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Friday, December 31, 2010

Processing Christmas

I'm processing Christmas. I'm trying to tuck away little memories to take with me into the future. I'm brainstorming ways to make next Christmas more beautiful, more relaxing, and more fun.
Finally, here is a picture of Stephen with Maggie Lu dressed as a Merry Christmas doll. She's kissable.
D'arcy and I spent December 23rd working on these. They are a Christmas tradition. There are always homemade cinnamon roles on Christmas morning in the Clark household. It's a tradition I want to pass on. Next year, I'll use smaller pans. Next year, I'll pass some out to our neighbors so I won't be eating these until New Years.
D'arcy was pleased that there was leftover dough. She spent a couple of hours rolling it, cutting it, and making fat dough

This photo will help me remember my 2010 children. Maggie wrapped in a blanket with fluffy hair. Sweet D'arcy always dressed to the nines but with her coat hanging off and a hole in her tights. Julian in cowboy boots and corduroys being silly. And Schroeder with a curious look on his face and his beloved belly peeking out.
This was our first Christmas as a family living in the north. I told Stephen that God must have made December cold enough to have beautiful snow but not cold enough to make us miserable. God is easing us into northern winters. Yes, God makes his weather plans with me in mind.
I love that this photo was taken (with the help of my dad) in only about ten minutes. Fast enough that no children had a break down. We were already dressed for Christmas Eve. The snow was already beautiful. All we had to do was go outside, stand in a line, hold hands, and smile. Family portraits can be simple, right?
I dislike being attached to my camera when their is fun to be had so I set my camera on its tripod in the corner to get some glimpses of Christmas Eve morning spent with my side of the family at my parent's house.
Here is Schroeder curiously approaching the camera in his ultra adorable Candy Cane leggings. Julian wore these his second Christmas, too. They'll stay in storage just in case we have a third little boy in a couple of years.
This was my kids first round of opening presents. I was a bit overwhelmed by round three. I'm thankful for generous people who love my kids. I'm thankful for grateful children. I was hoping that my kids would stack their presents in a corner and resolve to only take one out of its package per day, play with it in an orderly fashion, and then locate an appropriate place for it in their room. I'll keep you guessing about whether that actually happened.

This side of the family will be growing this year. My brother is certain to find out very soon which little Ethiopian baby will be his son. My sister is eleven weeks pregnant with twins. I'm keenly aware of what is missing from this photo, though. Last year, we thought that Nathaniel, Kade, and Roanin would be sharing this moment with us, and, sadly, they are not.

I love our new stockings. They are actually ladies stockings bought from etsy. We ironed the kids initials onto them. I've never taken so much joy in purchasing just the right gifts for my kids. That big square lump in Schroeder's stocking is playdough which he immediately recognized. The squishy lump at the bottom of Julian's was a t-shirt with Darth Vedar on it. D'arcy's is stretched in the middle by two Ramona books. Underneath those was her very own "lipstick". Maggie is happily sucking the pacifiers she found in hers.
I'm excited for next year when these stockings will be hung in our new house beside a fresh Christmas tree.
Christmas Day was spent with these beautiful people. D'arcy played Silent Night for us on the piano. I can't say I got to enjoy it because I was too focused on getting this picture. We needed to get a family photo, though. This is the first with Katie in it and she's been around for almost two years.
Christmas is about balance. Preparing and relaxing. Celebrating Jesus and enjoying gifts and family. Giving lavishly and celebrating simply. It's a fun challenge to embrace this balance.

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