Goodbye Christmas

Loveys, is it really over?

Another Christmas, over. Another year behind us. A New Year right in front of us. Wow. It's hard to believe. The truth is that at my house, nearly all my Christmas stuff is already boxed up and in the hallway. My mother told me that if I took the tree down, she'd up and leave me. So, it's still standing. No ornaments, but I'm not allowed to take it down until after New Year's.

We started our Christmas season early this year. My tree was up before Thanksgiving. Maybe that's why I'm ready to get my house back to normal. I love Christmas. I love the whole holiday season, but I'm not one to let the Christmassy stuff linger too long. I will say it was a wonderful Christmas over here. Wonderful, thoughtful gifts. Delicious food. Time with family. Holiday movies and sweets all around.

Jeff and I went with my sister and her husband to see Star Wars on Christmas night, while Grammy put the kiddos to bed. It was my favorite kind of holiday--the happy kind. With love and laughter and smiles and good things. What does Christmas look like at your house, lovey? My mom and I stayed up late on Christmas Eve, finishing up last-minute wrapping and all that stuff. The kids woke up early on Christmas (no surprise there!). But they couldn't dive into gifts until we were all awake and breakfast was in the works. They each had their Santa gift. Honestly, they didn't ask for big gifts at all. Ashtyn asked for Shopkins and Linc asked for a couple of his superhero/villain guys. It didn't matter that they weren't huge gifts. You would NOT believe the excitement and happiness from my kids when they opened their Santa gifts. Screaming, jumping, grinning, and so on. It was magical to watch. The kids seemed to love every gift they received this year. Honestly, Ashtyn nearly cried when she opened a new Pink Monkey stuffed animal (we've talked about the importance of Pink Monkey to our family). Beautiful Christmas memories for my little kiddos. I read the Christmas story while Ashtyn acted it out with one of our Nativity sets. It was a great Christmas at our house. With the kids thundering up the stairs to play with toys for hours.

I love my family.

I'm thinking of the New Year now. I don't really make strict resolutions for myself, but I do set goals. I do think through my hopes and dreams for the future. I think about how I want to grow as a person, what I want to change about myself. Do you do this, lovey? What do you want for yourself in 2016? What changes do you need? What goals are you setting?

There are little things and big things on my list. Things that need immediate attention (like stopping eating a million yummy desserts and begin folding the three baskets of laundry on my floor). Things that I'd like to see happen before 2017 (like getting a rug under my dining table and a new chair for the living room and hanging up some family pictures). Things that I want to get back into (like our church group and planning out meals and hanging out with friends).

I'll be honest with you. I want 2016 to be better than 2015 in some ways. It's been a good year for me. We had baby Lily and that was epic and wonderful and the greatest blessing ever! But there were difficult moments this year too. It's been a year with some tough situations and also a lot of change. I'm not against change. Sometimes we need it.

The thing about a new year is that it's a fresh start. To set goals and make priorities. Every new year is an opportunity. Life gets so busy and chaotic for lots of us--or maybe it just feels monotonous and stagnant. It's hard to live intentionally, isn't it? My days get away from me sometimes.

It happens to all of us.

2015 was a jam-packed year and I expect nothing less from 2016. We're raising three beautiful kids over here, and these are full days for us.

New books to read in 2016. New movies to watch (not to mention Downton Abbey! Six more days!). New people to meet. Marriage moments. Parenting moments. Friendship moments. Dinner parties. Coffee dates. Birthdays. Summer vacation. Maybe even more sleep (I can dream at least). Popcorn and movie nights. Exercise and positive thinking. Prayer and trust. Creativity.

These days are gifts to us. And we never know how many we'll have. I want to spend mine with my family. This coming year is right in front of us, loveys. I'm hoping for different things, just like you.

It could be a great year. The best ever. We might need to change some things. We might need to reach out more, or maybe we need a little more self-care. Maybe our marriage needs some serious attention. Maybe our kids need more of us. Maybe our faith needs a jumpstart. Maybe this is the year we need to do something big. Or maybe it's time to clear our schedule and slow down.

It's almost 2016. Good grief, time flies. Resolutions, goals, wishes--I think it's good to think about what we want out of the new year, what God might want for us or from us. It's just a starting place, lovey. And that's a good thing.

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