Friday, December 27, 2013

Ready Or Not Here I Come

Like so many other areas of my life this year, Christmas rolled in like the tide and is now on its way out.  I had big plans for a Christmas Eve post, about life standing still when a new baby comes and that moment when all the earth must have stood still, as Mary pulled her new baby chest.  The feeling is so familiar  to me, but the extraordinary event of birthing baby Messiah must have been more surreal than even imaginable.  Sleep became more of a necessity than finishing up my countdown I guess and I dropped the ball on Christmas Eve.

Like many parents the night before Christmas we were wide awake trying to make special memories for our kids.  In turn we pretty much killed ourselves.  Tiny son decided that the eve of Christmas Eve would be the first night in his short life he would have a bad night.  This was after going to bed at 3:00 am.  My sweet husband let me sleep late and even with that extra hour I think I only got 3 1/2 hours of sleep.

Christmas Eve we had  a Jones Family Christmas. Our night full of wrapping was undone in about  10 minutes.  Kids at Christmas are probably one of the best things in life, their excitement, their squeals, it is contagious.  Kids after Christmas, well, that is another story.

After we spent the whole day packing, we headed up to my parents house.  About 30 minutes into our 5 hour drive the baby started crying screaming until we stopped for dinner.  Travelling is so much fun.

Christmas morning we woke up at Babs and Grandad's, like I have done every year of my whole life (except the year I was about to have Mags).  The girls squealed and giggled again, and again we felt full. 
Full hearts, full bellies, full lives.

 We  spent  time with extended family Christmas night and laughed and ate and watched two little Christmas girls wear themselves out until they could barely even string two words together. 
Finally, my favorite day of the year, December 26th came.  It's the one day of the year that pajamas all day is a requirement, you get to play with your new stuff, and eat all the delicious left overs that Babette made.
We come here every year at this time.  We relax, we let go of real life, before we have to start our engines again.  It is my favorite.
Christmas 2013 went fast. 
A couple times I felt like I dropped the memory making ball this year. As if because I didn't plan something every day to feel Christmassy, I had failed my kids childhood somehow. 
Christmas came anyway though.

Even though my cards went out late, even though we forgot to leave Christmas cookies for Santa, even though I wasn't as intentional as I have been before, Christmas came anyway.
Christmas was good.
Christmas was good, not because we gave and we got, or even because we were together as a family.  Christmas was good because it is when we celebrate the coming of our Rescuer. 
He came. 
Christmas came.
Christmas was, and is always very good.
Until next year's countdown,
Grace and Peace dear ones.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve Eve

This scene is becoming a Christmas Eve eve tradition.  It's going to be a long night!

I'll be back tomorrow with some Christmas reflections.
Wrap, wrap, wrap.
Grace and Peace

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Heat Wave

Yesterday, winter began.

 Today it was 80 degrees.

  We went to the beach, in our flip flops.
It's time to wrap presents!
Or go to sleep.
I'll wrap presents tomorrow.
Grace and Peace.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Lights

Kev's company gave out free tickets to go to view the drive-through Christmas lights on the ocean front.  We thought it would be a fun thing to do as a family.  Before we even got there Libby asked to go home, and by the end Maggie was repeating "I want to go home" about every two seconds.  When Kevin tucked the girls in bed tonight Libby told him that she "never wants to go back to see those lights ever, because they take too long!"
It was Merry. :)
We decided that we have the only children in the world that do not enjoy Christmas lights.  If you're reading today Joan, I agree with you, definitely enjoy the Richmond tacky light tour better :)!
I tried to take family photos before we left because everyone was looking a little bit normal.  I'm using the term normal very loosely!

Grace and Peae

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Letters

Every year since Libby was born we have bought her a new Christmas ornament. Inside it's box I write  her (now them) a letter summarizing their year.  I include things like milestones, things they like to play, and their favorite book at the time.

