The absolute highlight of our Christmas was Rachel's surprise visit. She popped into the house right as we gathered in the kitchen to pray for dinner. Of course, Joe and I knew she was coming, but no one seemed to notice that there was an extra plate at the table. And they were all totally and completely shocked...and elated! Don't you LOVE a surprise! (BTW: Our Christmas crowns came out of the English crackers that you pull apart with a pop to find surprises inside.)
There's no doubt about it. This wonderful young woman, the first on the left in that picture above, is adored by one and all of us. My dear daughter-in-love made our Christmas this year.
Rachel and Izzy and a couple of happy grins!
This is how we all felt, and we were ecstatic when the airport traffic jam forced her to have to stay a few extra days. A great big gift to us!
Rachel's a multi-talented artist and loves to take pictures. Among other things, she's a web designer, a graphic designer and a photographer extraordinaire. You can link to her website on my sidebar, and you will see her work and see that I am not overstating her talent. She took these shots the day after Christmas and I borrowed them from her.
Here she is taking a snowy self-portrait in the marsh.
This is the front field at the farm with our new friend waving hello.
These are the bold and graphic doors of our black barn.
And the antique cigar sign that hangs on the barn's back porch. (I think Joe intends this to be the "men's smoking porch" and may even buy a few cigars one of these days.)
Rachel took this beautiful snowy picture of the farmhouse and duck pond from the woods.
In this one, someone obviously grabbed the camera from her hand and took the shot. She's not that good of a photographer! I love this picture of her standing by our frozen creek in our magnificent winter wonderland. It was all too beautiful for words.
But this is Rachel's work. She's got an artist's eye and it's magnetically attracted to icicles.
And perfectly round snowmen...surrounded by cheerful people standing in a blizzard.
And kooky reindeer...
And people who fall down in the snow and laugh hilariously...
Joe took this one. Daughter-in-love and daughter at the bay.
These pictures make me so happy.
Rachel is our beautiful pearl in the oyster of loss.