"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Friday, December 28, 2012

All is calm.

Christmas season is always a whirlwind. So much buildup. So many preparations. So many gatherings. So much money spent. So many sugar cookies.

And then when it's all said and done... a week and a half off of work and many hours spent at home with my boys. These two keep me on my toes, which is why days later, I'm just getting around to blogging about our Christmas!

My favorite moments...

Our boys received a shipment of gifts from our Aunt Sally and Uncle Bob in Florida. Because I knew we'd have so many presents to open on Christmas day, I thought it would be a treat for them to open one gift a day from our faraway relatives on the few days leading up to Christmas...

Cousin Jodi's house on the 23rd. Always too much fabulous food. We had soups and dips and a buffet of sweets. The kids all got presents, Jaden was finally old enough to join in with the older boys, and Brandon and pretty Lily formed a special friendship.

Christmas Eve day. Cody had to work so the boys and I started some new traditions - and carried out some old - just the three of us. Christmas pancakes in the morning, the three of us crowded around the kitchen counter - the boys taking turns pouring and mixing ingredients for Jesus' birthday cake - and some pictures around the tree when Daddy got home for church.

5:00 church service. As an adult - my new favorite part of Christmas. Our whole family came with us this year, and I love that one hour where we get to sit quietly - listen to beautiful Christmas music - hold on to our Silent Night candles - and know that there are millions around the world doing the same thing we are at that moment. For that one hour... it really does feel like there is peace on this earth.

After church and supper, we came home to our jammies, turned all the lights off in our house, and gathered around the Christmas tree. We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, ate our cake, saved a slice for Santa... and tucked our kids in bed. That was the fastest they have ever fallen asleep. I don't think we heard a single peep out of them after we shut their bedroom door, as they were too afraid to scare Santa away!

I had every intention of going to bed early, too. Cody left the house telling me he had to pick up some ingredients for a stew he was making for Christmas day. An hour later... he came home with this...

Meet Lucy - my Christmas surprise. We had some bad fortune the first time we tried to bring a kitten home, and my heartbreak over that experience made me incredibly hesitant to try it again. This little kitten is one that Cody had been nurturing out at his shop for the last two months, and he has such a soft spot for kittens that he couldn't help himself. He walked in the door Christmas Eve night with a bump underneath his jacket. When he pulled down the zipper, out peeked this little black head and two little eyes. She's ours now, and we are once again - in love. Cody had wanted to name our next cat Lucifer - we compromised on Lucy. ;)

Christmas morning - I opened the door to the boys' room and watched them run out to the living room to find what Santa had left for them. Lucy was an even bigger surprise. They were so excited that they actually forgot about their gifts for a few minutes. We immediately opened presents, and it was fun to see which gifts were their favorites. The last-minute vaccuum for Brandon - the doctor's kit and Nerf gun for Jaden, and the Lego carwash that Santa brought. Daddy had his hands full trying to keep up with how fast they wanted the boxes opened.

I love this picture with his new oven mit on...

Christmas morning chaos... (with a new kitten that loved darting underneath the Christmas tree).

After a morning at our house... the Ubben Christmas at James and Cassi's. Part of our Christmas morning included a phone call from Cassi that James had proposed. A new kitten... and a new brother-in-law... quite the memorable day!

...and then there was the Marshmallow gun fight...

...and finally, we ended the day with my parents. Where Jaden finally received his favorite gift...

...a real drumset just his size. This boy has got some real talent, and he can't get enough of playing these things. I can't wait to see where he takes this. It's a God-given gift, for sure. He's a natural.

The day after Christmas was spent at home - with countless hours of Lego building, software downloading - and organizing. Cody and I went shopping for a new entertainment center and a new set of dishes, and the boys stayed in their new pajamas all day long.

It's hard to believe it's come and gone already, but now that the dust of Christmas has settled, I am enjoying the calm that has taken over. We even took down our Christmas tree already - something I've never done before New Year's - but our little kitten thought it was a good place to go to the bathroom. ;) Looking forward to some relaxation - and some new "to-do"s on my agenda. I've got a fifth birthday party to plan! But for now... a nap. Even Lucy is worn out.