Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bits: Christmas 2013

It was a chilly Sunday morning at church when I saw that young girl come down the aisle.  I imagined that she was in from school.  Maybe no one even knew  if she would roll out of bed and make it to the service.  But she did.

Eventually she made her way to them, her parents, and tapped Dad on the shoulder.  He smiled a broad, deep grin at the sight of her face.  They hugged.  She squeezed past him and her Mom looked up, surprise giving way to the kind of joyful smile that only a Mama embracing her baby can truly give. They kissed one another's cheeks, and I could literally feel the peace radiating off their row.

My eyes brimmed over.

For suddenly and unexpectedly I saw them there too, three tall  young women slightly recognizable from those chubby cheeked babes of yesterday.  The coming home, the tapping, the seeing them there.

My girls.

Motherhood is so full of paradoxes.  This one being my simultaneous feeling of sadness and excitement about such approaching days.  Both were soon overcome by the elation that our three were, at that moment, worshiping and laughing with their Sunday school teachers and friends.

Christmas can be a mixture of emotions too (and I don't just mean with all the family quirks!):)  It is filled with bittersweet excitement.  A baby born to die, a death that brought all of humankind the only promise of real and eternal life.  Above all else, this is the beautiful pain of Christmas.
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The other Chistmasy bits are but supporting actors.  So thankful for the good health and provisions that made them, in all of their small but significant roles, possible this year.

A few favorites caught on camera...

:: Kids' tables
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The one where the awesome big cousins oblige their adoring younger counterparts.
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And the one on Christmas night at our place with neighbor friends, who share our love of Italian food.

 ::Those same big cousins building pyramids, which just about captures the excitement of Christmas with the Martins' crew.  One of the brothers brought home his girlfriend, and I told her that if I had been on my game I would have gifted her some earplugs.
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Love every loud little bit.

:: Thoughtful, too generous presents between NC and VA.  A few of the girls' favorites: an exquisite pop up of Narnia, marionette puppets, Apples to Apples Junior, a warm bathrobe (M), art supplies, cowboy boots(H), ballerina clothes (A), American Girl dolls and books (thanks to some serious deals and some generous grandparents who helped us give them on Christmas morning!)
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:: Adventures like first time ice skating, sorting and stringing together Great Grandma's buttons, Polar Express Day with Auntie Andrea, a live drive through Nativity, a twinkly wonderland of lights.
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:: Sweet Auntie Christmas fun, filled with too many favorites to count.

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::The joy of Christmas Eve and morning with just the five of us. Opening the first gift of Christmas, a little porcelin Baby Jesus and remembering it again.  That beautiful pain that has set us free.
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In addition to the one gift we choose for our girls, I love some stocking stuffers. And the dearness of Sister Store, third year in a row where they do extra chores and "shop" for small gifts for one another.

And, so it begins-- a new year.  The beautiful and the messy will be waiting, of this I am sure.

I am so very full of hope about it all.


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