Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Week 2013




It seems every Christmas someone gets The Winning Gift, which is something that the gift giver has either put a lot of time, thought or money into. This is the gift you remember the year by. For example, over lunch yesterday we recalled the year Papaw gave Memaw a diamond bracelet he'd attached to a vacuum cleaner. We'd all thought it was strange that he'd given his beloved a vacuum - so unlike him! And then we saw the bling. One year my mom gave me a huge tub of my old baby clothes, which reduced me to tears. This year Curtis and I agreed that we would be very low-key in our gifts to each other. He asked for some tools and a record, which I delivered. I asked for nothing because I have been funky as of late. And wouldn't you know...the winning gift came to me! I, dear reader, am typing on said gift. My new MacBook came with a letter from my husband encouraging me to keep writing - that he had missed my words and was glad to be reading them again. That Curtis Jones is a good man. 

I've never blogged very much about Christmas because we're immediately on the road and by the time we get home I'm sort of over it. This year we're home and here I am, typing in my bed while Annabeth sings on her new Sofia the First microphone, Jackson watches TV, and Curtis makes a hospital visit.

The days leading up to Christmas were memorable. Annabeth and I joined some friends and their girls for The Nutcracker Ballet at The Wortham. I had not seen this in many, many years and it was beautiful. They had a gingerbread house and a giant tree in the lobby to take pictures with. 









Afterward we went to Lakewood Church to hear our friend Christine Caine preach at the Saturday night service. It was an awesome day from beginning to end. Here is my mom covered in kiddos, which is her favorite thing. 



The night before Christmas Eve, we took our Australian friends to see Santa's Wonderland. The hayride ends with these scenes.







This picture shows you how COLD it was. 




On Christmas Eve we joined our dear friends, the Merrells, for the Second Annual Reindeer Games. The games involved eggs, shaving cream, flour, and water. In Texas you can get away with such messy outdoor shenanigans in December. Barely. The big kids made this event very, very fun for the little kids. 




I took great joy in Jackson and Annabeth's matching PJ's before they went to bed.


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We got up at 7 AM and read the Christmas story and opened our presents. I made pancakes to hold us over for our late lunch with my parents.





Their spots were marked by their mini Christmas trees.





We gave Beckham this chew and he immediately started whining and pacing back and forth. He was desperate to take it outside. Bless his heart.




This is THE funnest kid to give anything to. His joy is amazing. 




Sis had a lot of flair all day. 





We enjoyed our second Christmas at my parents' new house. I wonder how long I will call it the new house? My mom made a fantastic lunch and we had a great time with my sister and our grandparents.









Here's my honey getting some new contraption for the garage. He is my Christmas Hero. I did not feel up to a lot of shopping this year and he joyfully faced the hordes to make everything normal and great for our family.



I thought a lot about the little baby who I hoped would be with us on Christmas Day. I've never had a newborn at Christmas and thought it would be very special. It was hard not to have him here. I have no idea who he lives with now or how he spent his day. I dreamed about him and his sweet mom last night. They are never far from my thoughts.

I hope you and your people had a very Merry Christmas. Now, onto the New Year.

27 comments:

Arielle said...

Looks like such a wonderful Christmas! & girl I LOVE my Mac!

Big Mama said...

I'm with Curtis, I'm glad to have your words again! And that pic of you and Jackson on the hayride is stunning!

Fran said...

I'm so glad you are writing again....your heart and words are always beautiful and encouraging! I hope and pray 2014 is over the top wonderful for you. Much love...

Fran

Nae said...

I know you don't know me but I am soooo glad you are writing again. Your blog has brought me to tears, joy and laughter. Thank you for sharing your heart. I pray 2014 is a year of great joy for you and your family

Maryellen said...

I missed your posts - glad your hubby encouraged you to keep pressing on.
Beautiful photos of the children.
My goodness in some of those photos of Annabeth I can see your Mom's face.
Adorable.

This Is The Day said...

Great pictures! Annabeth looks so grown up in the first pj picture! I'm so glad your husband is encouraging you to keep writing because you have a gift. You have often made me laugh while at the same time causing me to ponder a deeper meaning. So thanks!

Sincerely Anna said...

What a wonderful gift! Glad you're continuing to write. I started my blog many years ago thinking it was for the waiting process of our adoption, but when we went through a loss, God had other plans to use it as a process to grieve and heal. I remember how clouded my thoughts were back then, but the Lord graciously used my own words sometimes to give me understanding. I look forward to reading as you continue to blog. Merry Christmas!

Tara said...

Amanda, thanks for sharing your words with us! I'm glad that you are writing too! Congrats on your new MacBook :) My hubby surprised me with one two years ago and I love it still! Sounds like you all had a wonderful Christmas. Still praying for you!

Holly said...

Yes! Do keep on writing ...oh please. I sent you an email. Not sure if you still have that address. Just told you what I often do. The Lord brings you to mind pretty often and I pray for you. Much love, Holly

Holly said...

This may be a duplicate. Typing on my phone...not so well.

Oh yes! Keep on writing, oh please!

Then I added that I sent you an email. I'm not sure that is still your address, but I wanted you to know that the Lord often beings you to mind to pray. That in and of itself is a miracle. He brings you to my weak, distracted and pitiful brain. And I pray for you, sweet Amanda. He is so very in love with you that He wants you to walk in the power of undergirded prayer. I'd say that is pretty amazing . He really is so very good.

