Friday, December 26, 2014

Let's Do It Again!

Beautiful exhaustion. What a day. 

I won't lie. I have battled stress the past few weeks. The pressure to absorb as much joy as I can, experience every detail, make as many memories as possible on Squeak's first Christmas was overwhelming. In the end, I had to let it go. And when it came right down to it, letting it go helped it happen. Our girl is growing insanely fast. How blessed am I to be "stressed" about experiencing as much happiness with her as I possibly can!? Silly Kristen. Pretty sure I could stress over just about anything. Must work on that. I just don't want to miss a moment. Especially when it comes to milestones. I want to see her face light up, hear every laugh, experience every first with her. The more I loosened my grip on "perfection" the more perfect it got. Fantastic, fun, lovely, sweet imperfection. 

Having our first Christmas with a child made gift giving difficult this year, monetarily and just finding time to shop/craft. Gifts were simple. Simple was very well received. I love simple. I'm not saying we didn't put thought into the gifts we gave, just that my usual grip on perfection lightened. In fact we didn't even wrap Squeak's presents. They were a weird shape to start with, and we knew she'd get plenty of paper-ripping time at our family gatherings. No hours of handmade/hand painted/made-from-scratch. Even though I missed the crafting, because I'm a creative person, it can get to be a bit much when you're hand making twenty different gifts for twenty different people. This year I let Shuttefly and Etsy "make" a few gifts, and they turned out great! 

We spent Christmas Eve at Josh's Grandma's house (Nana Sue). She always puts out an awesome spread. Beautiful table, yummy food, and fun English traditions like crackers and figgy pudding. We had a blast watching Squeaks try to bounce an orange instead of open presents. She got lots of cute gifts including a handmade sock monkey and knit hat from her Aunt Kim and Uncle Ben, fun toys and dolls, and lots of cute cloths. The next morning, Squeaks stayed in her awesome Christmas jammies (a gift from my parents) as we did our little family Christmas at home. I got the best new robe ever. Josh loved his hand engraved money clip, and Squeaks wheeled around her learning walker (that's right, walker!) laughing as she went. We had scrambled eggs, and read from Luke about the Son of God born to a teenage mother and an adoptive father, born to die for our sins. We got dressed, packed the car with gifts, and headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house (Josh's parents). Josh's mom and sister loved their Reverent Creations necklaces, and Josh's dad was very pleased with his Game Stop gift card. Squeaks got toys and clothes galore, I got super comfy Toms, and Josh got a cash contribution to the crazy fancy Blu Ray player he's saving up for. After emerging from the swarm of kisses, hugs, and wrapping paper, Squeaks slept briefly on the way to Grammy and Grampy's house (my parents) where we were again engulfed in kisses, hugs, and gifts. My mom (from whom I inherit my craftiness) was very happy to open her new circle cutter and straight pins (her's were so old they barely went through fabric). My dad, always searching for the perfect cup of coffee, loved his selection of Raven's Brew. My mom made the most beautiful little doll for Squeaks, I got an awesome necklace from Reverent Creations to add to my collection, and Josh got the coolest pocket watch ever. After another brief nap on the way to Aunt Patty and Uncle Tommy's house (where we were joined by both Josh's and my parents, and the rest of our extended family), I lost sight of our daughter for an hour or so as she was sucked into a squealing, cuddling, cloud of happy relatives. She emerged giggling and smelling like a mixture of every perfume worn by the female members of our family, and even a little cologne from some strong baby hugging men. We ate, did our traditional white elephant gift exchange, laughed until our stomachs hurt, and watched some truly awesome home movies of my husband and his cousins as kids dancing and singing very enthusiastically. So cute it should have been illegal.

 A truly lovely day. Lovely doesn't do it justice really. Beautiful, blessed, happy, God filled...a day we've looked forward to for a long time. Our first Christmas as parents. Our daughter's first Christmas. Our daughter...that doesn't get old. Merry sins-paid-for, blessed-beyond-belief, grace-filled Christmas!

"For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

This movie is a tradition for us. My parents came over the weekend before Christmas and we all got our couch on.

Nana Sue's house for Christmas Eve. She always sets a beautiful table, complete with English crackers.

Vivey loved her gifts and we all loved spending time with family.
Can't. Stop. Laughing. Who knew a screen door could be so entertaining?!

Enjoying Christmas morning in her Christmas jammies.
Opening gifts at Grammy and Grampy's house. The bag of lemons in the kitchen was a huge hit too.
Love the doll my mom made her. She hand painted the face, and my dad made a little cradle.
She definitely doesn't get enough attention. Ha!
My favorite ladies.
Merry Christmas from our family to your's. God is good!

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