Friday, January 4, 2013

Where to begin? Let's start here...

since it's still officially Christmas season, I'll begin with MERRY Christmas! I hope yours has been bright and blessed!
{better than mistletoe}

This year was very different for us. Not just Christmas, but all of 2012. I would say that it's because we've finally hit our stride as a family, but I don't think that's really the truth. It's been a very blessed and providential transformation for our family, and I don't think we can pretend to take credit for half of it.  It's been a time, the first time maybe, that I've felt that our priorities have been straight. The path hasn't always been so straight or painless or pretty, but now that we are on it, there's no hesitation or doubts that it's the right one.

As for Christmas, commercialism took back seat. That wasn't totally intentional. A few weeks before Christmas my parish priest asked if I could find some fabric to dress up the back altar of our less-than-beautiful 60s church. "Sure!" I said, thinking it would be a matter of an hour or so selecting and ordering just the right one. He's been awesome to our family--a huge part of why this year has been transformative and incredible for us--and I was excited to help in a small way. However, selecting fabric turned into creating an entire plan for the Christmas decorations. was awesome. The whole thing! The installation was by far the most fun I've had during any project. There were so many hilarious moments,  and the people who volunteered from our parish were super competent and good-humored...even when they saw bossy Leah in action :) We finished up around midnight just in time to welcome Christmas eve, and when it was all done and we turned out the lights to admire our work, we all kind of gasped.
You may not be able to tell from the blurry photo...but trust me, it looks pretty sweet.

One silver lining to the extra and unexpected busyness of taking on that project was that the things that usually stress me out during the weeks leading up to Christmas, didn't. I just didn't have time to think about them. And they still got done. And as a result, the time we spent with family and friends was more blessed and more meaningful than in the past...because I was able to just be...present....something I've heard about forever, but don't think I actually experienced fully until this year.

When Christmas did hit our house, it was all the sweeter. We didn't go all out on presents...we used ugly wrapping paper...and made shortcut versions of our usual Christmas morning treats. And the kids were just as happy, maybe happier...

 (this last one kills me...there was a funny unplanned "survivor" theme to the presents this year, so I told my nephews and little bro to look hardcore for the camera...but I think it looks more like a j crew way to go, hardcore handsomes :)

Cheers to 2013!


  1. How do y'all not just sit around all day and LOOK at each other?! Everyone is so good looking!

  2. I so can't imagine you being bossy!!!! Love the church and that you went less commercial. It just goes to prove the holidays aren't about THINGS but people. Tons of over the top gifts always leads to depression afterwards anyway -the shear gluttony of it all.
    Happy New Year to your family! xo

  3. Your church looks gorgeous with the trees and lights!!!! Happy new year!

  4. Beautiful post, less is truly more!


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