Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

(Mama and Baby Liam)

Christmas was a whirlwind. Johnson house Christmas Eve, Shaw house Christmas morning, Birch house Christmas afternoon, and we're finally home. The babes are tucked in their beds with full bellies, hopefully dreaming of goodness and all the hugs and kisses they've received today.

(Baby Finn and Baby Liam are the stars of Christmas Morning.)

I watched my children today. They didn't understand opening gifts or the "Merry Christmas" wishes that were sent their way. They definitely didn't understand all the time in the car. But they smiled and cooed and brightened the day of those who held them. Today was a long day for mama and daddy, but they were our little troopers. There were meltdowns, but who can blame a little 5 month old for only wanting a clean diaper and a bottle?

(Liam and Grandma S taking a nap.)

Old traditions were kept, some were not, and new traditions were created with our new additions. Christmas Eve was spent with Grandma and Grandpa J and Uncle Shane. We ate dinner, read Luke 2, had a wonderful FHE on personal gifts, which was followed by beautiful presents made by Lori for each of us (Brandon, Shane, and me).  Afterwards, we opened the rest of our presents and ate some cream puffs. When we left, the world outside was covered with a blanket of white snow, but the air was clear. It was a perfect Christmas Eve night.

(Joey made this monkey bread for breakfast. Even if it did light the oven on fire, it was still yummy!)

Christmas morning, Liam was up at 5:30 am and he wouldn't go back to sleep. So I picked him up out of his crib and snuggled him in our bed. He fell back to sleep, but I was awake. So, I carried myself into the family room and laid on the couch, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket. I reminisced on Christmas past and remembered that it was at 5:30 am exactly 1 year ago that I went into the bathroom to take a pregnancy test. I was so nervous. Then I saw the (+) and I started to cry. B, thinking I was crying because it was negative, rushed in to comfort me. When he opened the door I showed him the test. And he started to cry. It was a wonderful, surreal moment.

Remember this?

(Mom and Dad's Christmas gift to us. I miss my brother.)

While we fed babies, B and I opened gifts to each other and the little Santa gifts for the babes. Then we packed up and headed to the Shaw's for Christmas breakfast and presents. Whit had just come off a night shift at the hospital and the rest of us were a little tired, including the babes. So, we packed up and went home. We laid the twins down, got ready, got the twins up, changed them, and fed them. Unfortunately, we were about 2 hours late to the Birch Christmas party- such is our life right now. We ate more food, exchanged gifts, and played games.  And the babes were marvelous. 

(Grandma Birch all dressed up in Christmas cheer!)

I love Christmas. But, in all the hustle and bustle of trying to get gifts wrapped, cards sent, and food made...I found myself stressed and grumpy. In the midst of loading crying babies in carseats and driving through stormy weather and/or icy roads to attend another family party, getting uptight with each other became easier for B and I. At the height of all the commotion, B expressed to me "I'm not annoyed with you. I'm annoyed with Christmas." As we talked, I realized that, sometimes, in trying to keep with the traditions of the holiday, we can loose perspective on the meaning behind our celebration. It was so ironic to me that the last thing I wanted to do was be Christ-like on the day we celebrate His birth, His life, and the gifts He offers us freely. Such a disappointment for me when I clued in that I was losing the "reason for the season".  

(Two loves of my life: Baby Liam and Baby Finn)

Then my little brother sent his email from the MTC. The last few sentences in his letter read  "I hope you all have such a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Just remember to keep Christ always in your heart, there in lies true happiness...This truly has been the best Christmas I have ever had!"  My heart warmed as I remembered my days as a missionary and I recognized that I am the happiest when I am closest to my Savior. When I spend more time giving thanks for my blessings instead of wasting energy on worrying about what I don't have. When I serve others instead of having expectations of what others "should" do for me. When I quickly forgive instead of being offended and holding on to hurt feelings. When I look for the best, not the worst in people. When I hope and not fear. When the Savior is the center of my home, my family, and my life.

Merry Christmas to all! Prayers for peace, joy, and gladness as we celebrate our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He lives. I know He loves us. And I know, along with Elder Shaw, that true happiness comes from following Him.

1 comment:

  1. Liam looks so much like you in that first pic with the 2 of you together! Merry Christmas! I hope you and Brandon had your vacation from Christmas sometime this week.