We finally need to rake leaves in Central Texas.
The kids and I picked out a tree named Jared that we didn’t know was as tall as it was until we compared it to Matt when he brought it home. It ended up being just right, but I gasped when I first saw him stand next to it, dismally succumbing to my defeat against the hanging of the lights.
We had our St. Nicholas celebration, December 7th, which can be explained (if you’re interested) by reading this post by Micha, in which she beautifully writes about Advent and ritual. We’re still tweaking how we celebrate Christmas; at times it feels awkward because there are a few differences compared to how we grew up, but we’ve got a starting point. The night of our St. Nicholas celebration we pick an international food for dinner. This year we opted for Chinese. And Brennan had the privilege of staying up later with us to watch “The Muppets Christmas Carol” while eating ice cream. He was giddy and felt very special. Saturday morning the kids woke up to their stockings with a few gifts in them (that coincides with St. Nicholas’ story).
We had a festive pancake breakfast.
Traditionally, the Saturday of our St. Nicholas celebration will be an act of service day. But embarrassingly, that small detail flew way over my head this year and I scheduled for us all to go see a play instead: Annie Jr. It was a great play. Brennan sat all the way through it; Kensie was escorted out by her father with twenty minutes left.
We trimmed the tree, and I didn’t have a wrestling match with the lights!
We watched Kensington soak up her first Christmas she was aware of all the beauty and excitement around her.
An afternoon was set aside to bake Christmas cookies,
in which most of the dough was eaten before it was baked,
and I enthusiastically wrapped around my own little girl a handmade apron my Momma made that used to be mine.
The brother and sister had some fun days together and made me smile
I dressed Kensie up in an assortment of special Christmas outfits given to us. On this particular morning, we watched Brennan in his school Christmas performance where he had the heebie-jeebies and embarrassing gyrations. I have the video to prove it.
Mees came for a visit and lots of snuggles!
A gingerbread house was made…and eaten by the boys in our home. Who actually eats it?!
The four of us cozied up together,
and enjoyed a night out on the town.
We had leisurely mornings playing dress up.
Driving through Round Rock’s Rock ‘N Lights in our PJs was a nighttime treat.
A run to Target to buy hats and mittens at the last minute for our trip to Virginia was required. Do you see the irony of this photo? He’s wearing shorts and short sleeves and we’re out buying a hat!
Eating lunch one day with Daddy at his work was a fun but failed attempt to steal him away for the holidays early.
It was a good thing we went out to dinner to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary because the lovely meal I made the night of would have been more lovely and peaceful had we waited to eat it after the unpeaceful children were tucked in bed.
We spent Christmas Eve with this beautiful lady who gave me and the kids our Christmas attire. I felt so dollied-up!
Brennan was in his first Christmas pageant as a donkey and I donned my first angel costume in twenty-five years. I was asked to help corral the baby barn-yard animals, and it was such fun to help and do it with Brennan!
We took one of my all-time favorite pictures,
opened up our traditional Christmas Eve PJs,
and settled down for a long winter’s nap.
We arose bright and early Christmas morn to a delightful, unrushed rhythm whereby we made breakfast and had a special setting at the table for Jesus to join us. I ate Jesus’ birthday waffle we set before Him. It was yummier than all the others <grin>.
Presents were given and received. Brennan bellowed out an excited, “Thank you!” when he first opened our gift to him (a remote control car), which brought tears to our eyes, and then we spent the duration of the holidays battling the entitled “gimme's”.
Any gift comparable to what big brother has is awesome!
Once again, anything is a necklace and a headpiece.
Popsie and Mees joined us Christmas afternoon! Popsie had just flown in from Florida and he was pounced on when he walked through our door.
I was scared out of my mind I was going to ruin Christmas dinner. I paid a literal arm and a leg for an awesome piece of beef tenderloin, and tears would have been shed had it not been successful. Momma and I worked together to prepare it, and it turned out just right! If I may say so, dinner was pretty spectacular. In case you’re wondering, it’s wrapped in phyllo dough.
We closed the evening secure and satisfied in the Light of the world that graciously came to give Himself for us. He really is beautiful.