Beholding a Gift
“A Christmas Hymn”

Thanksgiving Thanksgivings

I’m stealing this post idea from my friend, Jillie, who had a great, succinct way to summarize the Thanksgiving holiday <grin>. Short and sweet is what I’m goin’ for here, especially since I’m weeks behind posting this blog. To recap briefly, Brennan and I went down the Sunday before Thanksgiving to San Antonio to start the festivities early. Mac was in town for the TX A&M vs. Nebraska game, so we thought we’d hop in on the extra Mac time. Julie and Matt both joined us on Wednesday, making the celebration complete. Some things that I'm thankful for that week of Thanksgiving…

  • Safe travels for all of us.  Those of you who have ventured onto I-35 during the holidays especially know to what I’m referring!
  • A kind doctor at the urgent care facility and the antibiotics that cleared up Brennan’s ear infection.
  • An aunt and uncle who play with and love their nephew, even when Brennan exhibits his dramatic side (which Mac and my Momma declare he got from me). I’m not disputing their claim.


  • Dogs, four furry creatures that are Brennan’s entertainment.
  • The excitement of Brennan saying Julie’s name for the first time! He still lists off everyone’s names to this day.
  • Treasured time with Mac visiting my Daddy’s office and having lunch together. I even got to sneak a note on Daddy’s desk, which I always used to do as a little girl.
  • A husband who relieves me of parental duties!
  • A Momma who lavishly serves her family and knows how to make things beautiful.



  • A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. food! Not just the awesome Thanksgiving feast food, but also filet mignon, twice baked potatoes, eggplant parmesan, homemade chile con queso and guacamole. The whole shebang!
  • Generous and creative parents. Not only did they treat us all week, they reserved a prime hotel room overlooking the River Walk where our family went to watch the River Parade and the lighting of the Christmas lights. We stocked up on Rudy’s bar-b-que and tons of treats, and we camped out in the room and the balcony watching the festivities.








  • A getaway night! Between the two younger couples, Matt and I won a drawing to stay in the hotel room (without Brennan). We were given an amazing early anniversary present that night!
  • The cold front that blew in, making it actually feel like the holidays.
  • Texas A&M victories!
  • A husband who was up for Christmas decorating putting up lights when we got home. (This picture was taken before Thanksgiving week and isn’t representative of our own decorating, but I love the picture and had to share.)


  • A nearby park to release some toddler-boy energy.
  • Our family. We have quirks just like any family, and with my dramatic, Type-A, still-learning-to-laugh-at-myself side, I know I bring to the table a lot more idiosyncrasies than the rest of the clan combined <grin>, but boy, we are blessed with the gift of each other and the joy of being together! They are a special bunch and we have a lot of fun.

Since it’s been a couple of weeks, I’m sure I’m forgetting some nuggets of thanksgiving, but I think I covered the highlights. And before I sign off, here are a few noteworthy links and updates:

  • On Thanksgiving, a friend of mine started a “Thankful Project” where he is posting something that he is thankful for once a day for a whole year. I’ve broken my Twitter fast to simply post something I’m grateful for each day (that’s pretty much my extent of Twitter use these days). Why don’t you join in? Use the #thankfulproject on Twitter, or if you’re not on Twitter, go ahead and do the same thing on Facebook. My updates appear there, too.
  • If you’re looking for something meaningful to do through Advent, it’s not too late! I highly recommend Ann Voskamp’s Jesse Tree Journey, a Jesus Advent Celebration. You can find it on her blog on the right-hand sidebar. It’s a free download of devotionals. We are using it as a family each night. After Brennan’s bath, he can pick out one of the illustrations from her book that we put into our Advent calendar and then we read and pray together through the devotional. It’s really good and offers a simple suggestion each day to help nail down the point of that day’s Truth.
  • Another post of Ann Voskamp’s that has meant so much to me lately is her 10 Point Manifesto of Joyful Parenting. I printed it out and it is on our fridge. I can’t tell you how much these daily reminders mean to me, particularly the one about when a child’s behavior is most repulsive to me, that’s my signal to draw ever closer to that child. If you’re a momma who needs encouragement and some renewed joy as I have been lately, I highly recommend this post.
  • Do little things seem big to you sometimes? They do me. And then all of a sudden, I feel enveloped in pain and start listening to it instead of Truth. This post by Lysa TerKuerst was a huge and timely encouragement to me, too.
  • One more Ann Voskamp thing. Over a month ago I had the privilege of attending Relevant, a Christian blogging conference that Matt gave me tickets to for my birthday. It was incredible. And incredibly hard. Mrs. Voskamp was one of the keynote speakers and actually closed the event on a high note. A humbling and profound, very stirring note. I won’t say much about the conference, except to say that I hope my writing has changed, well, is changing at least. Not necessarily in its technique, although that’s always helpful and desired <grin>, but with its purpose, motive and intentionality. I have a long way to go and am crippled by weaknesses in writing that distract, are burdensome. When I get bogged down in those weaknesses, I go here. I need to go there. I want to go there. It centers me on Jesus and a longing for Him. So when you see me stray from this, and goodness knows that you’ll be able to tell, call me on it.
  • For those of you who have known me since grade school, you know how much I loved doing science fair projects. Yes, I’m a nerd! Tonight I had the opportunity to volunteer to be a science fair judge for a local middle school. It was so cool! It was definitely harder than I expected but I hope to do it again. Just something noteworthy I don’t want to forget <grin>.

Hope y’all are finding time to savor the holidays and that they’re filled with hair-raising fun!



I am thrilled about Chris and Jill!

What a great Thanksgiving! I just love the things your parents do for you! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!

What a wonderful time of thanks and fun memories for you all! I have to hear more. And I'm jumping up & down for Jill & Chris--What a blessed gift for Xmas! Give them my congrats!

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