the sign for cheese and sometimes she does it as soon as she sees the camera.

Christmas 2005 pictures

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