Right now they don't care much about the letters, but I reread them every year, and every year I cry.
 If our house ever catches on fire I'm going to run to the attic to save the ornaments with the letters.  On second thought, I think I have them all saved on the computer so maybe I'll just save it instead, then I won't have to go up in our attic again.
Here are the girls ornaments for this year.  Maggie's is an owl because she would wear her owl shirt (even though she has out grown it now) every day if we would let her.

Libby's is  ballerina since she started dance.  No sooner had this delicate little lady made in on the tree than her foot broke off.  I think that I'll include that in her letter for this year.
Cooper's is a baby's first Christmas booty, but I haven't hung it on the tree yet.  His letter will include a sentence about him being the happiest baby I have ever met.  He smiles as soon as you look at him.  First thing in the morning, smiles! It's the absolute best thing to have happen to you first thing in the morning.

 These precious children Wear. Me. Out.  When I tell you I can't keep up with anything, I really truly mean it.  In my bedroom at this very moment there is a cluster of stuff on the floor that includes a pony tail holder, a baby doll blanket, a bath toy, and a sun glasses case.  It is amazing to me the stuff that gathers in piles.  My laundry folding took up every square foot of space in our living room today while I folded...I folded all day.  I really did.
However, I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Sure, I would love to catch my breath some days, and I'm sure one day I will.

But for now, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here.
Beautiful chaos.
Beautiful place to be.

 I'll write that in the letters too.
Grace and Peace

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesdays

I can't be wordless...I'm so happy these pictures exist.  After feeling a bit heavy hearted today, they make me merry and bright.
 Especially this one,
 and this one,
and this one really does.
 Hope you feel this way too!
Grace and Peace

PS  Laura if you're reading, my girls are watching Home Alone right now and laughing up a storm :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Cards

Every year it is the same old story.  The cards are not done on time.  I thought  I was determined to have them done early.  Look at me, brush in hand, baby on chest, we were going to get a good picture no matter how windy, or cold, or overcast it was.  This was in November.

We got an average picture for our cards.  Everyone who can walk is smiling and  Cooper looks like a prop.
The cards came in the mail yesterday and maybe, just maybe I will have them ready to send by Thursday.  
I stress myself out over cards every year. I don't know why, I'm sure that most people just throw them away eventually.  Our Christmas cards are never perfect, much like our life, just a bit messy.  I kind of like that, perfect would be very hard to maintain and ever so boring.
Hopefully you'll see them in the mail soon!
 Here's hoping your mail box is brimming with Christmas cards.
Actually, ours is not.  I think it is because I forgot to tell folks (other than on here and instagram) that we moved, or maybe no one likes us anymore because our Christmas cards don't arrive until after Christmas.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Closing In

I feel like Christmas is closing in on me.  Like my opportunity to show my gratitude towards others, through the giving of gifts, is about to run out.  That is silly, I can say thank you all year long of course, but some how the commercial side of Christmas makes me feel a lot of unwanted pressure.  I still have gifts I need to buy.  My Christmas cards are not ready, and the ones I did have ready have been unwantingly embellished by a five year old.  'Tis the season.
I really don't think that.
But I really do get caught up in it.
I don't want to.  
I want to go to a cabin in the woods.
My Mom used to always say things like that.
Tonight the girls and I talked about making ornaments for the children in Libby's class.  We started the preparation, hopefully we'll get a chance to finish tomorrow.

I made these ornaments last year and thought they would be easy for us to make together.

Seeing the little baby Jesus must have got them in the Nativity mood.  They have been begging to break  play with my ceramic nativity set.  Libby basically did her own "Cliff Notes" version of Luke 2.  I was pretty impressed since I have been a bit negligent in our Christmas discussions this year, at least with the details.  She was extremely passionate about it all.

 I turned my back for a second to feed the baby and when I came back this is what I found.
 It turns out that in Libby's version of Luke 2 a lady bug, a horse, and elephant, and a pink dolphin were there with the shepherds.
If I can put my mind to it, I'll put together a video of Libby's interpretation, it will make you chuckle.
December 16th, wow!
Grace and Peace