As of December 23rd it was still raining as it had been for about a week. That night, though, a few flakes started to fall and by the 24th we had a beautiful skiff of snow which became a downy blanket by afternoon. The snowstorm felt so magical, giving us the most beautiful white Christmas. Our Christmas Eve tradition is to go to a local pizza restaurant that always serves free pizza at lunch time that day. It wasn’t too packed since the snowy roads probably kept people away. The snow stopped by the time we got home and of course we had to rush to play in the snow.My kids named this 7 1/2 foot tall snowman “Marshmallow.” We had a blast playing in the snow. My hubby is so playful, I love his youthful joy and laughter. It brings so much fun and happiness to our family. I love that he’ll go and build a giant snow man and have a snowball fight with the kids and I. It made for a perfect Christmas Eve activity. That evening we went over to my sister’s house for dinner. We were all separated on Thanksgiving and so we decided to do a traditional Thanksgiving style dinner. And it was fabulous! My sister’s boyfriend made the best turkey I’ve ever had, my mom did a fabulous job with the yams and the rolls. I always make the same yam recipe, but her’s turned out so much better. I made twice baked potatoes and stuffed mushrooms, my sister made the stuffing and my brother brought a pie. Everyone kept involuntarily moaning with each bite, it was that good. It’s amazing how food can fill your soul as well as your tummy. I felt that my soul was filled, gathering together with my family, eating our favorite family recipes, sharing in traditions. It’s magical. And it’s love. These feelings all come from the love of Christ, who we honor this time of year. The magic of Christmas comes from Him. It’s the spirit of giving, sharing, compassion, forgiveness. All of these things are His gifts to us. It’s what makes this year so special. This scene brought me so much peace this year. I’ve always loved sitting by the light of the tree at Christmas time, but this year was special. This year we decided to stay home for the first time ever in our nine years of marriage. We have always rotated between our parents’ houses, but this year we were really looking forward to having Christmas morning to just the four of us. I really loved my tree that my husband picked out at a Rescue Mission tree lot downtown on his way home from work one night. I had really wanted to be there to help pick it out, and I was asking him to text me pictures of a few. He wouldn’t, but told me to just trust him. And then he brought home the most perfect tree. It’s small, because we’re in a small place, but none the less perfect.Out of all my ornaments, which I love, my favorites are the ones with pictures. I got this wood tree ornament this year from PhotoBarn.com, it was free I just had to pay shipping. I think I’ll get one every year from now on. And the others are homemade. The reverse side of the round ones are snowman faces I made with my oldest son’s Kindergarten art class last year, and I helped my youngest make one too.I really enjoyed wrapping this year and making the packages look so pretty. I found tons of free gift tag printables on pinterest. I downloaded some and cut them out and I really loved them!! I think the fact that we were staying home in our own house for the first time ever really motivated me to make it just the way I wanted. I love making things beautiful.These were taken a few days after Christmas in their adorable new Pottery Barn jammies from my brother and his wife. I really wanted a picture of our family in front of the tree, but it didn’t happen, so I made the boys pose instead. They sure put on a show for me, licking each other’s faces, pushing each other over when I asked them to put their arms around each other. But it made them giggle hysterically that they were making it so hard for me, and I got some great pictures in between the pushing and licking, so it was worth it, whatever it takes to make them laugh. Would it be too much to frame a big Christmas picture and hang it all year long?! That’s how much I love these. These boys, their smiles, I can just hear their laughter. They bring me more joy than I ever could have imagined. Whenever I need to feel better I’ll look at these pictures and I know they’ll just cheer me right up.Pouring into his new found love of reading. I’m so proud of him for reading his first chapter book! He finished it a couple days ago after getting it on Christmas!These are out of order because the previous photos in the pajamas were done after Christmas, but here’s a few snapshots of Christmas morning, trying out the tiled mosaic option wordpress recently started offering. We did Christmas morning with just the four of us and then my parents and two of my younger brothers came over for breakfast. We hung out and played games all day, then went back over to my sister’s for leftovers from the night before and sledding.
We had the best Christmas ever. Over and over these words by Jane Austen kept coming to my mind, “incandescently happy.” I felt perfectly and incandescently happy in every way throughout all of the holidays. These memories will always be precious to me. This may have been the happiest time of my life. I feel overjoyed and overwhelmed by the abundance of blessings God has poured over me. We’ve been so blessed financially when we thought we would have to struggle more than we have. We were very blessed with kind acts from Church members this Christmas season. God has given me the most beautiful family and I was overcome with love for each one of them. Christmas Eve night I went into my boys’ room and watched each of them sleeping peacefully and looking so beautiful. I feel in love with them all over again and recommitted myself to being the best mom I could be for them, giving my all to them. They are my world, the most precious gifts I’ve been given. I am eternally grateful God chose me to be their mom. I am so lucky!