If I had sent out Christmas cards this year, this is the picture I would have put on it. However, this year has been a bit of a roller coaster and we felt it best to cut back in some areas - and the Christmas card didn't make the cut!
The biggest challenge our family has been facing this year was the diagnoses of Brian's mom with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Unfortunately, this is a terminal illness. There is no cure for it and her decline has been rapid. The last few months have been consumed with understanding the disease, trying the emotionally process what it means, and taking every opportunity to make memories with Grandma. In October, the whole family surprised her with a day at Disneyland, one of her favorite places. We also were able to spend Thanksgiving, an early weekend in December, and now we will spend Christmas with them at their home.
Needless to say, we've been a bit preoccupied. In addition to not sending out cards, we were not able to find the time to make goodies to send around the neighborhood or take to our friends. I have since learned, that regardless of our financial or emotional state next year, this is not a tradition that we will leave out. It's easy to think that your friends won't miss one more plate of goodies - we get so many this time of year! But this tradition has nothing to do with sweets. Our family has missed out on the spirit of giving that this gift invites. I think when we return after Christmas, we will have to have a baking day and make "New Year's" goody plates!
*This next part of the post is where I whine some more*
I really have been trying to get in the Christmas Spirit lately. However, this last week brought non-stop rain, a bout of stomach flu, a letter from the IRS, and a broken water heater that only partially flooded our garage and left us without hot water for 24 hours.
I know! Whine, Whine, Whine!
But we did have a wonderful visit from my parents and Amanda. She got to take the kids to farmers, which I'm pretty sure they were more excited about than Christmas this year.
Ty announced that he had discovered that his name is in the word "naughty". (no duh, kid. I could have told you that, even if I was illiterate!)
And when Ashlynn kept hounding Brian for an answer to something, Briggs answered in his best wise sage voice, "She seeks the truth, Father."
Despite these nasty things that have been going on, The Lord is still blessing our family with so many things. And even though I obviously have a bad attitude, He still sees fit to remind me of those blessings. It's just up to me to recognize them.