Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Etc:)

Well! I’m a little behind! I play catch-up with my life all the time. So, Merry Christmas 2016, Happy New Year 2017 and everything else!

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Eliana had her Christmas ballet recital the weekend before Christmas. She LOVES ballet. She begged for it for so long before we were able to swing the lessons and you never know with kids, whether they will stick to it or not but this girl has not wavered in her dreams of someday becoming a prima ballerina! She did such a good job at her recital. You can tell she listens closely in class and really tries to learn her steps:)

 

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One of our very favorite things we did this Christmas season was to go to the ballet “The Nutcracker!” My MIL gave us tickets for Christmas and it was awesome. We counted down the days for months! The kids got all spiffed up. I cannot tell you how thrilled the boys were to have their own ties. No joke!

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And we tried to get beautified, too!

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The Nutcracker is at the Ohio Theater, which has really cool architecture. They make it such a special event each year in December. The boys weren’t so sure they would like it, especially since Eliana and I were so excited, but they really enjoyed it! Especially the Mouse King part:)

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We went to a Christmas Eve service with Ben’s mom, where we heard the most beautiful rendition of Silent Night ever! Really powerful. I just love Christmas Eve…..even better than Christmas day, I think!

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We had waaaaaay too many Christmas’s to go to and this is how Eliana ended every single one of them. We were pretty wiped out by the end of it all! I told Ben that we’d better write it down to remember how tiring it was next year so we can run away on a vacation or something!;)

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The boys received “Warfare by Duct Tape” books for Christmas. They are very cool. Basically, you buy some PVC pipes, ductape and a couple small pieces of wood, cut them to the length required and let the kids have at it! They build swords, shields, helmets, etc. There are rules in the front of each book about how to play the game with chivalry:) This was a quick battle they had early in the morning to test out their first weapon! I will have to get a picture of them in full gear:)

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And last but not least, we have jumped into the New Year with both feet, trying to make this year get off to a good start. I totally (nicely) forced my family to do another Whole30 this month to detox from the Holiday sugar and Paleo treats! It’s so easy to slide into long-time habits and I was getting a little too comfortable making muffins in the mornings, treats at night and allowing special things when we were at parties, etc. It just feels so good to take a step back and get back on track. No one is complaining at all, which is nice! We aren’t even really counting the days; just enjoying our food!

So, we are one week into stuffing ourselves with veggies and let me say, it is SOOO much easier the second time! Since we already cut out most things they require you to from our regular diet, basically the only thing we are giving up is our sugar (honey, maple syrup), the occasional dairy (in ice cream!) and corn. We aren’t supposed to be having corn anyways but we can’t help the occasional tortilla chips (our favorite are Luke’s Pumpkin Chips from Costco!!) or popcorn treat:) Last time we had to give up bread, pasta, rice, corn, dairy, white sugar, all sugar, soy, peanuts, etc. It was most of our diet!!

Anyways, I highly recommend a little Whole30 cleanse (at least the 2nd time anways…:)

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And last but not least, I always try to think of a word that I want to pray for for the new year and I try to incorporate it into passwords or little things in my life to keep it in the forefront of my mind. Last year’s word was “Hope.” We have struggled for so many seasons now to find hope and meaning amidst broken dreams and we have just floundered, not truly thriving or living. I read a poem with the kids at school recently by Langston Hughes that perfectly captures what this kind of season feels like.

Dreams

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

God answered the prayer of Hope in this past month or so (He likes to take His time!) and we are beginning to see it sprout like a tiny plant blooming in a crack in the frozen ground.

This year B and I both decided our word for the year will be “Live.” We want to live again, thrive, grow. We are taking some baby steps to do this, like a newborn colt taking its first trembly steps. Hopeful (see there’s that word again!), cautiously, excited and nervous all at the same time. We don’t know what this year will hold for us but we are praying for Life to flourish with our blooming Hope, as we trust our loving heavenly Father.

Do you have a word for this year?

 

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