Another Christmas is in the books, and I still can't believe it came and went so fast. This holiday season was our best, fullest, sleepiest one to date, and I'm already wondering what it will be like next year! Christmas is my most favorite for lots of reasons, but none more special than this: traditions.
We had two gatherings on the 23rd, four on the 24th, and four on the 25th, and then you can guess what we did on the 26th...yep, we CRASHED. Well, mentally anyway. It's hard to crash with two cute little minions who depend on you for everything, but we love our new normal. Even through sleepy eyes and moments when cranky wins out over gracious, we are so blessed. So thankful.
This was our most fun Christmas season with Braxton so far, and it tickled us to watch him excitedly open present after present throughout the days. He got all of his favorites, which included lots of Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, Ninja Turtles, and Captain America gear/toys, and he hasn't stopped playing with them yet. I don't know if he ever will! He was even happy to part with some of his old toys to make room for the new ones, a chore that we decided to let him be a part of in order to teach some lessons about giving.
Bethany slept through most of the gatherings, but she still racked up on lots of things. We asked for her gifts to be practical this year, and everyone got her just that. Now we've got gift cards for when needs arise, clothes to last her through next winter (praise hands!), bows to add to her growing collection, and more. Everyone swooned over her everywhere we went, and we were so proud to show her off as our daughter. She has added so much to our family in just six short weeks, and she is already SO LOVED! This mama's heart is overflowing with gratitude.
TJ and I have been in purge mode for the past few days, and it has proved to be quite difficult with two kiddos who constantly need us for such different reasons. WHEW! I finally got all of our new stuff organized yesterday after doing a little here and there for a few days. Clutter KILLS me (like really bad), so I breathed a huuuuuuuuuge sigh of relief when Bethany's rug was finally clear of her and Braxton's gifts. We will probably start taking Christmas decorations today, too, because I am ready for everything to be back in its place again. Our house is where I stay all day long most of the time, and a clean house is all I have control of most of those days -- hence, why clutter is not a friend of mine.
So much has changed since last Christmas. We've been in our new house for over a year, our oldest babe is going to be three years old in less than two weeks (I'm sorry, WHAT!?), and there's a new girl currently sharing our room with us. This time last year was when TJ and I were both whole-heartedly committed to pursuing adoption in order to grow our family, and we had hoped and prayed that our extra bedroom would be home to a sweet baby by the time another year rolled around. We are so thankful that God saw fit to do just that. Even in the midst of craziness and exhaustion, we have never been more blessed than we are right this minute.
And I can't think of a better season to celebrate gratitude than Christmas. Hearing Braxton tell us the story of Jesus being born while holding Bethany in my arms is the most amazing things we've ever known. Oh, how I pray that both of these sweet babies will never shy away from wanting to know more about the Prince of Heaven who came to show them the fullness of a life lived for a greater purpose.
That's what Christmas is all about.
...Scenes from Christmas Eve...
...Scenes from Christmas Day...
Merry Christmas from the Bargerons! All FOUR of us!