"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Joy

We started Christmas properly.  
Bed jumping.  Pajamas.  Baking.  Mess making.

And as always with babies, comes plenty of opportunity for flexibility muscles to be exercised and the much welcomed embrace of change in plans.
A few days before Christmas I had Tetris-packed the car, loaded sippies, laid out clothes alongside freshly washed lovies and blankets.  
A few minutes before our scheduled departure to drive to my mom's house, Sophie started throwing up.  And then Bella started throwing up.  
And I had sympathy dry heaving.

Nice Clark, real nice.
So my brave family loaded up, my mom packing up her weeks of preparation for our arrival, and brought the party to our house.
 Uncle Rod

My sweet mama.  She loves well, she loves so many, so well.  She came and set up camp, she cooked and cleaned.  Every time I turned around dishes were washed, tables were wiped off, diapers were changed.
She blesses me so.

We're fine tuning our Christmas traditions.  We're finding what works, what we love, what ushers in heavenly realms that He's coming.  What brings us rest, what brings us joy.  I love hearing how other families celebrate, how they spend time together making memories.

Preferably making memories over Eggnog.  My friend Christy shared this easy recipe with me, 3 parts equal of Eggnog, Sprite, and vanilla ice cream.  It's wonderful.

I like staples in recipes and love trying new ones.  We went old school this year with Better Homes and Garden's sugar cookie recipe and it didn't disappoint.

This baby.
How I love her.  She loved her first Christmas, we scooted sister right into the kitchen while her sisters baked and decorated.  She cackled and cooed while she watched.

And I tried not to eat her.
Christmas Eve throughout the day we prepared and planned, we baked and we cuddled.
Traditions of decorating sugar cookies, prepping cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, going to church, and opening Christmas pajamas.  Finishing up the season of Advent, reading the Christmas story, and leaving out milk and cookies for Santa, he's back on the "Mama he's real" list of importances.

Come Christmas morning, little feet trickled down for cartoons until all little ones were up.
Onto opening presents, 3 gifts for the King and so 3 gifts for each girl.  As gifts were being opened, scents from the kitchen were brewing.
I've tried lots of recipes for cinnamon rolls and I'll camp out here for a bit.
Food Network's vault of recipes did not disappoint, this recipe in particular.  I'll say I ventured off the map a little and added more butter and used dark brown sugar.  Good groceries these morsels were fabulous.

 We played for hours.
We enjoyed new gifts.
P.S. Since the fish were given as gifts, I changed their water and accidentally killed all of them.  Oh good grief.

And after a long walk in the snow, we cozied up with cocoa and gingerbread houses.

Last year we made our own gingerbread sheets.  We baked and cooled tediously and carefully assembled a beautiful house.  We added icing, candies, and beamed with pride.

And then the whole caved in and my kids cried.
This year we bought the wonderful kits and we had ourselves some happy campers.

For Christmas dinner, the hubs pulled off the entire meal.
He's the berries.
A Christmas commencement to a beautiful holiday together.

Today I finally got out of my pajamas.  The hubs returned to work.

They have asked to play with friends, stay in their jammies.  
They have sweetly whispered requests for waffles, with syrup.  

The pace will soon pick back up soon.

But not just yet.
Christmas joy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Savior is Coming

My heart is sad.
I have cried every day since precious lives were taken last week while little hands created and voices giggled.  I've tried to push out of my mind the images and sounds when such evil entered the school and teachers shifted into protectors, giving their lives for the very ones left helpless.

My heart aches for the families, now forever different, forever changed.
For the mama whose baby didn't come home from school last Friday.
For dinner tables with empty chairs and Christmas gifts that will never be opened by precious hands beaming with joy.

My heart and mind cannot understand, cannot grasp the darkness so present and at the same time knowing Heaven inherited royalty, and teachers courageously stood firm in the face of fear.

I look at my littles as we prepare for the King to come.  Ready to celebrate His birth and even more ready for His return, to come and make all things new.

We are thankful.

Thankful for her preferences and how carefully she chose her sister's outfit, and how Sister delighted in gratitude.

Grateful for conversations between tiny hearts over hot cocoa, watching from the kitchen window holding back tears.
Pulling babies close in the moonlight hours and cherishing them because they are perfect gifts from above.

Our Savior is coming.  
And we wait, in brokenness, with joy and peace, contending for healing only He can bring.

...O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
"Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angel voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born...