A Christmas to Remember
This year we had the best Christmas break together as a family. It was full of joy and blessings. Most of all it was a reminder, yet again, to how God has worked in our families lives. I find myself, so many times, caught up in the everyday chaos of running here, there and everywhere. It is hard sometimes to catch my breath. There are many days I feel so overwhelmed by all that I have to do and find myself shouting at everyone around me. I can truly be one of the most ungrateful people in the world.
I have been very blessed with the job I have. This job has enabled me to always put my family first. When my children need me, I can make arrangements to switch around my schedule and be there for them. I have never missed a concert, a play, a party etc and that is all because of the flexibility with my job. A few years ago I took a pretty decent pay cut to shorten my hours and to have 2 weeks off at Christmas. I needed to make my very large family my first priority. I was able to do it with the blessing of my co-workers and owners. There are not many places that are willing to do this for their employees and understand the true meaning of family. At Christmas I am always very aware of how blessed I am with the job that I have. I have been able to be a "stay at home" mom while I have worked. How many people can say that?
This break has allowed me to soak in the holiday moments that will not last forever. As my oldest son begins his rock star journey, I am so aware that my moments with him are going to be fewer and far between. It breaks my heart more than I can explain, but it has also given me pause to breathe in these last few holidays together with a much different perspective on what really matters.
This year was one of the very best Christmas' we have shared in a long time. We did not plan alot of activities and I made a VERY conscious effort to put my Martha Stewart up on the shelf to gather dust. We stayed in our jammies for 2 weeks and I did my very best to let the mess go. We laughed, played games, relaxed and really enjoyed each others company. It was so very needed for our family. Here are some of my favorite moments I wanted to share with you....
My husband surprised us with our very first outdoor light display. We came home from our trip to Michigan and I heard my little boys say, "why is daddy on the roof?" It brought tears to my eyes and made me feel so much love for the man I married. Working 12 hour days and spending every waking moment making this little Christmas miracle happen for us... words can not describe my pride and love for him!
Decorating our tree is a very big tradition for us. Every year since she was 2 years old, Emma has put our angel on our tree. Shawn has always lifted her up and even though she is our 14 year old freshman, she will always be her daddy's first baby girl. Again, this is one of those moments that catch me in my chest and are reminders that our time with our children is only borrowed. Soak in every single moment.
As most of you know we are expecting our 6th baby! It was definitely a happy surprise for us and again, this Christmas, I found myself reflecting on the gift of life we were given. It is a true miracle that God has given us 6 healthy, happy kids to love and nurture. We are truly undeserving and humbled by this. We pray all of the time that we will be worthy of this gift and do the very best job we can do. There is no doubt that our newest one will be loved so much by all of her family, near and far.
The week of Christmas we were scheduled to do our ultrasound. This time around, only Shawn and I went. We had decided that we would share this experience and we would also not know the sex until we revealed it to all of our family and friends.
The kids and I decorated a big box and had a poll posted on facebook. Were you #TeamBlue or #Team Blue? We marked the box with every name that commented. We then took a special ultrasound with the gender to Party City to have them secretly fill the box with the appropriate colored balloons. We came home and were surrounded by family and some of our awesome neighbors as we opened the box and shared the news...
It's a ..... GIRL!!!!
Lucy Kate Reynolds is due on May 2nd and she will be surrounded by all of her family that already love her more than words! We never really cared either way if it was a boy or girl but I would be lying if we didn't catch lots of whoops and hollers! Isn't she the absolute cutest???
It has truly been the very best way to wrap up a very interesting 2015. This year has been filled with highs, lows and awesome surprise blessings. I can't wait to see what 2016 will bring us and how my family will continue to grow and learn. Merry Christmas from our crazy family to yours!