Over the past few weeks, the Marsh family has been busy celebrating the season in all kinds of ways . . . from a sweet choir concert at Hannah's school . . . to a fun dinner with some close family friends . . . to some grown up Christmas shopping (thank you grandma for the child care) . . . to a brunch at one of our oldest and dearest friends house (I swear I want that casserole recipe - you know who you are - don't try to hide behind the "secret Christmas tradition" bit again!!) . . . to some cookie making, eggnog drinking, home decorating, story reading, advent tree counting down, enjoying each other and the time of year . . . and the last couple of days have been especially precious. . .
On December 23rd, the Stoebe family gathered at our house for a great day full of gift giving, food eating (thanks papa!), game playing and story telling.
On December 24th, we attended Catholic mass at St. Marys in our area . . . it was filled with music and tradition and reverence and worship and prayers and overall beauty - what a special way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.
This morning, December 25th, the girls woke up with so much excitement they were jumping up and down. They were thrilled and surprised by gifts delivered by Santa then enjoyed cinnamon rolls and homemade apple sauce for breakfast (mom and dad worked our way through the pot of coffee - Christmas morning comes a little slower for grown ups doesn't it?!) We unwrapped gifts from each other and enjoyed playing with some of our new toys (in particular the nerf guns Travis got for he and the girls . . . they ran the house squealing for at least 20 minutes - couldn't get a good picture without jumping in the middle of the cross fire)
After enjoying our morning as a little foursome, we headed down to the Marsh family home to spend the rest of the day eating more delicious food, giving gifts and remembering stories from years ago. The girls ran around with their little cousin Moses and my soon-to-appear niece is only about 20 days away from her arrival!! (I spent some time feeling her kick around her momma . . . what an amazing thing!)
This evening, the girls are upstairs enjoying their new toys, daddy is asleep on the couch and I am cozy in my new bathrobe and slippers (thanks girls!) with a cup of tea reflecting on the last few weeks . . . it truly is my favorite time of year. Tomorrow we are driving north to have brunch with my cousins and aunts and uncles . . . although I wish we saw more of each other, I am so thankful we all pause in the middle of our lives and get together to laugh and reminisce . . . oh yeah . . . and play a crazy White Elephant gift exchange game - a timeless tradition.
I hope that you are knee deep in joy and warmth and family and food and fun and the smell of the tree and the smiles of the kiddos . . . Merry Christmas!!