Monday, January 6, 2014

The New Year

So everyone is back at school and work today. Getting into the swing of things was not easy. The last 2 1/2 weeks have been absolutely glorious and I wasn't ready to give it up.  And the house is far too quiet this morning.

I had everyone home. Brian took work off for the kids' entire Christmas break. We had a few things planned, but mostly, we just got to be together. Here are a few highlights, in no particular order.

Brian's been reading to the kids again. The book is not new, he read it to the older kids a few years ago, but Megan was too little to be interested. Now she is. It is really her time with dad, but sometimes the other kids join in.
Both Brian and I had lots of time to read on our own FOR FUN this break. I enjoyed reading, but I was mostly grateful that Brian had time to really relax. The weeks leading up to Christmas were kind of crazy at work and the next few weeks will be too. I am grateful he had a little time to really not think about crazy for a while.

We had the most wonderful visit with my Grandma and Grandpa. For the last 10 or 11 years we have headed to their house on the morning of Christmas Eve. We talk and share excitement about the holiday. This year Liz played several songs on the flute and the others sang songs they learned at school. This visit is always a favorite because for me it kicks off our holiday celebrations. For a reason I can't really explain, this year will hold a special place in my heart. 
 Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year! Though I wasn't feeling 100%, this year did not disappoint. My Grandma joined us for our traditional dinner, I loved as we listened to Brian read the story of the first Christmas in the Bible and the kids PJ pants were really cute this year. We have some simple traditions that help us to remember Christ first on Christmas. I love how my kids have latched onto these tradition, not just the fun ones (which we love too.) I love the joy I see in them throughout all of our celebrations. They make it all that much more wonderful.
 The day after Christmas it worked out for us to stop in Salt Lake and see the lights on Temple Square. Being there with all of the beautiful lights makes me so happy. It just feels wonderful to be in such a beautiful and special place.

 We made a gingerbread house. I have wanted to for SO MANY years, and I have always wanted to shingle the roof with Necco candies (I love those things!). This year we finally did. We were very proud of it. Michael sang, "Shingle bell Rock" as we worked.
 We took the kids to the Sacred Gifts Exhibit at the Museum of Art. We took them to the Carl Bloch exhibit three years ago and we were excited to see more of his work, as well as paintings by Heinrich Hofman and Frans Schwartz. The paintings were stunning. My favorite one, a painting of Christ healing the blind man, appeared to glow. What a wonderful experience to share as a family! I will be going back on my own of of these days. It will be wonderful to see them all again.
Usually at this time I am working on wrapping up and ordering my scrapbook for the last year, but I am really on the ball and that is all done. I am looking forward to what this next year will bring!

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