Merry Merry Merry Christmas!

^ best attempt at a family of 4 smiling. 3/4 is as good as it got this year!!

^ best attempt at a family of 4 smiling. 3/4 is as good as it got this year!!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!!!

I hope your day is full of fun and SURPRISES and celebration and laughter and good food and pjs all day and maybe a mimosa and a nap and a fire in the fireplace... basically all the good things, because it's CHRISTMAS.

*Cue the cinnamon rolls (this year, courtesy of Liz McAfee) and hotttttttt coffee :)

I love Christmas so much, because it's now my responsibility (and honor and pleasure and all that good stuff), to create a positive, exciting glorious association to this holiday for my own family. My little boys will have their mindset shaped about Christmas based on what me and Stevie do (and don't do, too!) and I love that we get to author such a special chapter in our children's stories and memories. As a parent, being able to give Christmas to my kids is absolutely, incredibly AMAZING and I am seriously so thankful for the gift it is, just to have my own little family here to celebrate with. I don't take it for granted, it's such a treasure.

On days like today, when I am overjoyed and basking in the wonder and love, I can't help but have my thoughts trail to those who might not be experiencing the same overwhelm of joy that I am. Those who are struggling with their family relationships, or trying to create their own families. Those who are ill or taking care of someone dear to them as they walk through an illness. Those who aren't able to give their kids a Christmas or those who can't be home with their kids for Christmas.

In moments when I am struck with a sinking feeling of sadness for others' situations, I say prayers, whether I have a connection to someone walking through one of those particular circumstance of not. I ask God to keep my eyes open to how I can help and give and extend his gifts to others. We are SO BLESSED to live in this wonderful nation, to be able to give our families gifts, to be able to celebrate JESUS without hiding out in a basement somewhere to do so. Thanksgiving ushers in the season of gratitude and it just continues journeying in my heart in such a way that by the time Christmas rolls around, I am honestly about to explode into cheesy songs of gratefulness at the drop of a hat. In fact, I've been weepy all week about what a joy it is to be a mom at Christmas. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Okay, I'm literally tearing up again just typing this. It might actually be hormones now that I think about it.

CHRISTMAS. JESUS. MY BABIES. ahhh nothing makes me happier.

I hope you are having the best day, that wonder mines a little deeper into your heart on this special day, and that miracles happen before your eyes. I pray that you get a phone call from a family member you didn't expect to hear from. I pray that your car starts when you didn't think it would. I pray that you are reconnected to feelings of love and trust in relationships that you thought were dwindling and on their way out the door.

Christmas isn't just magical, it's miraculous.

Make room in your heart for miracles today, friends! My love to you all. Merry, merry merry Christmas! xx

Photos by Leidy Beltran.