Monday, December 30, 2013

2 month old Elsie

Elsie is officially 2 months old now! She weighs eleven pounds and is 23 inches long. She smiles quite a bit and is usually a very happy girl. She still doesn't like bung put down, though. She sleeps in her bed at night, but won't nap there. I don't mind too much. It's my excuse not to do the dishes. :)  We love our sweet Elsie-boo!
 
 




Sunday, December 22, 2013

"Mom, is Santa real?"

"Mom, is Santa real?"

"Of course he's real, Lee!"

"I mean, have you seen him?"

Have I seen him?  As in, with my own two eyes, land on my roof, slide down my chimney, leave gifts, eat cookies, and slip out silently?  Have I heard his "Ho Ho Ho" or "Merry Christmas to all" bellow over the snow?  Have I felt his fuzzy beard and looked into his sparkling eyes and told him my deepest hopes and dreams?

No.

Is Santa real, mom?  Yes.

There's something different about Santa Claus, you see.  Santa has a way of bringing out the best in people.  Nobody starts wars in Santa's name.  Nobody says "Santa hates you because you're different than me."  Santa simply brings people gifts, and does so anonymously and quietly.  He goes about doing good and never asks for anything in return.  Santa Claus knows everyone and loves them just the way they are.  He watches them and thinks about them constantly, and always puts himself aside to show that love to others.

Once a year, for a few precious moments, I get to be Santa Claus.  I look forward to it every year, and start thinking about it months in advance.  I get to pick out special gifts for my children that I know they'll love.  I get to hide things away and plot surprises and imagine someone's delight when the surprises are finally revealed.  And at last, on Christmas Eve when the noise from the bedrooms has fallen silent, I get to pull out all my hard work and stick it in a stocking and then lie restlessly in my bed as I anticipate the next morning and the joy that will ensue.  I know that all around the world, billions of other parents and guardians are doing the same thing; and at that moment, I know for a certainty that Santa Claus is real and that he has visited every home on Earth.  He's left his calling card and I can see it in every eye: love.  That deep love that a parent has for a child--that prayer for their well being--that gift of life--that selflessness and overwhelming desire for everyone else to be happy, no matter what--that's who Santa Claus is. 

"Mom, is Santa real?"

"Yes, Lee, Santa Claus is very real."

"I mean, have you seen him?"

"I have, my son, I truly have.  And he is amazing."

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's the most BUSY time of the year

I bet your calendar looks a lot like mine: very full.  I can only blog because I'm feeding Elsie simultaneously.  Yesterday, Annalisa went to a birthday party and we picked her up and went straight to the ward Christmas party.  We have lots of Christmas projects to complete, extra work to do, and of course all the parties and meetings and stuff.  We're trying hard to teach the kids about the birth of our Savior, and I know they're getting it. But it's still very, very busy! Here's some pictures to let you know just a bit of what we've been up to:

Waiting to sing at the ward party




Elsie is seven weeks old!




And I thought taking a decent picture of three kids was hard...

Anna lost her first tooth last week


We hope you're having a great holiday season and getting a few minutes to breathe, and if you had the time to read our blog, that it made you smile.  :)  Have a great week!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

6 week old Elsie

 Elsie is 6   weeks old tomorrow, and such a little doll! She is very sweet and still loves being held and snuggled all the time. She has started smiling, but not frequently enough for us to get a picture yet. Her naps are lengthening, which helps me get things done. We've set up the Christmas tree, cleaned, and even done some holiday baking this week already. Amazing!
We have a busy month ahead of us. The kids beep bringing home schedules for their Christmas programs and I'm reminded that they're not babies anymore. Remind me not to forget the camera, because I know in just a few short years, we won't have preschool programs and primary parties anymore. That's okay. It's delightful to watch our children grow and discover the world and themselves.