Anna and Benjamin in their pj's, snuggled up with Grampa Dewey, watching the Christmas Devotional on the computer.
A shot of the little tree my parent's put up this year (easier to keep Caleb away from it). Not a lot of decorating yet, but the white Christmas lights are just perfect. (Notice the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the computer screen. :)
Final picture of the night - couldn't leave Buddy out!
Last December was a blur of Ethan being gone alot, Caleb in the NICU and trying to visit him as much as possible, and trying to provide fun Christmas memories for Anna and Ben amidst all the chaos. And while there were things that were touching and special about last Christmas season, I was hoping this one would be different. And I guess it is. Ethan is with us. Caleb is not in the hospital, but is a healthy little one year old. Anna and Benjamin have lots of fun Christmas activities happening. But, I was really, REALLY hoping we'd be all settled in our own place by Christmas. (And although I haven't given up on that, it looks like it will be a long shot.) We were supposed to close on our house on November 21st, but it's been pushed back til tomorrow. *I'll make sure to mention when it's official, and put pictures of the house up then.* Soooo, that leaves less than three weeks until Christmas to paint, remove carpet, fix/change stuff, move all of our stuff in, AND be unpacked. I just don't think it's going to happen. But we'll try our hardest. :) I don't want to be so busy and focused on house stuff that we miss out on the joy, and spirit, and magic that is felt this time of year.
December things we have been enjoying: We watched the Christmas Devotional online tonight, a church broadcast from SLC, Utah. It invited the Christmas spirit and the music was beautiful! (And the kids loved trying to look for Gramma Susan who was attending, as she is visiting my sister Christie in Utah right now.) We've had a little bit of slushy snow, but nothing I'd really count yet - the kiddos LOVE it though. It's so new and exciting every year. (Except when Benjamin realized that it would get on him and make him wet. hehe.) We've helped my mom decorate a little this year, and the kids love playing with her nativity set. Oh, and another favorite activity is singing Christmas songs in the car when we're driving somewhere.
We're also looking forward to other activities: Anna's Winter Presentation at school tomorrow, Benjamin's pre-school Christmas program on the 22nd, a Christmas party at church, making ginger bread houses, sledding (once we get some real snow - hopefully by Christmas!), watching some of our favorite Christmas movies - with hot chocolate!, the primary kids are singing in church on the 18th, and I'm singing in church on Christmas day, making Christmas cookies with Anna and Benjamin, focusing on the Christmas story for family night and scriptures, and all the usual fun happenings on Christmas Eve/Day.
When I read over my "list" I realize we have many wonderful things happening this holiday season. And I know I shouldn't feel bummed just because we may not be doing some of these things in our own home . . . yet. That's not what's most important (although it is pretty important to me. :) So, mostly this journal entry is a reminder that I need to try not to get stressed (about the house . . . I don't really "stress" about Christmas stuff), focus on the most important things, and look for opportunities to invite the true spirit Christmas into our lives.