Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Can't believe we're only two days away from Christmas! And I think I've finished up all my shopping too! Yes, I'm pretty sure that all the presents have been de-pricetagged, wrapped, and placed beneath the tree. This year I decided to go with a wrapping paper theme (inspired by my friend Faith.) I found this really cool craft paper at Hobby Lobby that has excerpts of "Jingle Bells" all over it. I was kind of surprised to find something I liked since all of their gift wrap was already marked down 50%. But then when I started looking for ribbon, I was somewhat out of luck. I couldn't find ANY cranberry or even gold ribbon to match. I think (hope) the red pre-made bows I bought will be close enough to at least complement my paper. Maybe this will encourage me to buy my wrapping supplies a bit earlier next year. Maybe.

We also had some Christmas pictures taken by our friend Michael who did an amazing job. I wasn't sure how successful we would be with a toddler...especially our toddler who is Miss BusyBody right now. But, Lily gave us about a 10 minute window to get some "acceptable" shots, and thankfully, that was all Michael needed. (In Lily's defense, it was dinnertime and her friend Evan was enticing her with his ability to walk freely around the house while she was confined to Momma's lap. ;) ) Here's a few that capture the experience:
(p.s. I'm loving black and white this year)

Lily and Evan waiting for the adults to get set up

Josh looking like The Godfather

Lily enjoying her last few moments of freedom

probably my favorite shot

Lily got herself in this pose

lots of wiggling and giggling (look closely in my right hand and you can see the chocolate that I was using to bribe Lily)

enough is enough

This last picture is a lighthearted portrayal of our reality...imperfection. Sometimes there's tears in this broken world. On Thursday night, our church staff got together for our annual Christmas party. It was a night filled with good food, good conversation, laughter, prayer, and worship. Josh and I both left with an overwhelming sense of praise and gratititude to be part of such a special group. One of the things that resonated with me Thursday night was when Matt acknowledged that we are all broken people. That even as we strive to know Christ and make Him known, we are still incomplete. And we don't have to pretend that we're something other than works in progress. It was so refreshing to hear our pastor tell the staff that they are not expected to have it all together or to pretend they're something they are not. We are free to pursue Christ in a fresh, authentic way, realizing that He loves us in our incompleteness.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.


The Rozell Family said...

Hey Nat
These pictures are beautiful! I too am a B&W girl! Thank you for sharing your heart from the staff Christmas Party. What an encouragement it is to read those words, that its ok to be incomplete and "works in progress". How refreshing, thank you. I am a severe Type A personality and daily struggle wtih everythign that comes with that! Your post has been an encouragement to me tonight!
Hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas.

Summy V & DawnyT said...

Nat I don't know which pic I like best! the Godfather one is classic, Lily posing herself is so cute, and the last cracks me up!! maybe a montage Christmas card?

p.s. fab shoes!

Melissa said...

Nat...You are beautiful!
love you

Meredith said...

Great pictures! Hope y'all have a very blessed Christmas!

Them Chandlers said...

So beautiful! Y'all look like the Kennedys or some other famous, affluent family :)

Love you guys!

Finally an Abrigg..... said...

you guys look like models! :) have fun singing at the christmas eve services tonight!!

lauren w said...

such a sweet family :) i will go paper and ribon shopping with you next year- i LOVE buying that stuff!

The Mays Family said...

These pictures are so cute, thanks for sharing them with us.

John and Natalee Warren said...

very fun pics! I am so bummed that we missed the Christmas party- sounds like a great time! We should get together soon!

thosetonnes said...

Your Christmas card was so cute! I loved reading on your blog about the pictures, it helps me to get a glimpse into why you chose them for your christmas card. We are imperfect and that is why we need Jesus. That makes your last picture be so sweet. Matt and I had a great time at the Christmas party as well. It was such a great night. We are so blessed to all be a part of this family at the VIllage.

Isaac, Kim and Landen said...

Such sweet pics, Nat! How is Noel Piper's book? It's on my "to read" list.

Isaac, Kim and Landen said...

Such sweet pics, Nat! How is Noel Piper's book? It's on my "to read" list.

Emily said...

Such cute pictures! By the way, that book, "Treasuring God in Our Traditions" is one of my favs. Hope you're enjoying it!

Dawntoya and Adam said...

Probably one of the best Christmas cards we got! I love Lily crying:) So fun! Happy New Year Nat.