Can y’all tell I’m tired of being behind on this blog and I just wanna get it done? My titles have not one ounce of creativity. My writing has not one iota of spark. And I’m slacking on editing. Let’s just do this thing so I can have a fresh start, shall we?
This was (most of) my team, my dear team. As the year was drawing to a close, our work was not. December tends to be jam-packed for Vestry, and even more so this past year with property decisions. Even back in October, I sat in Cliff’s office in tears as my heart prepared for the reality of my term ending in January. So in December, my nostalgia and sentimentality was all the more heightened. On this particular Sunday, we had an “emergency” Vestry meeting to decide about a house that was for sale on the same half-block as the church property we had an offer on. I won’t go into the nuances of this decision, except to say that 1) this was a house that we had our eyes on since the beginning but it had a contract on it…and then overnight, the contract fell through!; 2) the timing of the acceptance of this deal was significantly important and it went just the way we prayed for and needed it to go; and 3) each of my teammates (we’re missing Jen and Cliff in this picture) are incredibly bright, discerning, and have a most special place in my heart. We needed some specific skills and expertise in this meeting, and these people surrounding me offered just that.
Matt spent a day at Brennan’s school as a “Dad on Duty”. He changed ballasts; had lunch with Brennan; read to his class; helped with pickup; and did all sorts of maintenance tasks.
The last of the leaves...
Our St. Nicholas Day celebration: We chose the Allies Market this year to serve at helping as greeters and wrapping presents for the shoppers. And we chose Persian fare at Alborz for our international cuisine.
Matt was pretty impressed with himself that he photobombed the picture he was taking.
On a hunt for our Christmas tree...
our miniature Christmas tree <grin>. One of the things that helps the decorating not feel so daunting is by getting a small tree. It’s less of a battle with the lights.
A headless ornament thanks to the puppy! More ornaments were lost to the dog than both of the kids combined.
Yep, another one bites the dust.
Gatsby should be censored.
One of the things we love about Brennan’s school is the extended holiday and summer breaks. He was out of school for Christmas break on December 12th and had a whole month off. Now of course, there is a slight down side to it also: it can feel too long at times, especially on days when we all need a break from each other, or when I need to still get some Christmas shopping done. But the value of this extra family time is immeasurable to us.
The day after Brennan started Christmas break, his kindergarten class went caroling at a nursing home.
They were eager to help make treats to take to our neighbors. Is it any wonder when they’re working with Hershey kisses?
Kensie still had a couple of days of school while Brennan was already footloose and fancy free. So he was my shopping buddy extrodinaire. By tradition, we each get a new set of PJs to wear on Christmas Eve, thanks to my Momma who started this years ago for our family. As I got older, I started picking out a new nightgown for her to wear. So when I asked Brennan which one he wanted to get Meesie, this is what he choose. Of course he’d pick out something that reminded him of his love for cheetahs!
Just so you know, my Momma did not end up with this <grin>.
School’s out! That means snuggles and some movies. Actually, 9 out of 10 times, they will choose to watch “Wild Kratts” over a movie. And then I have jaguars and spider monkeys roaming about.
Popsie and Meesie drove up for Kensie’s Christmas program at school. We grabbed a bite to eat with them beforehand.
There’s our precious girl, who practiced and practiced in the car singing to the CD Miss Marie kindly gave us to rehearse and practice the words. For three years, she got to watch Brennan up on that stage, and now it was her turn. She did fabulously and felt very special.
This is our dear Charlotte with whom we spent the day with before she left for El Paso. We decorated the gingerbread house together (seen in the background) and took her to Chick-fil-A for lunch. It’s a lunch I fondly remember getting to share with these three, and also my friend, Sarah, who happened to be at that CFA and praying for someone she knew to walk in that door to help her in a moment she needed some extra hands and some love. I think I left more blessed and encouraged after that lunch though.
Our little guy made me an anniversary card. Twelve years with a man I did not have even an inkling as to how wonderful he truly was when I walked down that aisle to take his hand in marriage. The gift of that man astounds me.
For Christmas we did something Matt and I conjured up in our minds years ago, and it finally came to fruition. We invited both sets of our parents to join us for Christmas this year. All four of them came and joined us for a most memorable Christmas! We were so grateful to Matt’s parents, who sacrificed their time and traditions long held to do something different and venture to Texas to be with us.
The kids made stockings for all of them.
Everyone arrived the evening of the 23rd to start the festivities. Ruth made gingerbread cookies decorated customarily for each of us. They were so cute!
Story time is the kids’ favorite part.
On Christmas Eve, we introduced Papa and Nana to a Wheatley-now also-Scully family tradition 30 years in the making: homemade luminaries. We all got in on it!
Every time I get my boy a tie, he never ends up wearing it.
The children were both in the Christmas play at church. Brennan was a sheep and Kensie a little star.
Pictures of the luminarios never do those beauties justice.
We had a little bite to eat after the service before some of us ate our gingerbread men and opened our Christmas Eve PJs.
He was so excited to wake up to his first Christmas stocking!
The peace before the excitement bubbled over the brim.
She’s always asking to help me bake and cook dinner.
These t-shirts were all the rage with the kids.
Sadly, our fireplace doesn’t work, so we opted for a fake one, which come to find out, was better than nothing as far as ambiance.
So I asked my Momma to help with Christmas morning breakfast. This picture says a lot about her personality. Her love runneth over! We got an amazing, delectable feast!
You can’t tell very well, but our little girl was still in her PJs come Christmas dinner. It was a Christmas/Ed’s birthday dinner celebration.
My Momma made her festive cherries jubilee.
She put on a show for her GP’s while they were also trying to watch Brennan at swim team. In her ideal world, they’d all be standing up doing the different exercises she was demonstrating.
For Christmas, Matt and I gave our parents a night out to dinner and a play just us adults. On the 26th, our last night all together before my parents went back home, Matt and I got a babysitter, took everyone to Jack Allen’s for dinner, and then went to see “A Christmas Carol” at the Zach Theatre. Usually I tire of that play, but this rendition was spectacular! It was humorous, and I particularly loved the musical scores that included some classic hits from rock n’ roll, gospel, and contemporary favorites. It was highly entertaining. So much so, I could go back this next season.
I think she’s adorable.
Both Matt and I have said this was one of our most memorable and special Christmases. We’re grateful for our parents and for their deep love for our family. We recognize what a gift it is to have been able to enjoyably share Christmas together!