A Simple Christmas

It was one of the best Christmases ever, if not The Best. It wasn’t that anything spectacular happened. It was a relatively low key month. I don’t go crazy with baking cookies and putting up Christmas décor or anything like that because…well, it could drive me crazy! If I know that baking 49 different kinds of cookies is going to end up with me in a bad mood, feeling stressed, and yelling at my girls, then why bother? It’s not like we need more sugar at this time of the year! The same goes for those other things. I considered an advent activity, but after thinking it over, it seemed like something that would end up being overwhelming, so I decided not to. Maybe next year.

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What made this Christmas good was not because of all the amazing, heart-warming things we did, but just a deep sense that life is good, that we are blessed. 2013 brought some difficult decisions and changes, but for some reason, I look back and call it the best year we’ve had in a long time.

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It’s just so good to enjoy the small things of life. After Lauren was stillborn over 4 years ago, it was really rough for awhile. There were months of deep grief. After Emily was born, I thought things would be better, and they were for awhile, but then came months and months of hormonal problems and depression and high stress which was likely exacerbated by Emily being a high maintenance baby and toddler. A lot of the next couple years are a rather dark blur. There were plenty of good times to be sure, but it just felt like I was living under a dark cloud.

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It’s so much better now. Supplements and changing my diet helped a lot, I think. I lost 30 pounds this year, and while I was hoping for more, I am glad for the positive benefits that have accompanied that. I haven’t been exercising faithfully for too long, and I know if I am going to make it through another grey winter, I am going to need to find a way to get motivated. I trained for and ran in a 5k this year, and while I am NOT a fast runner, I found running to be amazing for my mood. It’s hard to do in the winter, though. I don’t have a good place to run right now, but I do miss it. I hope I can get back to it in the spring and maybe make another 5k one of my goals… as well as crushing my previous time!!

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I didn’t set out to write about diet and exercise. Most of the time I don’t even want to think of it! I have gotten so lazy lately and my diet is far from being on track. I have to break my sugar habit again now, because of all the holiday treats! Anyway, my point is that overall, I feel so much better than I did for so long, mentally and physically. I can tell that it’s winter, though. I always feel worse in the winter.

So yes, our simple Christmas was perfect. We got together with Kendall’s family at a cabin in November, and we were at my brother’s place last weekend with my family minus the sister in Belize who we really missed. We opened our gifts on Christmas eve while enjoying the warm fireplace, and then had the ones of Kendall’s family that were around and not working for lunch on Christmas day, which netted a few more presents, much to the delight of our girls. We have one more family gathering next week and that’s it for the holidays.

I am looking forward to the year ahead. I haven’t made any official New Year’s resolutions, at least not yet, but I would like to make a few this year that I can work toward. I don’t make absolutes like “I won’t eat any junk food for a year” or “I will not lose my temper in 2014” but I want to make progress in areas like that. I find that when I make small goals to meet on the way to an ultimate goal (such as weight loss) I feel motivated when I reach the small goal to keep going toward the next one.

I will leave you with a few Christmas pictures.

I bought a gingerbread house kit because there was no way I was gonna make one from scratch. It actually tasted good, but I wasn’t fond of the candy included… or my gingerbread decorating skills. Oh wait! I could just say the girls put it together by themselves, and that’s why it’s not perfect. Yes, that’s the story I will go with! {cough, cough!} Oh well, they were happy!

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These girls are only 3 months apart. They had a lot of fun together. 100_8370

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Christmas eve… I found the camera out in the cold vehicle, so it didn’t cooperate very well for picture taking. Not that it ever cooperates that well. I would buy a new camera if I wasn’t so confused about what to buy for what I want. There are too many options!

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We got a Bible for Emily. She was beyond thrilled. That was easily her favorite gift. The second best was a knock-off Doc McStuffin-ish coloring book!100_8405

Christmas day they got almost more gifts than they did Christmas eve from us. It doesn’t take much to make them happy, so they were thrilled. I think they got way more than enough!!

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And that pretty much wraps up the year for us.  Only 5 more days left until a brand new year. I am looking forward to it!

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14 thoughts on “A Simple Christmas

  1. I think this is my first time visiting here and my heart is blessed by your testimony of how the Lord has brought you through the dark cloudy days. He is faithful and understands His children better than we know ourselves. Good for you in losing all the weight, that takes so much discipline and determination! You are wise in only biting off as much as you can chew (so to speak) with the cookies and advent things.
    Your girls are so cute. Merry Christmas!

  2. Loved hearing from you and I HEAR you on just not doing every single Christmas activity that comes along! Your girls are so, so darling and you look so good! I’m so glad to hear you are feeling healthier and just better all around.

  3. What a sweet post. And I love the pictures. You are all looking so beautiful. Well–I guess it would be more appropriate to say Kendall is handsome. Are you sure you need to lose more weight in 2014?? 🙂 We had a lovely Christmas too. I feel blessed with so many of the same things you mentioned, especially mood-wise. I’m curious about your sister in Belize. Is she down south at Punta Gorda?

    • Yes, she is in Punta Gorda. Her address says Caribbean Light and Truth, so I guess that’s the mission she’s at? She’s teaching school and loving it down there. You were in Belize, right? Is that where you were? Do you know people down there?

  4. Yes, we were in Belize, but in the northern part, around Orangewalk. I’m glad your sister likes it. You should go visit her someday. Belize is such a lovely country! We know people at Punta Gorda, but we only visited there once. I just read their last newsletter. I’ll have to look at the staff photo again to see if I can pick out your sister. 🙂

  5. I love that first pic of your girls. and I am in love with their gorgeous hair. 🙂
    and while I’m using the word love repeatedly… I love that your family pic is hanging in my kitchen.
    wowee wow wow about your weight loss. great job on that and your running. and happy hugs (because I’m a hugger) about the darkness lifting and a better year. here’s to more better in 2014! ❤

  6. thanks for your fun comment! you brightened my gloomy Monday and made me smile. here’s a hug back, even though i’m not a hugger 😉 hope your 2014 is just fabulous!

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