December was wonderful and I’m grateful Luke and I made it a point to really slow down this Christmas and make room to savor, anticipate, and celebrate Christ’s birth. I fasted from social media as well. Luke was sick one week and I also got strep throat during the week of Christmas, but those aren’t the things I’ll remember about this sweet month. Also, because of Luke being sick the first week in December, most of our plans were cancelled and we turned in early every night and just enjoyed relaxing and restful evenings, which we had been praying for.
December started with a weekend filled with the Christmasville parade and birthday parties for Kaleb and Wyatt. Anna Stephens had an absolute blast dancing around at the parade and it was hilarious and a joy to watch her take it all in. Anna Stephens delighted in the Christmas decorations around our house, especially in her room. The Fischer Price Nativity was a big hit again this year. We loved reading Christmas books almost every night and talking about baby Jesus…quickly one of her baby dolls became “baby Jesus,” which really cracked us up. She enjoyed viewing different nativity set ups all Christmas long and would point out and say “Mary..Joseph…baby Jesus!” She was absolutely OBSESSED with the movie “The Star,” which I could recite by memory, I’m pretty sure. Her favorite songs during Christmas were “Hallelujah” by Carrie Underwood and John Legend, Ellie Holcomb’s “Sounding Joy,” Jingle Bells and Frosty the Snowman.
I was able to take off 11 straight days from work (the most consecutive days off since my maternity leave) and it was incredible to be home and soak up family time and time with Anna Stephens while she was out of school. Christmas week was SO COLD and between that and sickness, we weren’t able to get Anna Stephens’ main Christmas present (an outdoor playhouse) built, but I’m glad we chose to let that go and focus on having it done by her birthday in January. She was delighted by art supplies and other small gifts we got her (plus TOO much from grandparents!)
Some of my favorite things we did during Christmas this year were simple and low key, like…
Enjoying a family date night on an evening that Luke got off early (due to York parade)…Luke brought Anna Stephens flowers home and she was obsessed with them. For days, she would say “Dada…flowers…rose!” and then sniff her flowers in delight. That evening, we went to Charlotte to Sabor for dinner, to Southpark to walk around and make some returns (AS loved all of the Christmas displays) and then to Jenis for ice cream!
An afternoon spent with my precious friend, Laura Beth! I hadn’t seen her in too long and she came down from Charlotte for the afternoon to hang with Anna Stephens and I and just went to the grocery store with us and regular things. It was a gift!
Christmas with the Bolands for the 3rd year! We enjoyed pasta and opening presents at our house and then went to Uptown Charlotte to do Light the Knight together. It was SO BUSY and we sort of regretted going on a weekend because it turned into a late night, but we had fun together, the kids loved it and that is what mattered!
Luke and I went on a date to the Pump House one Saturday evening while my parents kept Anna Stephens for the night (she had the best time as they went to dinner and to see a live nativity/petting zoo in Lancaster). Luke bought me the most beautiful bouquet of flowers and we went all out on dinner, using 2 gift cards we had been meaning to use for 2 years (we both got drinks, an appetizer, entrees, and dessert and coffee). The food was incredible and we just really enjoyed the atmosphere and one another’s company!
The Live Nativity drive-thru at West End Baptist
More time to just focus and not feel as overwhelmed by simple tasks (like cooking, ha!) … I actually made home made potato soup twice in December which is big for me.
Driving around one evening looking at Christmas lights with AS (in pajamas)…we really loved parking and watching the house across from West End Baptist
Lindsey coming over and spending a morning with us before Christmas
Christmas Eve Service at Old Town and Denney’s afterwards with the Hamilton’s
A slow Christmas day, completely at home! We enjoyed breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls and opening presents. We mostly rested while Anna Stephens napped and then my parents and aunt and uncle came over for a pasta dinner.
Dinner with Kendall + Lindsey at my house after Christmas and just simply catching up with my lifelong friends who are so dear to me
Meeting my best friend from childhood, Lauren’s, sweet baby boy, Brooks, for the first time!
Day trip to Seneca with Andi + Boop to visit Papa and Maxine (Anna Stephens was an angel on a very long day!)
I’m so so grateful for the sweet month was December was – the perfect way to end 2022!