(Not much spiritual or profound here about Advent; I did write a week's worth of devotionals on Hope you can read here and click on Advent. My contributions were the first week.)
Steve, the elf, lives at Norah's house. I could beat myself up about the fact that I meant to start this tradition this year at our home. Instead I'm content for Anna Cate to think this little elf just lives at Leana and Luke's (and Libby's) house.
This is an example of how I'm not really the best Mom, but I do the best I can and don't sacrifice myself in the process. For all those Moms out there who lose sleep to do it all, I commend you. It is just not me.
This Christmas I'm trying to find some balance, giving myself permission to not do it ALL!!! I believe there is next year and it is ok to not cram it all into one year. In fact, I may even skip the 2 hour line to see Santa (ahhh ghast).
Life doesn't really stop for Christmas since I still have to work, work out, sleep, do laundry, work out, et. While I could get all sappy about christmas memories for these young precious daughters of mine, I'm just spending my energy on enjoying the moments.
The first year Anna Cate was constructing memories, I felt obligated to DO IT ALL. This year, I'm trying to enjoy what we are doing...
For the past several weeks, we've listened to a soundtrack for Anna Cate's Christmas peformacne with her children's choir at church.
She knew all the words and added some dance moves of her own to this precious rendition of the Christmas story from the perspective of the stars. While these children of ours certainly make Christmas a lot more work, I would say that they make it shine a little brighter as well. Anna Cate is our little star, and we think Leana and Evan, her best friends from birth, have a special twinkle as well. During the performace, Anna Cate and Evan held hands.
And not to be outshined, Molly Mae enjoyed a craft night with Patti and Anna Cate. Since I'm not a craft mom, I jump at any chance for someone else to lead these activities.
This was hosted by our church's preschool minister, and we love watching our girls develop a foundation for religious education as well as forming kindred spirits....
thanks to the tireless efforts and talents of our dear ministers, like Erin.
The girls made these sweet angels with the wings in the form of their hands; I will treasure them forever.
Since the party fell on a Thursday night, I slipped out and let Patti have the reigns while BJ and I enjoyed a date night. It is so nice to feel like an adult.
On Friday night, Anna Cate and I went to hear our choir's performace, which was breathtaking, ending with the Hallelujah chorus. My Dad says he could eat a deviled egg every day for the rest of his life and never get sick of them; I feel that way about Mendel's piece. I enjoyed telling Anna Cate abou the tradition of standing up for it; I hope my kids know about those type things.
Yesterday, the girls and I enjoyed a delightful day making memories with our dear friends, the Pences while the guys went to the Redskins game. We made memories and a ginger bread house. Norah and I would stop them to say, REMEMBER THIS!!!
Norah had hot chocolate and baked goods to snack on. She is AMAZING since she just had a baby less than 2 weeks ago. I brought the wine.
Really, much of the work was in hands of the mommies, but we had fun, too.
While the base was constructed by us, the girls could do the fluff....the gum drops, sprinkles, peppermints. Once Leana sweetly asked, "can we make a mess?"
Theses smiles are so worth the mess and the work.
My Christmas lesson from gingerbread house building: you focus on the big and the small picture. The base and the fluff. The Hallelujah chorus and the elves.
So no matter where the elf lives, or which memories we fit into this short season, Christmas time is good....and there is a whole lot of sweetness.
On the house and in these hearts.