Love and prayers from Colorado

JeannieofVirginia said...

Welcome back - I have missed, missed, missed your blog. I am not a writer so as I would read your blogs about the challenges of being a young mother, and just living life, I would say “Yes!, that is exactly how I felt, or “Oh I remember times like that” Thanks for writing about what I have felt, experienced, loved, and lose but was never able to put the experience into words. You are a total blessing to me!

Michele said...

My sweet man took the award for best gift this year in our home. We lost everything over a 4 year period due to the economy. E.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Including 2 miscarriages and my wedding rings were stolen. It will be 4 years next month that my rings were taken from me. Our family got nailed with the flu this month. Who knew tamiflu was so very expensive? For a family of 6, it blew our budget. I would not dare even whisper my wish of a wedding band. We agreed we would only do stockings for each other this year. Christmas morning I began to open mine. I pulled out a real tree camo fleece coat. Ummmm what? Next the matching camo gloves. Seriously? I smiled so that he and the kids would think I was elated over camo. As I was putting on the gloves I saw it! On the left glove, ring finger. Diamonds! Instant tears. Restoration flooded my soul. Only God. This girl got camp and diamonds! Hahahaha!

As for you sweet Amanda...Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Behold, I am doing a new thing!

Michele said...

My sweet man took the award for best gift this year in our home. We lost everything over a 4 year period due to the economy. E.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Including 2 miscarriages and my wedding rings were stolen. It will be 4 years next month that my rings were taken from me. Our family got nailed with the flu this month. Who knew tamiflu was so very expensive? For a family of 6, it blew our budget. I would not dare even whisper my wish of a wedding band. We agreed we would only do stockings for each other this year. Christmas morning I began to open mine. I pulled out a real tree camo fleece coat. Ummmm what? Next the matching camo gloves. Seriously? I smiled so that he and the kids would think I was elated over camo. As I was putting on the gloves I saw it! On the left glove, ring finger. Diamonds! Instant tears. Restoration flooded my soul. Only God. This girl got camp and diamonds! Hahahaha!

As for you sweet Amanda...Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Behold, I am doing a new thing!

RPGilliam said...

I'm so happy to see you blogging again! This was the first blog I ever read and it is still my favorite. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

RPGilliam said...

P.S. After my daughter was born, I thought I was going bald, but after I read your explanation of baby bangs, I felt so much better. It was a public service. Lol!

Kendra said...

Glad 'the memorable gift' fell to you this year - indeed, CJ is a good (and wise!) man. I too have loved reading your words again :)

Dionna Sanchez said...

Annabeth is looking more and more like you.
I'm glad you had such a special Christmas.

Amber Stewart said...

I'm so sorry you are in a funk right now. I know how that is. I was in a funk for a really long time after Dave got laid off and we had to move so far away from family. Even though I know what it's like to be in a funk, I have no idea how it feels to miss out on adopting a baby I already loved. It must be excruciatingly painful. I will be praying for you.

You are an amazing person and an inspiration to so many people. Without you realizing it, you helped inspire me to get out of my funk 4 years ago. Blessings to you and your family.

Casey Springer said...

Your kiddo's have gotten so big! I am also glad to read your blog again and hope that you find joy in the words. Hugs to you as you find your way through this season. We love your family!

Jeannie said...

Yes, I join the throngs of those so glad you decided to write again! I am both amused and inspired by what you write here. I love all the photos of your Christmas celebrations. Little Annabeth is your clone, but I am sure you already know that! Your kiddos are so precious! I will continue to pray for you and look with anticipation for the redemption that will eventually come from your pain this last year.

Sabrina Mantei said...

Hi Amanda,

I am so glad you are writing again. My heart aches for you. You are in my prayers. Hurray to your wonderful husband. What a thought gift! Merry Christmas and may 2014 be your best year yet.

Sabrina

Mary Gegare said...

Dear Amanda,
I'm so glad that you and your family had such a wonderful Christmas. I'm so pleased your blogging again. You have such a wonderful way of looking at the world and the Savior you've invited into your heart. Every time you write I feel like you are allowing us to stand beside you and peer through the window of the beautiful heart God has placed within you and we can just sit back and enjoy the view of all the marvelous things He is sewing into your heart and life. I pray that God will continue to comfort you as you've had to let go of a very precious boy. I will pray for him too...Lord bless you.

Jennifer-Mommy Life After Ph.D. said...

Love all of the pics, beautiful post!
~Jennifer
www.mommylifeafterphd.com

Julie said...

So glad you have started blogging again. Praying for strength and peace for your family.

Maggie said...

Glad to hear your voice again! Keep writing Sister!

aura said...

Yay for great Christmas gifts and double Yay for you blogging again!!!
The Lord has already set aside who is meant to be part of your loving family...waiting is always the hard part. Don't lose heart...He who promised is faithful!!!
Remember one year you recommended a few books...Radical, Crazy Love and Interrupted...well I took your recommendations, read them back then and my life was wrecked in an awesome way!! Thank you!!! Heard these quirky sayings on the local Christian radio station today...but they made me smile hope they do the same for you...
too blessed to be stressed
too anointed to be disappointed
too grateful to be hateful
Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

Emily [Louisiana Bride] said...

So glad y'all had a great Christmas!