Wednesday, December 21, 2011

There's a Whole Lot of Christmas Over There

I love the "Week of Christmas". Jared and I have decided that we want to start a tradition of doing something special each day for the entire week before Christmas.

Sunday: Date Night
We went on a double date with J's sister and her hubby. Movie then dinner at one of our fave restaurants. It was so nice to get to spend some time together laughing and holding hands and eating chips and cheese dip. And if you are thinking we left the girls out - we didn't. They got to have one of their cousins spend the night (and babysit) and they were lovin' every minute of it.

Monday: Make Christmas Gifts for Cousins
The girls and I made their gift to give their cousins this year. We loved every minute of it. I will keep the gift a secret for now, but I will say I found in on Pinterest and it turned out perfectly! I took a few pics throughout the week of our fun...

Tuesday: Bake Christmas Cookies
We decided this would be the perfect day to bake cookies. I love baking and so do my little helpers.

Wednesday: The Polar Express movie night
We are planning on staying in tonight and watching The Polar Express. I love the movie and the girls do too. Jared has never watched the whole thing, but I know he will love it. We will pop popcorn after dinner and get in jammies and snuggle in for movie night.

This afternoon we are having a wrapping party with friends. I love wrapping and can't wait to make a fun afternoon of it.

Thursday: Gingerbread House and Holiday Lights
Tomorrow afternoon we will have some older cousins come over to help the girls make a gingerbread house. I love this fun tradition. Then tomorrow night after dinner (homemade pizzas - our favorite dinner for busy nights) we will go out to see all the lights. This may be the thing I'm looking forward to most! When we were visiting dad we drove around one night and Laila looked over at one house full of lights and blowups and said "There's a whole lot of Christmas over there." I love her little thoughts. Ha!

Friday: Family Christmas Party
Daddy is off work Friday so we will have a lazy day at home then go to my in-laws for the family Christmas party. This is such a fun, sweet time with the family and the girls love being with their cousins.

Saturday, Christmas Eve: Open gifts together at home
Saturday we will be going to my grandmother's house. So Saturday morning we will wake up and let the girls open their gifts from us at home. I have never spend Christmas Eve night anywhere but my Nanny's house so we will be there that night.

Sunday: CHRISTMAS!!!!
We will be with all of my family on Christmas day. It is a special time for us celebrating with our family. I love how Christmas is one of the most fun times of year. We have so much fun and do so many things in celebration of the greatest gift God gave us. I love every minute of the season, I always have. But this year, with the girls experiencing so much of Christmas, I have fallen in love with the season even more.

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lost in a story

So we are still at my dad's which means I have no pictures again. But I am trying to build momentum and make writing a habit. So today I'm going to give you a quick glimpse into my mind....

My three girls are napping (amazing) and I found myself with some free time. Today I chose to watch The Help. We are away from home and I don't have the responsibilities of home to occupy my time today. I spent a couple of hours engrossed in a movie. The end credits rolled and I found myself so happy. I love losing myself in a story.

I love movies, books, anything with a story. I read every night before I got to sleep. I tried explaining my need to read to Jared but all I came up with is that when I read, I get lost in the story. For those moments while I am flipping pages (or pressing the > on my Kindle) the worries and stresses and concerns of the day are gone. It is just me and the story.

I need those moments.

I need to be separated from my day for just a few minutes.... I believe it helps me sleep better because I don't have anxieties running through my mind while my head is on the pillow. We all have our things we do to help us get through our day, reading is mine. I love a story.

I love to start my day with the Bible and a devotional and end it with a novel. The hours that exist in between I spend loving on my family, making our house a home, nourishing my family, teaching ABCs and numbers and love, kissing boo-boo's, tickling bellies, hugging necks, laughing, singing, dancing --- being "Wife" and "Mom". That's who I am. But for a few minutes everyday I get to be engrossed in a story. It makes me a better ME.

I am thankful my parents shared their love for reading with me. I'm doing my very best to share it with my girls.

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one."
                                                                                                                           --George R. R. Martin


Monday, December 12, 2011

I've been thinking a lot lately about priorities. Jared and I have discussed it some as well. We are really making an effort to make the time we spend together as a family count. It is so easy after a long day to just want to chill out in front of the tv.... but we don't want those to be the memories we make with our girls. So far, we have been so much happier as a family. In fact, the girls and I left Saturday to visit my dad for a few days. When I talked to Jared after we got here we both agreed that this was the hardest it has been on us to say goodbye. It is really crazy how much more I miss him right now than I ever have before. We decided it is probably because we have been really cherishing our family time together lately. Not that we didn't before, but something has changed.

So all of that has brought me to a point where I am trying to figure out where my priorities are now and what needs to change. It is the end of the year, after all. Isn't this when everyone starts evaluating their lives to see how to make them better?!

One thing I have really let slide this past year is blogging. I can justify it by saying it isn't really important for my family that I spend thirty minutes on the computer each day. But the truth is, it really is. Not because I'm blogging to be known or whatever, but because I am blogging our memories. This is our family scrapbook... because you know I don't have real scrapbooks for my family. I can't even comprehend how much work that would be. Ugh. :)

I am also really REALLY bad about taking pictures of my babies. My goal is to start taking at least one picture a day. One memory each day that I don't want to forget. Maybe this will help me record those memories on the blog as well.

I am so thankful for my family. We are having the most fun this Christmas season. The girls are all old enough to enjoy some parts of Christmas and I must say, I never knew Christmas could be so fun! I will save all of our Christmas activities for another post though.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be preparing my 2012 goals and looking at my 2011 goals. I'm looking forward to spending some time reflecting on the past year. I need to get myself organized and my priorities set straight so I can make the most of every day I'm blessed to spend with my family.

But for now, I need to go raid the pantry at my dad's house.... there are some shortbread cookies calling my name. I'm taking advantage of this time of year but in a few weeks, I'll be cleaning up my act. :)