Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Break From Blogging Brings Happy to the Heart - Christmas Highlights 2013

A little over a week's time has passed since I've sat down to blog.  In between diaper duties, close calls with the Christmas tree, refereeing wrestling matches and a few mild meltdowns, ideas for different posts have meandered through my mind these past few days, but those thoughts just couldn't pull me away from life in the present.  How could any post compete with snuggling on the couch with kiddos, reading Charlie just one more book by a sparkling fire, baking the favorites we savor but once a year, singing my favorite Christmas songs till my hear's content while tackling a sink constantly overflowing with dishes, delivering gifts to neighbors, greeting the UPS man every day (we always get to be friends during the holidays!), and crouching down by the nativity in the evening quiet to savor just a few more moments with my Lord.

I hope that you, too, were able to spend the past few days doing all of the things you love, living richly in the present moment, savoring life....and that's why I knew you woulnd't miss anything here....here doesn't matter - there, your very own place in life does.

This morning I'm up early, long before the bandits arise from their burrows, just so I can spend a few minutes editing all of the photos I've taken (so far) this Christmas.  Unfortunately, my camera has taken some serious "accidental" falls over the past few months and it's showing it's wear and tear in the pics. Time to get it fixed! Looking beyond the fuzzies....I hope you'll see what I see!!
Smiling faces full of surprise...
A proud brother anxiously waiting for his specially chosen gift (a basketball for big brother Ben!) to be opened.
The anticipation of what's inside as paper is torn back layer by layer. No gift bags this year. There's something about tearing the paper that heightens their excitement even more.
The prensentation of the presents.  Show and tell is a must!
Unexpected expressions of joy.
I LOVE to watch our children's faces as they open their gifts, smiles forever imbedded in my memory.
 Growing up fast, but big guy grins still can't be held back.
 Unbelievable believed.
Love for littleness.  There's such a sweetness in their fresh little fingers all warm and chubby, manipulating the pieces with patience until they get it "just right."
 Father and son spend some bonding time over...
 Simple gifts.
Savoring sweets for brunch, something we all look forward to after gifts are revealed.
The Christmas morning Ebelskiver tradition continues.
Days before His birthday, they watch out the window, hoping with great hope for a white Christmas!
Brothers out burnin' off the Jelly Belly stocking stuffer with some sledding!
 A beautiful new blessing to celebrate....patiently waiting until June to hold.
Posing for a few family pics with my parents.  Doesn't my mom look amazing? Thank you for your continued prayers for her. She is doing great!
 Grandkids contain their wiggles while standing with Gran and Grandpa.
 Dapper dude.
The saddest little face you'll every see of a boy holding a candy cane (!).
 What to my wondering eyes should appear??
Four crazy cousins doing stunts, oh dear!
Ham and Beans!
 Accidental matching - I couldn't plan it if I tried.
 Cute curls of the sweetest girl, Miss Peyton enjoys a treat from Uncle Donut.

It wouldn't be Christmas vacation without a "let's gang up on Dad" wrestling match.
Gathering 'round the table for a competetive game of cards - is there any other way to play?
Nothin' but love for the two Steve's.
Scott, his amazing wife Stephanie and their precious daughter, Phebe.  If you haven't met my brother, Scott, yet, you must check out last year's Christmas episode!
 Garrett (one of those ca-razy cousins), Uncle donut and his beautiful wife, Julie.
Gran and the girls, Lauryn and Camryn. They may look innocent, but when it comes to cards, they're fierce!
Cards are always more exciting when you have a princess to advise.
Is there anything better than cuddling up with a warm squishy baby?? Not for Gran! Phebe received approximately 800 hugs and 492 kisses during our two day visit.  She is definitely loved!

The crew is up, and running, and I hear the kitchen calling! 
Happy New Year's Eve, Friends!


  1. I, too, spent little time on the blog for a few weeks. There was just too much wonderful life to live. Regardless of your camera, your photos are beautiful. Your mom is clearly having a wonderful time with you all. She does look great.
    Praying for lots more wonderful for you all in 2014.

  2. LOVED every one of these pictures and I can see the love y'all have for each other!!
    Glad that you took a blog break and focused on the things that really matter.
    Happy New Year, Susan!!!

  3. I love looking at your beautiful family photos! What a great Christmas :) Also, you look amazing Susan. So, so happy for you (as usual). Prayers for you, sweet lady.


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