Haley Scott DeMaria

Archive for December, 2012

CHRISTMAS

Oh – I am so late with this blog entry! But I have been thinking about it for about two weeks. Because it was two weeks ago that my mom arrived for Christmas. My dad would come the following week, and my in-laws a few days after that. Yes, we had both sets of parents for the holiday.

I haven’t spent a Christmas with my parents in over five years (I think it’s been six years, to be exact, but who’s keeping track?)
Of course each Christmas I think of my parents every day; and call them during Advent more often than regular because I am reminded of them in some way: whether it’s my mom’s Advent program we follow at dinner each Sunday, her Christmas punch (which I just learned this year is actually my grandmother’s Christmas punch!), the spinach dip my dad always makes, or the sugar cookie recipe that my sister and I are convinced my mom changed when she gave it to us, because our dough is always much stickier than Mom’s. (In fact this year my sister asked me if I watched Mom make the cookies to see if she uses the same recipe as us!)

So it was a HUGE treat for me to spend the ten days before Christmas – and the holiday itself – with my parents. I enjoyed shopping with my mom, taking walks with my dad, playing cards, baking, and watching them enjoy being with my children.

My in-laws come to our house each year for Christmas. My husband is an only child, and our children are their only grandchildren. While this might not be ideal to many daughters-in-law, I realized this year how much a part of our (my husband, myself and our children) Christmas celebration my in-laws are. I am REALLY lucky! Not only do I have parents who I treasure, who I miss when they are with my siblings at holidays and who I hope I don’t have to wait another six years to see them at Chrsitmastime, but I have in-laws who I also love, who complete our holiday celebration and who add their own magic to the season.

We are truly blessed and we celebrated and honored all our blessings this Christmas. As my younger son told our Elf on the Shelf, “I want to be with my happy family on Jesus’s birthday….and maybe a few presents.”

He got a few. But I bet he’ll remember the time he spent with his grandparents even more. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Blog
  • CELEBRATION OF LIFE

    Today is the celebration of two lives, both of whom are important to important people in my life.

    As I walked into Christmas Chapel just before 11am at my sons’ school, I was keenly aware of others entering another church in Florida for an 11am service. Inside the school, I gave a hug to my oldest son’s best friend. Today is his birthday. He is eleven, and I love him dearly. So does my son. They have a friendship many adults would admire, and I have no doubt they will be friends for years. Their friendship also leant itself to one of my most cherished friendships: with his mom (and dad, and their entire family). These friendships, as we navigate parenthood – and as our boys navigate these fun middle school years – will become even more important. The boys will talk, share and lean on each other for support as their minds and bodies rapidly change. And my friend and I will talk, share and lean on each other for support as we live with these boys who are changing so rapidly!

    Birthdays are a celebration of life, of the years lived and the years to come, of friendship and family.

    In Florida today, at 11am, my sister-in-law of 17 years attended the funeral of her father. He passed away last week at the age of 88. As I sat in chapel this morning, moved by the spirit of children singing at Christmastime, tears welled in my eyes for a daughter memorializing her father…my sister-in-law leaning on friends and family during this celebration of life.

    Dr. Harris was a wonderful father, spouse and friend: honorable, kind-hearted, loyal, a patriot….many of the same traits as the young man who turns 11 today. They didn’t know each other, but they both are gifts in the lives of those I love.

    A celebration of life, of birthdays, of life-ever-after, of love, of friendship and of family. May you find all of these in your heart today and always.

  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Blog
  • Yesterday I celebrated the 40th birthday of my dearest and oldest (in length, not age!) friend. I have known Nancy since we were 8 year olds in the same Brownie troop. And while she lived near by, we didn’t go to school together until we were in 5th grade.

    All through Middle School, we were best friends. We exchanged notes, we talked on the phone, we hung out at the mall and went shopping, we both watch “Dallas” on Friday nights and “The Young and the Restless” during the summer. We played on the same softball team, and I remember my dad (as the coach) loved having a left-handed catcher. I still don’t know what that means; but I remember it.

    Nancy and I didn’t go to high school together; her parents both taught at our public high school, but it didn’t have a swim team, so I went to swim at the private Catholic school. I swam, she played golf, we had our own friends at school, but we remained best friends…going out on weekends together, double-dating (more combinations than I care to remember) and slowly learning about life. When I went on my recruiting trip to Notre Dame, Nancy came with me (to visit her brother who was a student at ND). On our flights home, she held an ice pack on my face after I broke my cheek bone on my visit. As soon as we landed, we both knew we wanted to go to school in South Bend.

    Nancy went St. Mary’s and I went to Notre Dame. And during January of our freshman year, in the middle of the night, when Assistant Athletics Director Missy Conboy told me my parents were flying back to the hospital to be with me, she asked me if there was anyone else I wanted her to call. “Yes, Nancy.” And she came right away, there for me as she always has been.

    So when her husband emailed to tell me he was planning a surprise party for Nancy’s 40th (just as he did for Nancy’s 20th), I knew I would be there. Didn’t matter that it was a Tuesday night. Didn’t matter that I had to leave my kids with friends in Annapolis. Didn’t matter that it’s two weeks before Christmas and everyone’s schedules are pack. It’s Nancy. And while I have some pretty awesome friends (like the ones watching my kids right now!) there is only one who has known me as long and as well as the one I celebrated with last night.

    I wish you all the gift of friendship during this Advent season!

  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Blog