1. Christmas was so fun. We had guests! We have never had company stay with us in our 15 (almost) years of marriage (because I am not counting the people that crashed at our apartment in Atlanta after shows). Betsy and Lee and the girls drove from NYC and my sweet Mom agreed to let them stay with us. It gave us so much more hanging out time. More time for the kids to just be together. And more time for me to hold my sweetest baby Lolly. (She is so sweet.) We didn't do anything super exciting or creative. (I write that because I had a moment of guilt when I saw people on Facebook doing lots of fun things. I talked to myself and decided I wouldn't change a thing.) We were just together. Perfect.
2. The week before she got here my Mom and I worked really hard on the Birdhouse. We were getting ready for Christmas Eve at my house. All of my Mom's side of the family. This group has not been all together at the same place in a long time. It was so fun. We laughed, ate Fresh Air BBQ, opened presents and got to know new babies. And of course we took a crazy picture.
4. This Christmas my heart broke at different times as I thought about people in my life. People who would be spending their first Christmas without their spouse, without their parent, without their child. People who were figuring out how to do Christmas as a single parent or a co-parent. People who were hoping for forgiveness from family members. People watching part of their family break up and knowing there is nothing they can do to stop it. People who were spending their very first Christmas sober. It can be so hard. And then I watched as people in my life were filled with joy. People that started to mend broken relationships. My cousin and his girlfriend announced their engagement. And the most exciting news, I have two friends who have each been wanting a baby for a long time. Each girl got the call that they would receive a baby in 2012. They are both getting boys. It makes my heart smile to think that they are going to give a sweet baby boy a life that he would otherwise not have had. Love you Tarsha and Chandra. So excited that your families are growing this year.
5. Today is the last day of vacation. I took the kids to see We Bought a Zoo. I cried through the entire thing. (A few too many curse words for a PG movie in my opinion.) It was so sweet and funny.
Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, of embarrassing bravery, and something great will come of it. Benjamin Mee/We Bought A Zoo6. I don't make New Year's resolutions. I used to do it every year. #1 Quit smoking. #2 Exercise at least 3 times a week. I quit smoking 2 and a half years ago, and I have been exercising at least 3 times a week for over a year and a half. With those out of the way I like to see New Year's as a time to clean out the clutter. House clutter and brain clutter. Doesn't it feel good to take that tree down, and in our case, burn it? Put all of the decorations, that were fun on December 1st but look tired on December 26th , back in the attic until next year. I love how clean my house looks right now. I also take some time to reflect and see what I can do better. Where can I improve? Not a measurable goal, I know. I don't need those right now. Just need to know that I am doing better, trying harder, and that is enough for me.
7. So if I had to say what new thing I want to strive for this year is, it would be to chase after God. Reading His word. Memorizing it. More prayer. More of Him and less of me. To not wait until I have to cry out to Him but keep walking beside Him every day.
10. Emory got an early Christmas present this year. She went to ride horses for a few hours the week before and I think she is in love.