Beautiful Moments During This Holiday Season

This week I had a group of women around my table, eating breakfast, drinking mimosas and coffee, and talking about all the things. You guys know that those are my favorite moments. And Christmas makes it that much more special to me.

I love Christmas. Truly. And hosting a little Christmas gathering has been part of my life for going on nine years now. I still remember the first time I decided to see if some friends wanted to get together for a little party and maybe exchange ornaments. The day after the party was the day I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant with our second baby (Lincoln!).

Every single year has been special to me, though friends have come and gone (and always some remain, for which I'm grateful). The night before the breakfast party this year, I was thinking of Colorado. I looked at pictures from years past. I missed my old friends and thought about the new ones who'd be coming over in the morning.

As the door opened the next day and my mom came in, bringing with her extra mugs and hash browns and pastries and quiche, I remembered that last year she'd just had surgery for breast cancer and couldn't come. This year her hair is growing back, she shared stories as we sat around the table, and having her there was a gift.

Time goes by so fast, as we all know. How has it been a whole year since her surgery last December? We've lived hours and minutes and days since then, and now Christmas has come back around.

At breakfast, we read quotes around the table from the book Little Women, and this one stuck with me: Such hours are beautiful to live, but very hard to describe.  

It reminds me of last year. The very difficult moments of watching my dad's health deteriorate as he battled cancer, then the moments of packing and moving and saying goodbye and closing a chapter of our lives, then even still, the day we heard that my mother had cancer.

It's a privilege to go through such things together. To have people we love that much.

And this year, I watched my mom from across the table and felt the same way I often feel when I'm talking to my dad--just relieved that they are here. Thankful for a little more time, knowing it's not promised to any of us.

I start this next decade with new friends around the table, and old friends forever in my heart (and not too far to visit!).

Last night, Jeff and I and the kids ended up all downstairs on the couch. We watched a movie and ate popcorn and laughed and were all cuddled up and tangled together . . . and there was this moment. Lincoln's head was on my shoulder. Lily and Ash were snuggled up on Jeff, and I was watching my family, not the movie, thinking, I can't be happier than this.

Because such hours are beautiful to live.

Not because anything spectacular is happening, but just because we're surrounded by people we love.

These are my favorite moments of the holiday season, because these are the hours that, to me, are beautiful to live.

Conversation with friends.

My children and Jeff all around me.

It's never perfect and never needs to be. It's enough for me.

Tonight is like every other night at the Bruce house. My kids suddenly have one million things to talk about and are as thirsty as camels at bedtime. Jeff and I can finally take an hour to watch TV together, but I'll probably fall asleep. After so many loads of laundry this weekend (and still not finished. Good grief), the sock pile is like Pike's Peak in my bedroom. And we've got another very busy week ahead of us, inching closer and closer to Christmas Day.

Some of those beautiful hours are stored away inside of us, and we carry them with us.

Here at Christmas especially, I start reminding myself of the things that don't matter and the things that matter so much.

My kids might not remember every present, but I hope they carry with them the nights we spent together and all the love.

I know I will.

(And for my mom and dad, I carry those things too.)

Merry Christmas, loveys. I hope this season is filled with beautiful moments for you and your family.

And for all my reader friends, I'm super excited to share with you that I'm releasing a holiday e-novella! I hope you'll hop over to Amazon and download this short, Romano family Christmas story.

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