Saturday, January 26, 2013

Back In the Saddle

The blog broke.  I don't know.  I really don't.  But when I logged into blogger back around Thanksgiving, and for several times after that, I got odd error messages and was told I was out of space.  So, I handled it like I do most big problems that completely confuse me.  I avoided it.  Not my finest attribute.  But I've missed this space dreadfully, and while at times it felt rather freeing to have one less thing on my "should be doing" list, this space beckons to my heart.  This started as a diary for my own family, but over time it has become a precious connection to out of state friends and relatives.  So, to those of you who have mentioned the blog or encouraged me to get back in the saddle, THANK YOU.  It makes me feel honored that you take the time to visit us here and keep up with the seven brands of crazy that we manufacture daily.  I miss keeping track of our daily doings, and I'm glad to be back.

I have an overwhelming urge to write about absolutely everything that has happened over the past two months, but I know that's not reasonable.  But I will say that things have been good.  I enjoyed December to the absolute fullest.  I prayed and planned and purposed for it to go well.  I didn't want the holidays to just "happen" to us.  That seemed to be a pattern the last few years.  This year, I wanted to be intentional.  I thought hard about boundaries and goals and choosing only the best of all the wonderful things the holidays have to offer.  I tried hard to starve off exhaustion by focusing on activities that we could enjoy as a family; by keeping things lively enough to be festive, and yet simple enough to be fulfilling and restful.  I didn't "do it all", but I didn't set out to try.  I did enough.  Just right, actually.  It was the best Christmas we've had in years.  

A few highlights from year's end....

Big and Little sis had an impromptu tea party the morning that Hannah left for college after Thanksgiving break.  I came out of my room in the morning to find them in pajamas and tiaras, sipping milk and telling secrets.  My heart overflowed with adoration, and I knew the memory of that moment would carry me through until Hannah returned for Christmas break.  

Emma turned five.  FIVE is a BIG means the end of the toddler and preschool years and the beginning of the big girl years.  It's a hard blow when the last baby turns five.  A mommy's heart takes time to adjust to such things.  In this house, FIVE also meant an ultra-competitive game of Pretty Pretty Princess with three handsome princes.

She won.  Hands down.

But no one sports the bling like those three gamers.  This photo will live in infamy.

It was the puppy's first Christmas.  She's perfection.  We adore her.

We made special trips to special places and saw special people.

This year Emmie and I shared an advent experience.  I made a chain with a different activity planned for each day.  Some days we went places, some days we did things together, many days we made things.  More often than not, the boys joined in.  It was my favorite part of the month.  It helped me keep focused on what (and who!) mattered.

I didn't do too much crafting myself, but on the rare occasion that I slipped into the sewing nook, I had a side kick.  She loves crawling up on the desk while I work. This year she learned how to use needle and thread all by herself to make a few ornaments!

 We worshiped together, and held dear our celebrations with family and friends.

And as usual, we packed as many kids into this house as we could, and as often as possible.

Yep, it was good.  But I've missed writing about it.  So I'm back in the saddle.
With a new year and some new ideas.
I'm challenging myself to grow and develop in this space.

I hope you'll join me.

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