Friday, January 5, 2018
Since church was cancelled on Christmas Eve, I made my family dress up in their Christmas outfits for New Years Eve. I sure do love this little family of mine and I love dressing up all "matchy-matchy." It is just one small way I like to connect us together. I love taking pictures and documenting these different stages. My kids are changing and growing so fast and I love looking back and seeing how we grow, both together and as individuals. I feel so blessed to have these three special spirits and one hunky husband to call mine for time and eternity!!
Doing family history work is something that has been nagging at my mind for years. More so when we lived in Okinawa and we didn't have a temple anywhere close. I realized that family history work and work that happens in the temple are two halves of a whole. I was only receiving 1/2 a blessing by only doing temple work for preassigned temple names. However, I again put off the work and my poor ancestors on the other side of the veil continued to wait. Well now is the time. I'm living with my mom who knows a lot of my ancestors stories and we have a lot of the work done...just not inputted. Not to mention, before my grandmother died, she made my mom promise that we would baptize her. My mom and I knew that everyone was coming home for Christmas and now was the time to prepare these names for baptism. Well low and behold we were able to prepare my grandma's name, her parents names, and her parents-parents names. That's three generations of family members that have been waiting years and years for their work to be done. What a joyous occasion for our family to be able to do together. We printed off the names, dropped our kids off with a sitter, and headed to the temple. The sun was shinning and the spirit was strong. I wanted to arrive early to take a few pictures and lucky for us there was a young man headed into the temple that said he would love to take a picture for us. Turns out he was there for his own wedding and got there a few minutes early. My dad in his infinite wisdom and wittiness, after learning it was this young mans wedding day quickly replied, "let us know if we can take any pictures for you." Luckily the young man had a sense a humor...and hopefully he has an understanding and flexible bride.
I always love seeing family come into town. To catch up on everyone's happenings and then reacquaint ourselves since we all saw each other last. With our kids being so little I feel like each time we get together...everyone is strangers to them. Dominik and Brooklyn are starting to be old enough to pull from past experiences, but everyone else need a few days of getting to know everyone before they start to feel comfortable. Grandma and Grandpa Finlayson, Uncle Chase, Uncle Curtis, Aunt Courtney, Dean and Quinn were all the guests of honor for the Christmas season and we all could not be more excited. We had so much planned...most of which deserved its very own blog post...however, it was the day to day monotony that was so much fun that it deserved its very own post. I absolutely love my family. They bring me so much joy and I want to remember the big things we do together as well as the little things. Cooking in the kitchen, taking family pictures in the freezing cold, Dean spreading spoonfuls of peanut butter onto a whole apple...making a complete mess...but loving every bite, Parker and Dean coloring on each others faces, playing Nintendo Switch and wasting hours of time...but laughing...and talking about life all the while, and going to the escape room where I felt under qualified and overwhelmed...but still having fun surrounded by family.
For Jana's birthday last year I had to bail last minute due to sick kids and a lack of a car; so this year I was going to go above and beyond to let Jana know how special she is to me. She is after all, the one who set me up with my forever companion...I pretty much owe everything I have to her. I have also always wanted to put on a murder mystery dinner so this was all setting up to be a win-win situation. I messaged Andy with the idea beforehand and he LOVED the idea so we were moving forward with plans. I went onto Etsy and found a pre-scripted murder mystery and thought that it was the best way to go since I had never technically been to one before. The dinner was a movie premier and was set in the 50's in Hollywood. I was the hostess, but the dinner itself was at Andy's sisters house in Boring so that made things a little difficult, but not impossible. TJ was coming straight from work but luckily for me, my mom and dad watched the kids and Chase and Courtney came with me to help set up. The dinner itself was a delicious compilation of appetizers brought by everyone in attendance. Everyone was sent their parts with a brief summary of who they were (things they could share) and their objectives during the first half of the game (things they couldn't share). The success of the game depended solely on the acting of the participants so I was pretty careful when assigning parts. Brandi and Tyson were supposed to come but poor Kylie had a double ear infection and double pink eye the day of the party. Courtney and Chase stepped in last minute though and did great; so while I really missed Tyson and Brandi... I was happy that the part was filled and I still had someone to hang out with at the party.
As a kid I would lay awake on Christmas Eve in complete and total jubilation. I was too excited to sleep, and too tired to get up and watch for Santa's arrival. I loved the magical butterflies that would swarm as I waited for the sun to rise and my parents to give us the go ahead and open up presents. Such a special holiday. As I grew older the magic slowly dissipated, and while I still enjoyed the holiday it evolved into more of a special time to spend with family. Now that I have kids the holiday has regained the magic...but in a completely different way. The magic is through the eyes of my children. Christmas is more magical now then I ever thought possible. I can't even explain the joy I feel as I listen to my children speculate and talk about Christmas. They are so absorbed in the idea of Christmas and the fact that we celebrate Jesus' birth as well as Santa and presents and even giving. They love shopping for others and they love (definitely more) talking about what they want from Santa. They take every chance they get to write letters to Santa and I swear they ask for something different every. single. time. Drives a mama crazy! Needless to say...I awaited this Christmas with great anticipation. So we sent the kids to bed Christmas Eve and got everything set up. The presents were laid out, the stockings were stuffed, and Courtney had the brilliant idea to set out Santa's footprints (made with dusted flour around PaPa's boots). What a magical living room!! The adults went to bed and again I found myself laying awake thinking about the faces my kids would be making as they saw the magic downstairs.