Good morning, sunshines!

9:45, I’m still in my pjs, and sipping my second cup of coffee.  The kids are eating a late breakfast of Frosted Flakes, King Pen is sleeping in, and I am catching up on the internets.  It is shaping up to be a mahvelous vacation day.

Of course, it’s not all play– I do have a few tasks to accomplish some time in the next few days.  Have to get ready for school to start back up on Tuesday.  But that’s dayyyyyyyyssss away, so I might as well enjoy the moment.  After the hubbub of the holidays, it’s so nice to come home and have down time.  Family time, that isn’t all work.  We’re playing games, taking bike rides, going to Target, for fun.  Nice.

So, our Christmas was lovely.  Was yours?  We ate and ate and ate and ate.  I seriously do not have to eat again until after the New Year.  I shouldn’t eat again until after the New Year!  Seeing family was really great.  It wasn’t hectic or stressful- it was just good.  What a special group of people I have to call my own!  I know that many people dread the holidays and dealing with strained family relationships and awkwardness– but we don’t have that.  I am so blessed to have the family I do, both biological and marital.

And of course, Christmas with the kids is always fun.  Everybody was super excited about their gifts, and were so full of Christmas spirit, they could hardly stand it.  I loved another year of observing our little family traditions, seeing how important those are to the kids now.  I loved seeing their childhood memories in the making.  I can’t explain it– it’s overwhelming at times.  The closest I can describe it is when I look at the pictures of Christmas from my childhood.  The photos are of us kids, tearing into a present, or proudly holding up the gift we just opened.  In the background is our tree (complete with icicles hung ONE AT A TIME) and all the other familiar trimmings, and my parents.  Standing in the frame, to the side.  Watching- enjoying- witnessing the fruit of their love and effort, coffee in hand.  Even at the time, their presence was comforting and safe and warm- it made my happiness, happier.  I understood it as a child– but now as an adult and as a parent, I see the greater gifts in those moments.  I see the depths within those pictures.  I see the love, the sacrifice, the overtime worked, the pennies pinched, the worry hidden, the hours spent in creating this moment of happiness, this memory.  My parents crafted that moment with care and love and selflessness.

Now, that is me- in the corner of the photograph, watching my child glow.  It’s my turn.  I see their eyes widen with disbelief and pleasure as they receive what they most wanted in the whole world, but it’s MY heart that expands and my awe that overflows.  I marvel over the incredible gift, the overwhelming honor, of participating in their life.  I got the golden ticket.  I won the lottery.  I hit the jackpot.  I got my heart’s desire, and not just on December 25, but every day of the year.

I hope my children will see that when they flip through the old photos of these days.  I hope, they will be drawn back to the incredible GOODNESS of our God, who gave His Son– and could have stopped right there and been so much more than we could ever thank Him for.  But He went even farther, and gave us each other, too—

mindboggling.  Soulstirring.

He makes our hearts merry and light, doesn’t He?

Happy last week of the year, everybody.  Hope it is as sweet for you as it is for us…