Friday, December 31, 2010

One Big Christmas Post

Typically my  life runs pretty slow and steady. My days are predictable and simple, but Christmas came and suddenly I was running at 90miles per hour. It makes me wonder how I handled crazy busy days in college. I would literally being running around from 7am to 9pm and I am still amazed at how much I could accomplish. Glad those days are over. Both of our families came down for Christmas this year. Mine came from the 24th-26th and Andy's were here from the 26th-29th. My best friend, Heather also came for a couple days while Andy's family was in town. Family is great, but our house is small and that many people confined to a living room is a little much.
Yesterday, everybody was finally gone and I literally spent the whole day in my PJ's. No shower and no make-up= perfection in my book.

I was excited to see my family, but was dreading Christmas itself. Thankfully it resembled something of Christmas' past. I felt like I knew parts of it, but then there moments where I was left wanting. We didn't do any of our normal Christmas traditions on the night of Christmas Eve.... this was fine with me as I knew it would pull a little too hard on my heartstrings.

Happy Birthday Emileigh!

Addi's sweet little Christmas outfit

 Then Heather arrived in town for a day and we chilled. I love that our lives have changed and we are different people then who we once were, but we can still come together and carry on a conversations like we never missed a beat. That is how you know that you will be friends forever.
Ooh La La for Heather's Christmas gift

BFF for like 13years
Andy's parents arrived with another load of presents

So, Christmas is over and I am honestly glad. It was a good time to reflect and ponder, but was overshadowed by the expectation of disappointment. My favorite moment was at the Christmas Eve service. As everybody held their lit candle up in the air, singing Silent Night, I couldn't help but tear up. I felt the magnitude of that first Christmas. I felt like I was a shepherd starring into the night as angles filled the sky. That was the feeling that I was praying for.... I wanted to feel some sort of emotion this holiday season. I am thankful that it was a moment that drew me closer to God and not some silly manufactured "Santa Clause is coming" type of feeling. I do pray for more Christmas' like that.... THAT is where I pray my children get their excitement from. CHRIST.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'll Be Blue Without You!

I feel like I have been blindly reaching out my hand, trying to grasp something familiar. Anything, anything will do. I just need something to tide me over from a Christmas past. I feel like I am constantly waiting for a moment or a feeling to come creeping up that gives me some sort of a spark of spirit. Nothing is there and it makes my heart so sad. I can only half-heartedly listen to Christmas music and the presents have sorta been thrown under the tree. Addi is too young to really do any traditions or feel any excitement for this holiday season. I love Christmas, I always have... but this year it just isn't there. Maybe if 2ft of snow was dumped on my front yard and I was warm and snug in my house, but the truth is everything about this year is different. So, I have decided that I am going to stop trying to manufacture memories and I am just going to take whatever I can get..... that is all I can do. Maybe next year will be better. I guess it isn't practical to have a perfect Christmas every year. I will take my share of a Scrooge like Christmas and hope for merrier times.

But just know... I'll have a blue Christmas without you!

Yes, It's Cliche, but It Is True!

Addi's nativity set which she fondly calls her "babies". Melts my heart!
Do you hear this song? We all know it, but it hit me hard a couple of days ago. I was extremely frustrated at God ... for numerous reasons. I had bawled my eyes out at least ten times by 1:00 in the afternoon and was just completely spent. I needed to just vent, so I hoped on here to spill it all out, not intending to post it at all. Well, I opened my blog last week to see it starring at me in the face..... ummm ok. I have no idea how it made its way onto my blog page, but there it sat. So, if you happened to catch it, then I guess you know why a part of why I was angry.
Back to the point.... my emotions were hanging by a very thin thread and I knew I was going to lose it. I had some things to do around the house and I work better if  I have music playing. So, Joshy boy went into the cd player and Silent Night filled every corner of my living room and kitchen. I actually listened, not just heard, what the words were saying. It hit me smack dab in the middle of my heart. I felt like God was saying, "Elizabeth, just be silent....stop for a moment and let me speak to your heart". The world was just as crazy on that silent night as it is now. Do you suppose that the night really started out silent? I am sure Mary was stressed OUT as she entered Bethlehem, knowing full well that this baby was coming. There was nowhere...NOWHERE for them to stay. If she was anything like me, I am sure she was saying, "Joseph, I TOLD you we should have left earlier". They were turned away door after door after door. My blood pressure rises just thinking about it. Yet, once Jesus finally entered the world, she just basked in his holiness. Yes, that is exactly what I needed and still need to do.

So, I cried yet again as I listened to the song. My small little world of problems is really nothing in the grand scheme of things. God is so much bigger and I am so thankful that we, as Christians, can step back and appreciate silent and holy nights.... at least in our own heats. So, I am sorry for being so cliche on this post. I am not trying to be all "Chrismassy" in a CChristian type of way. I am being real. God can even use Christmas cliches to touch our heart and I truly pray that everybody can experience him somehow this Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Addileigh Grace!

