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.