This Christmas was even better than I thought it was going to be. It started Christmas Eve. I got off early, just in time to make it to the Christmas Eve service at my church. It was pretty emotional for me, meaning I cried through 87% of it. Last year, I remember being 7 months pregnant, sitting beside a family with three active kids (wink, wink Robin), and being teased that wrestling kids will be our new reality. I blinked, and here we are-a year later, wrestling, loving and fighting over who gets to hold Baby Burl.
(Yes, that's a snickers bar...from my stocking.)
The next morning we had Christmas, just the three of us. Our morning. A tradition- with a wonderful addition. And things felt nice. Look at the next picture...Burl's face tells it all!
Let me just cut to the chase...It's not about stuff, but if it was, we made out like bandits and it was a whole lotta fun playing with everything. From ripping paper, stacking rings, strutting our new gear, being blown away from the generosity of others (thanks moms and dads), we enjoyed the stuff that came with Christmas. I almost had feelings of being a spoiled American, but I told that voice to be quiet and get me another cookie.
Another cool thing: we had a white Christmas, which is as rare as seeing a leprechaun on St Patty's Day. Props to Motha' Nature for that added ambiance.
After our morning, we did the family thing. One thing that I LOVE about this year is that we did my family and John's family on separate days. This was the way.to.go. Instead of squeezing everything into one day, my family came over for brunch on the 25th, then we went to John's parents for the 26th. Muy bien.
My family was the same. Semi-appropriate gifts were exchanged, great debut, Diane! (See that sign...from her to my dad...amazing!) My dad and brothers "teared up" at the mention of an emotional story-HBO series, Band of Brothers. We ate and ate and ate.
Burl melted Broseph's heart a bit more with some post lunch snuggle.
Then, Burl was re-engergized by his new toy from Marmee. I think that it helps Burl learn to walk. It had wheels and a place big enough for Burl, so we did what any cool kids would do: naturally, we raced him down the hallway.
Next up: John's family. The crazy didn't stop at our house. No, it went with us up on the mountain. Instead of wild and crazy fun, we had a bit of organized-chaos fun. But, isn't that what Christmas is all about?
With lots of family, kids, and presents, we had a good time.
Then, we went outside to get our sledding on, which lacked speed but not thrill. Us Southerns can make anything fun. Yee-haw.
I hope that if you are reading this, that your Christmas was just as merry and you were able to feel the love. Christmas can be hard for a lot of people, and if you're one of those people, I'm sorry.
As much as I had fun and all these pictures reflect a happy version of myself, I had a few moments that were less than perfect. That's where the real reason of Christmas stepped in and rocked my world. Here's the reason: God's love for us. That's the point. And He doesn't forget us. He makes a way for us.
A really great Bible passage for me this year was Isaiah 54:4-10 which included this phrase:
"With everlasting love I will have compassion on you," says the Lord, your Redeemer.