Comfort and Joy

As I sit on the cusp of a new year I can’t help but be thankful.  I know 2009 has been hard for many but for me, and my family, it’s been good.  And, definitely better (or at least “easier”)  than 2008.  As I think about the decade I’m simply in awe.  The past 10 years have been quite a ride and it feels like yesterday that I was sitting in our little house on Guam watching the year 2000 roll in across the world. 

Our Christmas was one of the best in recent memory.  This was due in large part to the great anticipation and excitement the kids had for the whole season.  Once Christmas eve arrived and we’d eaten our traditional lasagna dinner, gone to church, and come home they could hardly contain themselves.  This continued on through Christmas morning and the rest of the day as we headed down to be with my grandpa. 

Christmas has always been a favorite time of year.  However, since I got married, moved away and had kids I’ve strugged with living up to the wonderful memories. 

Making Christmas magical is hard work.  

In year’s past I’ve always been let down.  But, this year, was so fun and wonderful.

For all of us.

Don’t get me wrong, I still miss being with my family but I found, this year, that letting go of expectations and all that has to be done   plays a huge role in the magic, and blessing, of Christmas. 

So, I didn’t send out Christmas cards or buy gifts for everyone.  But, we did help families in need and Skype with our loved ones.  We focused on the anticipation of celebrating Jesus’ birth day by day.  When Christmas came, it was the icing on the cake.

This past week has felt like a giant exhale.  We’ve all had time to relax, play games and be together.  It’s been invaluable as I can’t remember a time like this during the holidays since Jeff and I left Turkey six years ago. 

Lots of thoughts and ideas are spinning around for 2010.  Goals and such are coming soon.

For now, I’ll relish the memory of our celebration a few hours ago and dream of all that is to come.

Happy New Year!

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Finding the Cheer

Christmas is normally my favorite time of year.  I love decorating, songs, giving, and anticipation building up to the most important birthday celebration of the year. 

This year, though, I’ve found myself in a funk.  I’ve been fighting a nasty cold for about 10 days and those days have found me either napping or wishing I was napping most of the time.  I’ve been a grumpy wife and mom.  I’m behind on nearly everything. 

Basically, it hasn’t been such a great season. 

But, it’s not over.  The kids are home for two weeks, Christmas is in three (YIKES!!!)  days, and we’re expecting snow.  While I still don’t feel 100 percent I’m ready to get on with it and enjoy this magical time.

The kids’ anticipation level is at an all-time high. 

We’ve visited reindeer.  While there, Jack asked if they were the ones that fly. 

Last night they were talking about how they were going to wake us up first thing in the morning to open stockings. 

And yet, they know that it is all about celebrating Jesus.

So, today I’ll crank up the Christmas music, bake cookies with the kids and wrap some presents.  Hopefully, when the day is done and the kids are tucked in Jeff and I will cuddle by the tree with a glass of wine and talk about the year that is nearly over and all that is to come. 

I’m sure by then I will have found the cheer once again.

Finding the Cheer


Christmas is normally my favorite time of year.  I love decorating, songs, giving, and anticipation building up to the most important birthday celebration of the year. 
This year, though, I've found myself in a funk.  I've been fighting a nasty cold for about 10 days and those days have found me either napping or wishing I was napping most of the time.  I've been a grumpy wife and mom.  I'm behind on nearly everything. 
Basically, it hasn't been such a great season. 
But, it's not over.  The kids are home for two weeks, Christmas is in three (YIKES!!!)  days, and we're expecting snow.  While I still don't feel 100 percent I'm ready to get on with it and enjoy this magical time.
The kids' anticipation level is at an all-time high. 
We've visited reindeer.  While there, Jack asked if they were the ones that fly. 
Last night they were talking about how they were going to wake us up first thing in the morning to open stockings. 
And yet, they know that it is all about celebrating Jesus.

So, today I'll crank up the Christmas music, bake cookies with the kids and wrap some presents.  Hopefully, when the day is done and the kids are tucked in Jeff and I will cuddle by the tree with a glass of wine and talk about the year that is nearly over and all that is to come. 
I'm sure by then I will have found the cheer once again.

Santa

So, our activity for tomorrow was supposed to be visiting Santa.  Somehow this came up with the kiddos earlier in the week and the idea got a poor response. 
Jack and Connor both didn't understand why we'd go see Santa again when he was already at the preschool party and Daddy's work party. 
Morgan just plain doesn't want anything to do with Santa.  Who can blame her when one of the Santa's this year looked like this:

I'm not sure if he was tired or had hit the keg a time too many.  Either way, he creeps me out. 
No wonder Morgan's afraid of Santa.
So, we're headed to visit the reindeer at a local nursery.

Santa

So, our activity for tomorrow was supposed to be visiting Santa.  Somehow this came up with the kiddos earlier in the week and the idea got a poor response. 

Jack and Connor both didn’t understand why we’d go see Santa again when he was already at the preschool party and Daddy’s work party. 

Morgan just plain doesn’t want anything to do with Santa.  Who can blame her when one of the Santa’s this year looked like this:

I’m not sure if he was tired or had hit the keg a time too many.  Either way, he creeps me out. 

No wonder Morgan’s afraid of Santa.

So, we’re headed to visit the reindeer at a local nursery.

The Gingerbread Shack

Last night we decorated a gingerbread house.  Just as we’ve done in years past, I bought a kit and we were good to go. 

This year, though, things went wrong.  Terribly wrong .

Maybe it was because I bought it at the local grocery store instead of Costco.  I don’t know but our beautiful gingerbread house turned out to be more of a gingerbread shack.  We decided to quit while we were ahead.


A few minutes after we were done, Jeff called me in and said, “you should take a picture now…it looks like a tornado hit.”

Yes, yes it does.

But we sure had fun.

The Gingerbread Shack

Last night we decorated a gingerbread house.  Just as we’ve done in years past, I bought a kit and we were good to go. 

This year, though, things went wrong.  Terribly wrong .

Maybe it was because I bought it at the local grocery store instead of Costco.  I don’t know but our beautiful gingerbread house turned out to be more of a gingerbread shack.  We decided to quit while we were ahead.

A few minutes after we were done, Jeff called me in and said, “you should take a picture now…it looks like a tornado hit.”

Yes, yes it does.

But we sure had fun.