Thursday, January 1, 2009


I sit here with the remnants of this Christmas still strewn around the living room enjoying the quiet and the last few days of the lights of the Christmas tree. I love this time of year! It seems to go by so fast. We had a wonderful holiday filled with a lot of family time and the blessing of good health by all. Having a 6 month old and what seems like a toddler can often be a mystesry of how gatherings will go. We couldn't have had happier girls! They seemed to thoroughly enjoy all the crazy hauling from one place to another. I think it helped that the weather was soo cold because it gave us adequate days of calm inbetween each party.

We started Christmas week with new Friends on Sunday night. It's always nice to make new friends and we've been truly blessed by many this year. Monday night was our missional community Christmas party which was fun to enjoy with a group of people we've come to care a lot for. Tuesday night was old friends which was a beautiful things since we had a tough day. It was so nice to not have to worry about impressing the Tanners. They've been around us awhile and just have blessed us with their friendship. Wednesday was Christmas Eve and thankfully the service didn't set a precedent for the evening. Andy and I found ourselves all dressed up with a loud baby and even louder Abby (happy noise) sitting in the nursery during the service. We could've skipped that, but then we'd have missed Belle singing Away in a Manger with the other kids. It was precious to say the least. Christmas Eve with the Hemmila's exceeded our expec
tations with a wonderful meal (always the case when Grandpa, Grandma & Uncle Ben are in the kitchen) and ended with hysterical giggles from an extremely happy Abby!

I have to admit that Christmas day is my favorite, and we got to have Uncle Ben share it with us. I love the time to see Belle's face when she opens gifts. She is such a super gift "getter" because she is so dramatic and legitimately excited with each gift. Abby actually opend a couple of gifts this year. She's not big on new things or us pushing her to do something, so gift opening is often lost on her. She gets gifts so Belle doesn't think she's the only child. Abby got new (old favorites) books since she's developed a new habit of eating her books. Belle got a "fancy Nancy" doll and MaryAlice was most enthused with the wrapping paper. Christmas day also means bruch with my family. Everyone brings something, but Ben & I do most of the cooking. I love being in the kitchen with my little brother. He and I cook as well as Andy and I do together. Mostly, it was a lot of fun!

Our last party came on Saturday. It's funny how we often joke about getting together with mom's family because of the chaos of so many people, but how disappointed I was when they were going to cancel it because no one would host it. We always have a good time visiting with the family. They all live fairly close, but we don't seem to see them more than once or twice a year. I was surprised at how disappointed I was to not have Abby with us. Because of her rising allergy problems we couldn't bring her, but she had a nice evening with Grandpa whom she adores. I guess since they see her so seldom I really want for them to know her even though I know that's not possible with our casual contact. Belle had enough fun for everyone as she spent hours outside up and down the sledding hill with my cousin, Nikki. She was such a good sport to entertain my girl for hours like that. After being away from my family for so long, I guess I appreciate these things more than most. MaryAlice was a surprising hit as she allowed herself to be passed around throughout the evening. We've endured her stranger anxiety since she was two months so we're ready to move past it now.
We finished our holiday festivities with a New Year's Eve party at our house with friends. We're not big pary people so the simple food and games approach is right up our alley. We've been blessed this year with something we haven't had in the past seven years. We have some family and friends who really know us. They're a part of our lives. They don't just stare at Abby, but they talk to her or play some music for her. I won't replicate her daddy's blog, but we've been touched by those who have taken the time to be a part of our world... thank you.


  1. Just being in the cities over the past couple of months and not being around as much I recognized how much I love the Christmas season also! It was so much fun to spend time w/ everyone and I guess when you see one aspect of your life change you are more apt to appreciate the parts of life you took for granted. I love you sis!

    Btw, I cooked last night and there was no one to help me in the kitchen...not nearly as fun! ;)

  2. Just got caught up after being gone for a few weeks. Thank you for your words on family. I hear you! I had the privilege of serving some family I haven't spent time with in years and didn't really know. It was refreshing and draining all at the same time :)
    Random note- Had a dream we got to see each other and hang out. Fun dream!


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