My baby is ONE. ONE! How is that even possible? I had no idea, that first time I held my baby girl, just how much she would change my life... how much my heart would become so incredibly intertwined with hers. I had NO idea how much I could love a person so is never ending, everlasting..striving to be a selfless kind of love. Who knew that that little baby could make you so frustrated and so happy all in the same moment. My heart overflows with thankfulness for God's greatest gift. (I could go on and on, but my computer is typing one letter per every 5sec).

For Addi's first b-day, we decided to go with The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme. I thought it was a great illustration for Addi's first year. She started out as a tiny little "egg" (for the sake of the comparison) and grew into such a beautiful butterfly.

    Happy 1st Birthday Addileigh Grace Walters!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Raw Emotions

Christmas and I are having a little trouble getting along this year. I am walking the fine line of all the pomp and pageantry of Christmas and wishing I could just skip Christmas all together. Over the past couple months,I have been trying to bury all the pain of this year deep down. Shoving it way in the tiny corner of my heart, pretending as best I could that it wasn't there. The problem with that is that it usually comes boiling up like a geyser and shoots way higher into your soul than you ever expected. This whole Christmas season, I could feel it rising inside me and last night it finally gained enough strength to burst up and boil over the edges of my heart....leaving me raw and scard. I let myself dwell on everything, all the things I have been avoiding. Memories of perfect Christmases past and the realization that I will NEVER experience them again. They are lost with so many other precious things that I held dear and believed in. I felt anger and sadness... and lost hope.

I scrounged through it all and when I got to the bottom of the pile there was only one thing left that I knew would never change. The one thing about my Christmas that will remain "normal"... Jesus. He never left or  changed through all the chaos of my life. He is so much more precious to me this Christmas then he has ever been before. I am holding his hand so tightly, squeezing every ounce of strength that I possibly can. The sad thing is that it took me losing so much for me to experience Christmas the way it really should be... focusing on the Savior who gave up EVERYTHING so that I could truly live. I can't help but feel the weight of that! He went through way more pain and discomfort then I am experiencing.... and I am not even talking about his death. His coming to earth alone would have been like hitting a shock wave. The only tangible thing I can compare it to is going on vacation in paradise and getting a call that your child is in prison facing the death sentence. So, you tear yourself away, without a thought, and rush to that jail where you know your child is sitting. You walk into the cold prison, knowing full well what you are about to do. They agree to let you take your child's place. You spend thirty years walking those cell floors, knowing in the end you will still face the death sentence. ............. a love like no other. Gratitude. 
Oh, Lord.... I love you! My soul overflows.....

So, I am moving on and getting refocused. I felt the weight of my pain, but the time has come to move in a different direction. I will allow myself to experience Christmas in a new way... and I be that much better for it. I am not going to allow the chains of memories and wishes hold me down. "The time has come the walrus said...." Yes, the time has come. JOY TO THE WORLD!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I'll be home for christmas

Ok, scroll down and pause the music. This version of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Josh Groban
ALWAYS makes me cry. You need to get through all the chit chatty stuff at the beginning of the video, but it is worth it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

All Things Cute

Meet sweet little Avery Elizabeth Owen
.... all 5lb of her.

Thank You Lee and Shannon for letting me
take pictures of your baby girl!
July in Christmas... err. wait.. I think that is "Christmas in July"
Either way, it has been rather warm down here in Houston.. even for Houston.
It is normal to have weather in the 50's and 60's not 70's and 80's.
Makes catching the Christmas spirit next to impossible, but it does make one little girl happy
to be able to play in the back yard.

I figured that little kids all over the nation will be stuck inside all winter, looking out frosted windows wishing for warmer days. So, I let Addi go wild. She breathed in fresh warm air, crunched leaves between her fingers, and bathed in the sun. It was good. I decided when I was home over Thanksgiving that I was really ok living without the cold. Those heavy coats weighed me down. Putting Addi in coats AND gloves AND a hat is something  I am perfectly fine living without. Yes, I would take some cold weather and even some snow on Christmas day (or even the week before), but for the rest of the winter, 60 degrees is good with me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It started in low. Then it started to grow....

It's here! Do you feel it?........

Christmas! Magic...
You know the feeling.        It is like when your
heart skips a beat and your breath catches in your chest. You begin to feel rising when the first
Christmas song is played... "It's Beginning
to look a lot like Christmas". The feeling grows and grows and grows inside of you until you think you might burst!
..... it's Christmas!

 I was much more acquainted with that feeling when I was younger. My sister and I would spend HOURS lost under the tree. Arranging and rearranging each package that awaited us. Touching each ornament that hung delicately from the evergreen. Sadly, it seems, age and life steal some of that magic away. The innocence of youth is snatched from your hands all to soon, way before you are ready to let it go....Yet, the time has come for me to pass it on. To rekindle my lost magic in the heart of a little girl who has a whole world of innocence and make believe just waiting for her to discover.... and then... just maybe.. I will catch a piece of the Christmas' that I once knew.