Why yes, you are right – Valentine’s Day is less than a week away. And yes, I am just now sharing Christmas pictures. Obviously kicking my procrastination habit was not one of my New Year’s resolutions! 🙂
Seriously though – where did January go?? It feels like we were just chopping down the Christmas tree five minutes ago, and now I’m already dreaming of tank tops and warm spring days. Reminiscing about where the time goes…..I guess this makes me officially old! ha! Anyways. January was great- a bit hazy and lazy – but great! I turned into a hermit of sorts – enjoying being alone with the family with very little to do. But now I’m feeling more energized and ready to join the rest of the human race. Somewhat. (I really am just a boring hermit deep down! 🙂 ) So I finally got the Christmas pics out of my camera (when the view finder hit quadruple digits, I knew I couldn’t put off the download much longer- ha!) and onto my computer. And so I share!
This past Christmas was honesty one of the absolute, if not THE absolute best Christmas ever. For so many reasons. Mainly because I think it was a lot less about “me” and “gifts” and “us” and a lot more about Him. I remember a few nights before Christmas going to eat dinner with a couple of non-Christian friends and somehow we got on the topic of faith and eternity and heaven and all those supposed “off limits” topics (which are always my favorite things to talk about- ha!), and they just expressed feeling unsure and lost and full of doubts and questions about it all. None of which are bad in and of themselves of course. But I as sat there listening and seeing a lack of assurance in their faces, I couldn’t help but feel so very grateful, so very, very thankful for the gift of Christ. Truly it is a gift. A blessed assurance that is not forced upon people, but one that is fully given out of love and grace, and one that we have to choose to accept. And I don’t know. I’m not making much sense I’m sure, but I just remember leaving that dinner and somehow grasping the gift of Christ in a way I never had before. God could have chose to just let us all squander and die in our sin, forever separated from His love – something we truly deserve – and yet He didn’t. He doesn’t. He freely gave Jesus as a gift, one to accept or reject, but a gift that offers everlasting life. And celebrating that gift, that perfect and beautiful baby that was born in a humble manger, it just made this Christmas so perfect. So full of a sense of holiness and joy and thankfulness.
And Christmas was also different for us this year b/c we didn’t travel anywhere! That’s a first for us – we usually fly off to spend a week or so w/Steve’s family. And while I love spending time w/them, I just could not bring myself to pack for all 4 of us, to ship off gifts, to deal w/the airport craziness. I just couldn’t do it. And so we didn’t. We stayed home in our own beds. The girls woke up to their own Christmas tree. And we began our own family traditions. And it was MARVELOUS! Seriously – the absolute best! Christmas eve we went to the church service. Or rather Bailey and Steve did. GA got a little talkative so I watched her as she twirled her swirly skirt around and around in the lobby. And then we came home and had eggnog. Steve built a fire. The girls watched some cartoons and went to bed. Steve and I stayed up and watched the movie The Nativity Story (SO good!) and then put out the gifts for the girls. That was one of my favorite memories- setting them up just right for them, getting excited to see their faces in the morning.
And their faces did not disappoint! I snuck into Bailey’s room before she woke up, afraid she might run and find her gifts before we woke up. And I told her to go wake up GA and wait in her room till I counted to 10. We got the video camera ready and counted, all the while GA was screaming her head off thinking we left her. But then they ran in and Bailey was so excited to see her doll house and GA was just overwhelmed with what was going on and stopped crying immediately. It was a nice, fun, and lazy Christmas morning of listening to music and reading their new books and playing w/their new toys and lounging in pajamas. We did have some friends come over that night for dinner. They also don’t have family in town and have 2 little girls that we adore, so it was great getting together. Put out the fancy china and got a crazy delicious honey baked ham and drank some good wine and just talked and talked and talked. It was weird b/c for once I really felt like the “grown-up” or parent on Christmas morning – putting the presents out, planning and cooking the big Christmas meal. Usually we’re at either mine or Steve’s parents’ house and they do all that stuff and I end up feeling a bit like the kid again. But this time it was all our doing and it was the best!
Of course now I’m spoiled and don’t see myself ever leaving during Christmas again! We did go down to Georgia a couple days after Christmas and spent about 4 days w/my family and that was great. But somehow not having it right on Christmas day, and of course not having to get on an airplane, it was all less stressful and more relaxed and fun.
Ok, well enough talking! Sorry- didn’t mean to go on so much, but I guess I was having some self-indulgent fun taking a little trip down memory lane (though it wasn’t even 2 months ago- ha!). So here are the pics from our NC Christmas. Such a wonderful time!
in their fancy Christmas dresses on our way to see Santa. and being ever so fancy picking sister’s nose 😛
headband doubles as an eyepatch
ok, now there’s a sweet pic!
isn’t she just so beautiful and sweet???!!
and her too?? (ahhhh……i’m such a sappy mom!)
this is what they did when i said “say cheese!” ha ha!
now that is my sweet Bailey girl!
in line for Santa
Bailey wrote him a letter (of scribbles) all on her own and gave it to him
love their expressions here
is it bad that i love screaming-baby-on-santa’s-lap pictures??
then we went to the famous Gingerbread House competition at the Grove Park Inn. a really fun local tradition that you must go to if you’re in the area around the holidays. festive and pretty and free!
my favorite was the Smurf gingerbread houses
we got caught in a little rain
driving Santa’s sleigh
our little bookends
while daddy went to get the car in the rain we waited in the lobby area and Bailey put on a little dance performance. this girl LOVES a dress that twirls!
Christmas eve. this is going to be one of our traditions- matching pjs!
i truly hope and pray they are always best friends
Bailey’s gifts- 3 each. the only thing she asked for was a purple monkey. huh??? luckily Target had them in stock!
just saw her gifts after crying in her room, not so sure what to think
she loves climbing her drum more than banging on it. seriously – look at that mischievous face!
the only picture i took from dinner w/our friends – boo! sing Happy Birthday to Jesus w/his birthday cake
So that was our fun Christmas at home!