Christmas 2014 and starting a New Year.

We kept things pretty simple this year.  
Actually, I'm not sure we know how to do "not simple" when it comes to holidays. 
We are easy to please I guess.  
Or just a bit lazy.

Six stockings remind me how blessed (and tired) we are! 

Christmas morning with a house full of kids is a lot of fun. 

Especially when they get this excited about a pack of gum.
Or a little book.

or noodles.

The biggest gift went to Miss Cece! 

She got a suit case all her own. 
A "Trunky" suitcase that she will be using for our upcoming trip to Belize.  

In fact, we bought all our kids gifts they can use on our trip.

We're just practical that way.  

Annie got her first dolly.  

Silas was very happy with the bin of random Lego pieces that he got from Aili.

We got smart this year.  Most of Elijah's gifts were food.  Not just any food...his favorites. 
He appreciated them so much more than he would expensive toys.   In fact he was thrilled. 

 It's hard to beat a big bag of popcorn.
Although a new knife made Roman pretty happy too. 

After a relaxing morning at home opening gifts we went over to my parents house for some cousin time and a big fancy dinner.

Silas trying on his new snorkel set. 

The kid table.  I love that I caught Silas with his arm around his little sister. I have no idea what they were chatting about there. 

It was good to spend time with family.  It made me appreciate all I have.  The traditions I was raised with that I can pass on to my own children.  The family I am fortunate to have.  

I'm thankful for parents who love me and all my crazy house full of kids.  For siblings and sibling in laws, and a whole gaggle of nieces and nephews.  Some of us who share features and DNA, some of us are related by marriage, others through the beauty of adoption or simply just by love and belonging.  We are imperfect, and frustrating, and sometimes even messy...but we are a family. 

I'm also very thankful that we were able to spend this Christmas with Tiny Princess "Annie".   We are hoping for more to come, but we take nothing for granted.  When you don't know if you will have another Christmas with a loved one you begin to see and experience things differently.  It's like being given the gift of having blinding assumptions stripped away.  The ironic thing is that none of us are promised another year, or even another day with the ones we love.  

Being reminded of that spurs me on to treasure the joy in simple moments, and to make memories. 

Maybe that should be my charge as we begin another year. 

As I travel through the monotony of each new day may I see it as a gift to be stewarded well.  Our legacy, and memories...the sum of our life is made up of those mundanely beautiful, often unmemorable, moments when we choose to push back the darkness a little further.  

Happy New Year my dear friends.

May you shine His light in 2015. 

1 comment:

Sherri Davidson said...

I love these pictures of pure delight with Elijah. It really makes you think and appreciate just exactly how much one has.
We would do the exact same thing gift wise.