Over the years, Tim and I have invited people to come and stay with us for various reasons. It's been awesome to have all these friends around! Payne and Shea Stockard were two of those people.
When they stayed with us back in 2014, it was such a great experience. They were fun to be around and Shea even showed me how to Swiffer the stairs, which sounds silly, but it was cool to learn something new from her.
But things took a turn while they were with us. Payne started getting sick, and it turned out he had some problem with his bile duct. It was serious, and he was in bad shape. Eventually, they got their own home, and Payne's health kept getting worse. He ended up needing a liver transplant.
Now, here we are in 2024, and guess what? Payne is doing great! He got the transplant he needed, and he's healthy again. And you know what's even more awesome? Payne and Shea have three kids now. It's amazing to see how far they've come.
The other day, I was decorating our Christmas tree, and I found these two ornaments. One said "Shea," and the other said "Payne." I figured they must have been left behind in one of our Christmas boxes, so I held onto them.
Well, last night, Shea came over to pick up some family photos that Tim had taken, and I gave her the ornaments. When I handed them to her, it took her a moment, but then she remembered: She and Payne actually made those ornaments for us while that Christmas of 2014!
See, our Christmas tree is usually covered in our kids' ornaments, but these were the only two that didn't have a place. They were Shea labeled hers “1st Christmas” and Payne labeled his "Baby's First Christmas" 😊 because it was their first and only Christmas in our home. It was so special.
It's amazing how little things like forgotten ornaments can hold so much meaning. They remind us of the bond we shared with Payne and Shea, and how they became a part of our family!
As we hugged goodbye that night, I couldn't help but feel grateful for the friendship we have and the memories we've made together. Those ornaments now have a special place on our tree, representing the love, resilience, and the magic of Christmas.
So, this holiday season, let's cherish the friendships we have, appreciate the small moments, and hold onto the memories that warm our hearts. After all, it's the people we share our lives with that truly make this time of year special.
Love, Hugs, and Happy Holidays!!!