Monday, December 24, 2007

Silent Night, Holy Night

Another Christmas Eve is here. We've enjoyed a busy, tradition filled Christmas season. Starting Thanksgiving weekend when we head out to chop down our family Christmas tree and spend the next few days decorating it and our home for Christmas. December brings lots of activity--cookie baking, a family Christmas dinner with long time friends and kids, the Nutcracker, two special birthdays, advent Sundays, bunco and book club dinners and gift exchanges, a journey to Bethlehem at a local church, a drive through a local neighborhood to see the lights, and a 10 year running Christmas party that we host the weekend before Christmas (this year attended by over 90 people at some point during the evening). Of course there are also Christmas cards to send and many gifts to buy, wrap and send to family and friends afar.

Tonight we attended Christmas Eve Mass at our church. All together in one pew, our family, including Grandma, PaPa and Great Grandma, sang Christmas carols and heard the story of Jesus's birth. Cold and wintery outside, but warm and inviting and filled with many friends we love inside.

Now the stockings are hung, the presents are wrapped and Santa has just left. I sit here in the quiet by the light of the tree with the Christmas music playing just taking it all in. It always comes to quickly for me and ends so fast. I just want to sit here for awhile and enjoy this moment, soak it up, hang on to it for just a moment longer.
It is Silent. It is Holy. It is the best night of the year.

Luke 2:1-14

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment,
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth
to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem,
because he was of the house and family of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there,
the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Monday, December 17, 2007

Boomama's Christmas Tour of Homes

Christmas Tour of Homes

I've been excited to participate in Boomama's Christmas Tour of Homes since I first read about it last year. I planned to be all ready with a post and pictures early in the day, but alas I barely made it on the 17th. However, I hope you stay and visit for a little bit anyway.

Welcome to our home. I love to decorate for Christmas. Here is our front door. Yes, complete with snow! Garland and wreath over the door, lit trees in pots, plus a larger wreath on the window above the door and on trees in the yard.

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Here is what you see when you our entry our front door. There is some fresh greenery and berries and a few pieces of my tree collection on the table, along with a decorated sleigh. The staircase has greenery also and a red and gold tree is on the staircase landing.

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Here is our main tree in the living room. White lights and all our family ornaments. I love trees so we have 3! Also, I have a tree collection that I will show a few pieces of later.

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Our mantle with our stocking hung with care! I have a small village on the bookshelf to the left and my nativity set on the right. The nativity set was given to us as a wedding gift from long time family friends. I love it.

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Here are a few pieces from my tree collection. I have about 16 different ones and usually get a new one every year.

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In our basement is the "silver tree."

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Going down to the basement we have some stocking garland. There are 25 small stockings and ever since we had our first child, the elves stick a little something in the stocking each day (usually candy, a pencil or a quarter).

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Thanks for visiting our home and sharing the Christmas season with us. We wish you great tidings of joy and peace and happiness in the new year.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy 8th Birtday AEW!

She came bouncing into our lives on a cold, December afternoon eight years ago (12/9). With Christmas music playing quietly in the background, I looked down at her and couldn't quite believe that she was here and that she was mine. A daughter. Our second child and first daughter. While we secretly had known she was a girl, the joy of finally actually seeing her made my heart melt.

She has brought much happiness and love to our family. Full of life and spunk, she has always made us laugh. At 18 months, she started calling herself "Bobby" and everything out of her mouth for the next year was "Bobby Do." She had a little pixie haircut and oh was she a firecracker! She always asks us, "Was that when I was a Bobby Do?" She is smart, funny, imaginative and caring. Stubborn and headstrong too. Drama? Oh, yes. Ignoring mom? Ah, yes. She embraces life and all it as to offer. She is a social girl and loves a party. "What are we doing today?" and "Can I have a friend over?" are her two favorite sayings. She is kind to her friends and people like to be around her.

So, my sweet girl, momma loves you with all her heart and wishes you the happiest of birthdays. Hugs and kisses to you.