Wednesday, January 01, 2014

HOLIDAY WRAP UP

Are you over the holidays yet?  I'm a bit undecided.  There is that inevitable let down that follows Christmas and and New Year's celebrations.  I am no longer excited about the mail coming, because it will not be bringing smiling faces with it.  I don't exactly have a pressing to-do list of fun activities to cram in before December 25th.  I do have to be planning Lily's birthday party, and it always sneaks up on me.

So, this is the last post that will have holiday anything in it.  The last night of John's parents' visit, we decided to head downtown again.  We ate at one of our favorites - The Flying Fish.  I already miss having Grandma around - she was super quick to feed hungry babies.  They miss her too.  There has been more crying today than everyone is used to from the past week.

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The girls had fun eating with Aunt Rachel.

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After dinner, we headed to the Capitol to see it dressed in its holiday finery.

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It really is a beautiful building, and I like the way they have decked the halls inside.

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A stranger graciously offered to take this picture for us - I don't think they exactly knew what they were signing up for.  But it turned out really well, far better than I would have imagined given the factors (read: Kids) at play.

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I have to share a few more holiday anecdotes from this Christmas with the girls.  John actually overheard this conversation between the girls.

Bella (to Lily, in a trash-talk sort of tone):  You're going to Bethlehem.
Lily:  Well, you're going to Nazareth.
Bella:  No, you're going to that place.

You can tell they heard the Christmas story once or twice this holiday season.  Also, when we were at the Capitol, I asked Bella who this was.

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I fully expected her to say "Santa," but I think the brassiness and the staff threw her off.  She said, "Noah."  Ha!  So, if you are in Little Rock at Christmas time, be sure to stop by and see gold Noah in front of the giant Christmas tree at the state Capitol.

For New Year's Eve, we ended up having most of our Community Group at our house til just past 8.  With 17 kids in the mix, that was all we felt up for.  It was a lot of fun, since they are friends that are actually family.  This is what the basement looked like towards the end of the shindig.

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Thankfully, everyone pitched in on the pick up, so it wasn't bad by the time everyone left.  So thankful for wonderful friends to celebrate with.

And now it's 2014.  I feel the way about a new year that Anne Shirley felt about each new day -

"Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"

So the year stretches out before us as a blank canvas with no mistakes in it yet.  That's mostly true, but I've already made parenting mistakes on this January 1st.  Post-holiday, no-schedule life has its challenges after all.

I hope that our New Year holds fewer mistakes in it than 2013.  Either way, I know the God who is in the business of forgiveness and setting things right.  Let's hope to lean more into him in 2014 than ever before.

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