Family Snapshots

The past week was full of family and friends! We welcomed our out-of-town guests on Wednesday, and the house quickly filled with lots of talking and laughter. It’s always tough to go to bed on nights like that – you just want to keep talking and visiting! But we all eventually made it to bed, and then we were back at it the next day, the house full of delicious smells and conversations of theology, politics, food, and everything in between. Our friend, Wendi, arrived with delicious food. She’s a kindred spirit that has been a part of Thanksgiving festivities from the first year we moved up here, and now she’s become an honorary member of the family! We were also joined by the Varelas, our sweet friends that we have a playdate with every week. They were a great addition to the regular crowd, and the kids were happy to have their buddies to play with. It was a lovely day, remembering our blessings and relishing the time with loved ones.

What My Kids Read Family Snapshots

Friday was a quiet day for us. We don’t do much Black Friday shopping. Sometimes, I like to think in my mind that I’m in a “chick flick” and then I think it would be fun to get out in the hustle and bustle, but the few times I have been in the midst of the crowds, I’ve been shocked and saddened to see how greed changes behavior. I know friends that get great deals and have a wonderful time, but I have not had great experiences on Black Friday. So, while there are still times when I suggest going to pick up a Starbucks and perusing the sales at the mall, David gently reminds me what a terrible idea that is for me. Besides, even the sales on Black Friday aren’t as good as my thrift store finds, so I’ll just stick to those. 😉

What My Kids Read Family Snapshots

Anyway, Friday is our traditional day to go pick out our Christmas tree and then we decorate it at night with all our out-of-town friends and family. We serve eggnog and mulled cider, put our Christmas albums on the record player, and decorate the tree. There’s singing and talking, decorating and eating, and usually a little dancing thrown in. Definitely one of my favorite days of the whole year. There were a few moments of missing David’s grandfather throughout the festivities, but I know that he is still with us in spirit.

Saturday, we said goodbye to our out-of-town friends, and then set up the tv for the Iron Bowl. David and I aren’t huge football fans, but we are from Alabama, so we recognize the importance of the Alabama vs. Auburn game – not to mention the fact that my father-in-law is a big football fan, so it was a given that Saturday afternoon would be devoted to the game. And what a game it was! For those who don’t care, I’ll just say that was probably one of the most historic games of the entire history of the Alabama/Auburn rivalry. There was a crazy play at the end of the game that dramatically flipped the outcome, and everyone on both sides was completely shocked. Google it – I would bet it’s on YouTube by now. It was really crazy!

What My Kids Read Family Snapshots

Sunday, we said goodbye to David’s family, and took a day of rest. I spent most of the day on the couch. My “morning sickness” (in quotes because it’s all day) has been growing this week, so unfortunately all of the delicious food really didn’t taste very good to me. I even passed up Graeter’s ice cream, which locals will assure you is the most divine ice cream on the planet. Sorry, I will try to spare you the play-by-play of my personal digestive preferences throughout this pregnancy, but it is very strange for me to pass up Graeters!

We also started Advent Sunday night. Because of my lack of energy at the moment, we are keeping things very simple this year. We light the candle for the week, sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” recite John 1:1-5 as a family, and then a child reads the excerpt of The Story of Christmas (affiliate link) in the ornament for the night from this set my mom gave us a few years ago. It’s not the most accurate or compelling account, but it’s short and the kids really like the small books and that they are ornaments. We hang them on the lime tree we have growing in our dining room, and it’s fun to watch it fill up through the season. Then, a child (we take turns) opens one door on our Advent calendar and getting a piece of chocolate. We end by gathering around the Christmas tree and singing a few carols together. It’s been simple and sweet for us this year. David and I have started God with Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas (affiliate link), and we are really enjoying it. We just read it together in the mornings before the day gets going. We’re only on day 3, but it has been great so far!

What My Kids Read Family Snapshots

Monday, we tried to get back on track with a regular routine, but it didn’t really work. We’re probably halfway back to our normal routine, but that’s the holidays for you! How about you? Did you have a nice holiday celebration? Catch a good Black Friday sale? Please tell me that there are those fun, funny moments and that it’s not all craziness and greed! What is your family doing this Advent season? I’d love to hear about it!





  1. It is always an enriching time for us with your extended family! We appreciate the more contemplative, relaxed nature of the holidays with you all.

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