I will warn you, this is going to be a long blog. We packed a lot of things into five days.
Wednesday I got off at 2:00 p.m. and I went to the church to decorate. I had a migraine, but I tried to ignore it as I hung up wreaths and set up the advent wreath and nativity scene in the sanctuary. After I had done what I could do of the decorating of the church I picked up the girls. We were supposed to be meeting Aunt Becca, Aunt Sheila, Uncle Quint, Caden, Meemaw, and Paw-Paw at Olive Garden for dinner since we would not be together on Thanksgiving. I had been looking forward to this all week and was so excited about getting to eat the portabello ravioli. Well as soon as I got home my migraine made me sick so I just went in and laid down on the couch and watched the girls play. About twenty minutes later Joe got home. I told him I could not go, but that they should go. He told me he was not going to leave me alone so we called his family hoping someone could take the girls because Josie was so excited to see everyone. It turned out that they couldn't and she got so upset. She kept telling Joe that she was supposed to go to the "Garden." Then she informed Joe that "God made it that I'm supposed to go to the Garden." (Whenever she asks me questions about why things are the way they are, most of the time my response is "That's the way God made it.") He felt so bad because she was so upset he told her to make it up to her that he would take her to work with him the next morning. So at 5:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving day I got Josie up and dressed her in layers and sent her to work with Joe. She made some friends and got to see some deer and turkey. I went back to bed after they left and when Lol and I got up we sat on the couch and flipped through three channels watching parades. Neither of my girls are big TV watchers but she sat beside me on the couch for a straight hour watching the floats and getting so excited about the "horseys." After Joe and Josie got home we left to go to my grandmother's for Thanksgiving lunch. We stayed most of the day and the girls had a great time playing with their cousins. After the girls went to bed that night Santa came and decorated our house. I, I mean Santa, worked several hours decorating each room. I then wrote each girl a letter from "Santa" and put it in their toy mailbox. Josie knew that Santa was coming that night to decorate and when she woke up the next morning she was so excited and yet disappointed. She was excited about the decorations but disappointed that she had not gotten to see Santa. They were super excited about their letters. Josie's already looks like it is a 100 years old where she has had us read it to her so many times. She has also enjoyed finding Frosty every morning. Frosty is our elf on the shelf (a stuffed toy that moves each night and reports to Santa on if the children are being nauty or nice.) Frosty is more a snow angel than the creepy elf on the shelf you find in stores. After everyone was up we decided to go out for breakfast and then to head to Marvins to buy our tree. After finding the perfect tree we took it home and the girls helped Joe take the netting off of it so that the limbs could settle. That afternoon was the Iron Bowl (Alabama v. Auburn game). It was a close and very stressful game, but ROLL TIDE!!!! Saturday Joe had to work so after the girls were up we headed to Wal-Mart and then we had a birthday party. That evening we headed back to the church to hang up the wreaths on the outside of the church. After that was done we walked through the park and to the Dairy Queen. It was a beautiful night and the Riverwalk is just an amazing place with the old timey looking latern posts lighting the path. After dinner we rode around looking at Christmas lights. The girls would fight over whose side had the most lights. That night both girls were alseep within five minutes. Yesterday Josie and Jolie had their first practice for the Christmas skit at the church on the 13th. I think it is going to turn out sooo cute. Then during the service Josie got to walk up front with Other Mama as Other Mama and Lauri did the advent reading and lighting of the candle.
Thinking about these past five days makes my heart overflow. All the memories we made with the girls and family traditions that the girls will be able to look back on when they are older. December is fully of family traditions for us and it is just an amazing thing to pass down things that you loved doing as a child onto your children. We still have to decorate the tree once the limbs have settled which should be in the next day or two, we have the night advent services at church, Christmas on the Coosa, the living nativity in downtown Wetumpka, the lights at the zoo, the Christmas Eve service, Christmas parties, and spending time with family and friends. Most years I'm stressed about all of this, but seeing how much the girls are enjoying everything is making this year not so stressful. Plus we will be getting the most awesome Christmas gift, a baby niece coming any day. I'm also not as stressed because our advent service last night really hit me this year. It was a mediatative service and at one point the lights were out with only candles lit up front and it was the most beautiful scene. It was peaceful, it made me think of the night that Christ entered our lives and forever changed the course of history. It reminded me to stay centered and to make sure that amoung everything else to pass down to my children the love of God not only to them but to all of his creatures, great and small.