Christmas Eve day and night is almost over. I'm sitting here by tree-light - exhausted. From Papa Bob and Nana Nancy's house for our ritual Saturday morning visit - to Grandma Grayce's and Nana Dee's in Aplington - back to town for the 5:00 candelight service - home for a quick meal, some play time with their new grill that looks "just like Daddy's" -- songs of "Silent Night" and "Happy Birthday to You" -- making sure everything is just right for Santa's arrival tonight and the boys' surprises in the morning. (Don't let me forget to mention the $400 to Dan Deery's last night just so that Cody could have an operable vehicle again).
On paper, nothing about today sounds calm and peaceful. I'm not sure in this life and in this world that we are living in, that our days will ever sound calm and peaceful. The peace and calm has to come from within. It has to come from a faith that can't fully be explained. I'm thankful tonight for a baby born 2,000 years ago. I'm thankful that His love knows no limits - so that my hope can remain everlasting - no matter how much hustle and bustle and hardship this world causes.
I'm thankful for two precious gifts that I was entrusted with. And I am doing my best to help create traditions and memories that they will be able to look back on as they grow up. To create in them a foundation and a trust - that though every day may not be good - there is something good in every day.
It's been a good Christmas so far. Our second annual "Jesus birthday cake" was made even more fun this year when Jaden discovered that he, too, could enjoy the fine art of licking the beaters.
Could there be anything cuter than Christmas Confetti cake??
Our little boys LOVE water play. Unfortunately, Brandon now throws a massive two-year old fit at Papa Tim and Nana Dee's house if he doesn't get time to play in the sink.
...Someone's fallen victim to the Angry Birds phenomenon...
Unwrapping their new play grill from Great Grandpa and Grandma. I have visions in my head of the upcoming spring -- setting this grill out on our back deck and watching our boys pretend to flip burgers right next to Cody as he cooks up some steaks. I think I'll use this as my "think good thoughts" moment when there's a blizzard outside and I've had just about enough of winter.
They were having so much fun cooking in our living room tonight, that we struggled to settle them down for bed -- even with mentions of Santa coming. (Well... singing Happy Birthday and eating some Jesus cake might have had something to do with the unwillingness to go to sleep, too...)
You know what's neat? One of my favorite books when I was Jaden's age was "The Night Before Christmas." As we read that tonight, he was laughing the whole way through. Like serious belly laughing. He told me it's one of his favorite stories. And all of the sudden there were flashbacks to waking up and walking out of my bedroom with my nightgown on to find a big Barbie tent in our living room left for me from Santa. Flashbacks to my dad being named the "Clark Griswold" of Maryhill Dr. because he always had to have the brightest and most festive house on the street. Flashbacks to our competition with the Noonans across the street to see who could get their Christmas tree up first. Flashbacks to finding soot from our real wood-burning fireplace left all over our living room carpet on Christmas morning-- thanks to "Santa." You know what's neat? One day... our kids will get to have flashbacks, too.
I better get to bed... I'm going to have some eager and excited boys in the early morning...