Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

May each of us remember now our mighty Savior born for us in a lowly manger. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"This is Supposed to be Special!"

As part of our family's Advent, we do one special "family activity" each week. (There are also service projects, Scripture readings, and tiny pieces to a nativity that gradually gets built throughout Advent.) So this week's activity was a family movie. I bought the "Polar Express," and Eli was so excited to watch the "Twain Movie." We had such a busy weekend, though, that we didn't get a chance to watch it until this afternoon after church and a church luncheon.

Our nephew Timothy came over to watch with us, too. He's more like a brother to Eli than a cousin, so he's a part of a lot of our family activites. Anyway... we got them all set up on the couch with hot chocolate and cozy blankets, and they were just so giddy. It was adorable!

And we cuddled up and watched that movie for all of 20 minutes before things started deteriorating. :) They just wanted to play! I kept telling them that this was "family time" and that they needed to sit down and watch the movie. Finally their goofing off led to an entire mug of hot chocolate getting spilled on the rug and a subsequent lecture from me about how "this is supposed to be special!"

And as they went scampering away to play with toys and I listened to them laughing and talking while Eric and I scrubbed the rug, I realized that I'm putting way too much pressure on Christmas "activities" to deliver the meaning of the season. Because it's not about a 2-hour movie watched all the way through. It's about two little boys playing so happily together that there was nothing else they'd rather be doing. And it's about the love that we have the choice to show to each other in gratitude for the tremendous love that was shown to us at the birth of our Savior.

So, as I apologized to Eli for my bad attitude and high expectations and lack of love in the way I treated them, I tried to engrain in my heart that the "everyday" moments are the special ones. I don't want to put any pressure on Christmas, because the center of it all is the infant who came to bring us peace!

So there will be no more "This is supposed to be special!" lectures from a frazzled mommy. There will just be happiness in the moments shared and the opportunites we have to love and share with others. And if we get to watch more than 20 minutes of a Christmas movie together, that's just a bonus. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Heavenly Host

On Friday Eric and I drove to Norman, Oklahoma so that I could be in my dear friend Misty's wedding. We are friends and former roommates from college, and it was such a joy to stand beside her as she married the man who is so perfect for her! It was a great little whirlwind trip. Congratulations, Misty and Gerhard!

We drove back on late Saturday night so that we could be at church on Sunday to see the children's Christmas program at church! All the kids have been working for months on this program, and the whole church has been eagerly anticipating this. We are so thankful for the women who headed this up and spent so much time and energy getting it all together.

The older kids (5-11) were the "choir" and the speaking parts, and the preschoolers made up the nativity. Eli was an angel. They brought in each part of the nativity at different times in the program, and each time you could hear the whole congregation say "Awwwwww!" when they came in- they were just adorable!

In my biased opinion, I've got to say that the angels were the best part. There were about 10 of them, all 3 years old, all dressed in white with halos and wings and these tinsle pom-poms that they waved around. They sang their little hearts out to "Angels We Have Heard on High," and it was the cutest thing I've seen in a long time.

(This picture makes me laugh- that's Timothy, my nephew, picking his nose. :) )

Eli loved being a part of this, and I loved watching him, along with all the other fantastic kiddos the children's ministry has blessed with, praise the Lord at Christmas.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmastime Happenings

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we made our annual trek with the Heinzes to the Christmas tree farm to cut down our tree! A few pictures from our day...

On the hay wagon:

We found a good one!

Eli and Timothy:

Today Eli and I went with our dear friends Elizabeth and CJ to Northpark to see the trains and visit Santa! This is the first year that Eli has been "into Santa," so this has been a much-anticipated event! :)

Eli and CJ looking at the trains:

Me and my sweet boy:

Eli and Santa! Eli was soooo excited to see him, and Santa did not dissapoint!

We had such a fun, Christmas-y day with treasured friends. I love this season!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

We Rocked the Rock

Today Eric and me and our dear friend Sarah ran the White Rock Half Marathon! Running a half marathon was one of my New Year's resolutions for last year: run 13.1 miles at 30 years old. I'm so happy to have completed it with my husband and my sweet friend!

We've trained for this for three months now, so we were SO ready to just do it! The only problem with the race was that it was 40 degrees and 100% chance of rain! Yikes! Fortunately, it only sprinkled on us while we stood in the "corrals" waiting for our turn to cross the starting line, and once the skies really opened up, we were already warm from running.

The atmosphere of the race was so fun! There were tons of people lining the course cheering for everyone, which meant a lot, being as they were standing in pouring rain! :) We ran through the Highland Park neighborhood in Dallas, which is beautiful, and it was just so fun to be running a race with 25,000 other happy runners!

Can you tell by my over-use of exclamation points that I really enjoyed myself? :) Honestly, I'm just so thankful to have had the opportunity to do this, to be blessed with a body healthy enough to accomplish this. It felt fantastic, and I can't wait to do it again next year!

This 30 year-old non-athlete ran 13.1 miles in the cold rain today! And she's proud of it! :)