Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

(Sorry no photographs! A picture of our family banner coming soon! Prepare to be impressed...)

This year we rang in the new year as a family. It was quiet, simple, and nice, much like our Christmas. Just time spent together. The more my children grow, the more I realize how much we need it. Time. Time to be together. Time to create memories. Time snuggling on the couch. We did all of the above tonight and it was awesome. Homemade pizza and nachos for supper, per Emma's request, followed by the making of a New Year's Eve banner to hang in our dining room. We colored, designed, and decorated a large piece of butcher paper for over an hour. It was a family masterpiece, and I do believe a new tradition. A bubble bath for all of the children was next. The girls kept shouting Happy New Year while throwing soap suds in the air! They thought it hilarious. I thought it precious. After everyone was clean and snug in jammies we popped some popcorn and poured some bubbly (sparkling grape juice), and settled in to watch Dolphin Tale. Beautiful story about not losing hope, reaching beyond yourself, and chasing after your dreams. A worthwhile film on the eve of this new year brimming with hope and possibility. We ended our night with traditional ice cream sundaes, a game of Disney trivial pursuit (I won if you care to know), and party hats and horns at midnight.

Those were the beautiful moments of our night. But lest you think our family is perfect, traditions, and sunshine every single moment, there were several 'real life' moments mixed in for good measure :)! While making our fabulous family banner, permanent marker bled through the paper and got all over my beautiful white dining table. Kate had a meltdown when asked to put on her jammies, and crashed as soon as the movie started. Poor thing. Five years old and has never seen the ball drop! Emma ate too much popcorn and suffered a belly ache the rest of the evening. Boss is the only one who had a sundae. After all of the horn blowing, sweet Jack awoke frazzled and needed to be rocked back to sleep. It is now after one in the morning (I am waiting for teenagers to get home) and he will probably be up for the day in four short hours.

But that's life. It's our life. And I really would not change it. Crazy, silly, difficult moments mixed in to parts of every day. Stretching us, growing us. And all the while I just keep spinning, praying I am creating beauty along the way. Beauty from the messes. Praying that God is creating beautiful things through me. And it is those things, the beautiful ones, that I choose to remember. Emma licking her plate clean with pizza sauce on her chin. Kate tracing her five year old hand onto our family banner. Jack beaming proudly when he was handed a crayon, too. Emma with her high water jammies, because she seems to grow a foot every night while she sleeps. Kate's jammies half zipped, always waiting for a back tickle. The way Jack's hair smells after his bath. These are the things I choose to remember. And I pray my children are filing these memories away, too. Because amidst the messes (and there are plenty of those), there is always God's goodness. All we have to do is look and see. Taste, and we will know that the Lord is good. This is my prayer for 2012. That I will spend more time seeing and tasting, all the while strengthening relationships with my Lord, my husband, my children, my family, my friends. It is going to be a wonderful year. I can feel it. And the best part? God is already there. Happy New Year!