This Christmas...

...my heart is full. There are so many unrelated thoughts and feelings that keep tumbling around in my heart and mind.

I am so excited to be having a girl! But, more importantly- this baby has brought a feeling of completeness and understanding. I've never heard of a child, in modern times, more foretold than this baby. Numerous people, at numerous times, in numerous ways, have foretold the coming of this little girl to our family. After years of searching and looking and pondering, I feel the completeness that she will bring to our family. The feeling that someone is missing, is gone, and I can focus on the family that I have. I know that she is in no way like the Christ child, but I can't help wonder how Mary felt, knowing that the child she was carrying held such a destiny. Knowing that it was her job to teach Him everything she could to help Him complete His destiny. He came as a baby, to a mother, just like all of our children, and I am grateful to her, and all mothers, for helping their children complete their destiny.

I am grateful for our modern day Saviors, who give their hearts and souls and reach the forgotten ones. My brother in law, whom I love, was born to a drug addicted mother, as was each one of his 4 brothers, all with different fathers. I don't know why some of our children our brought home to warm, loving and guided homes and others are left at the mercy of others to save, but I am grateful for those who step up and out of their comfort zones to find the forgotten ones. One sweet couple, with one son of their own, adopted all 5 of those forgotten little boys. A couple weeks ago, one of those little boys, now a man, lost his battle in mortality, but I believe that he has another chance, on the other side, to overcome the difficulties of his childhood and find the happiness he deserves. I pray that his family finds the peace and comfort that they deserve while he is pursuing his next journey and bless them, for having the courage to try.

I am grateful for the health my family enjoys and the joy they bring to me. I know that there are many families who struggle to find a balance in this crazy life and live a joyous existence. I LOVE my life. I LOVE my family and I LOVE my husband. I am grateful for the peace and joy they bring me. I know that there are others, who love their families just as much, and struggle to maintain the easy and carefree lifestyle with which I live. One of those families is an old family friend. I grew up with the Fish Family. A family with 8 kids who all have red hair is not one easy to forget. The fact that they were a huge part of our life through the death of my mother and the remarriage of my father, has cemented them into the endeared list in my life. Tyler was my age. We went to each others' birthday parties. I worked with his wife, Elisabeth, and her sister while I was in college, long before they were married. Two great people, from two great families, who have been dealt a hard life blow. They have 5 beautiful children together and 2 of those children (and possibly a 3rd) have an extremely rare immune disease. Leaky SCID, it is called. Essentially it means they have no immune system and the immune system they do have attacks their healthy body. Every little sniffle and cough, that our bodies easily fight off, brings them to the edge of death. It affects 2 children a year in the US, and this family has 2. The children will undergo bone marrow transplants (one of the donors is one of their other children and the other is an anonymous out of state donor) and hopefully after 2 years of seclusion to heal and mend, they can live normal lives. In the meantime, Tyler has quit his job to help in the healing and care of his children. Another family who cherishes each other and just wants joy for their family.

This Christmas, I am grateful for random, unrelated things. (or are they?) I am grateful for my unborn child. I am grateful for the Modern Day Angels that surround us. I am grateful for the health my family has and the joy they bring me.

If you are too, then be a Modern Day Angel in the Fish's life. As the children are being treated, the bills are mounting. You can read more about them here and show your gratitude and love by dropping into your nearest Wells Fargo and donating to the Fish Children Donation Fund.


Merry Christmas and may your heart this year be as happy and full as mine.

Whaddya think?


Feel the Magic...

Do you remember last Christmas?

When you came home from school to find that your house had been transformed into a beautiful Christmas wonderland with the exception of the ornaments and the star, which your mother saved for you and your siblings to help decorate the tree with.

The next day, the house would smell so delicious and you would get to assemble the plates of goodies and help deliver them to your friends neighbors.

Gifts for your teachers would be wrapped and placed in your back pack, but you had to remember to pull them out and give them to your teacher!

You saved your dollars and pennies for weeks so that you could buy some gifts for your family and best friends. You would hide in your room and meticulously wrap them and deliver them or place them under the tree.

And speaking of the tree, that magic tree, where beautiful wrapped presents, for you, would magically appear overnight!

Christmas Eve was filled with stories and family togetherness and Christmas dinner was beautiful and Divine! Sometimes you'd have to peel the potatoes or set the table, but most of it just magically appeared.

The weeks of Christmas were filled with joy, laughter and excitement! It was all you could do to wait for it to come again next year!

And then, you grew up, and became the mother, and realized where the magic of Christmas actually came from. Your mother.

And now, that you are the mother, it dawns on you that she had spent hours and hours shopping for the perfect present (and turkey and decorations...) Then the presents were hid until they could be wrapped (and re-hid because she suspected you of snooping). Teacher gifts were bought and assembled after the children were long ago in bed. After she'd bought the decorations, she'd spent days transforming the house and simmering the potpourri on the stove. Hours were spent baking and baking and baking some more. The Christmas Eve program had been planned and gathered and organized. Christmas day was spent in the kitchen, cooking the perfect meal, while you had played in the other room with your new toys.

And all this (and more) was done in addition to the dinners, basketball practices, laundry and cleaning that came with the regular day to day.

And as you try and replicate the magic for your own family, somewhere along the way, you realize that Christmas has become less magical for you, and much more stressful.

Sound familiar?

I've been amazed lately at the number of family and friends who spend every December, completely stressed. Last night, I was telling my Sidekick this and he said,"Well, it doesn't have to be, they just need to start early." and my jaw just dropped as I stared at him.

Seriously? You started 2 days ago. And your job, your only job, is to buy my presents. PERIOD.

I decorated the house. I bought ALL the other presents. I ordered and addressed all 100 Christmas cards (and had the picture taken and gathered all the updated addresses). I assembled teachers' gifts and made Christmas goodies. Me. The mom.

(My gift better be awesome.)

To be fair, I'm not at all upset with my Sidekick (I'd rather do it all my way anyway) and I'm not stressed out.

My secret- my Christmas is done by Thanksgiving. (this year, I was a little behind, since I was laid up during my normal prep time, but I'm almost caught up). My Christmas card pics are taken in August. (the sky is brighter= better light, and you have more time.) My Christmas cards are ordered and addressed and stamped in early November. Teachers presents, friends gifts, and 90% of Christmas is bought and hidden (and sometimes wrapped) before I buy my November turkey.

I LOVE Christmas and I refuse to spend the month stressed. I'm not big on stressing anyway- what does it really solve- but I want a magic Christmas, for me too.

My December is filled with magic elves, wrapping presents and making goodies. The month is calendared out at the beginning so everything I want to enjoy gets done. The house smells good, the carols play, and every night is a Christmas movie (well- most nights).

My Christmas is still magical. Even as a mom.

And when I do get behind, or a ball gets dropped, I don't fret it. Every day is filled with enough laughter, enough song, enough magic, enough giving, that I figure people will remember what I have done and never notice what I missed.

You have 3 weeks left. Make sure you take some time this month to remember what Christmas is really about and and relish in the magic.

The stressing, can wait until next month.

Whaddya think?