Saturday, December 27, 2008

Our Very First Christmas

As I have been in the slow process of straightening up my livingroom today, I've also been trying to think of a concise way to wrap up into words my first Christmas as a wife. Sweet, simple, precious, fun - such words don't really seem to do justice to such a memorable occasion. Similar to my experience at Thanksgiving, there was a thrill in the process of preparing and decorating our townhome for Christmas and first Christmas to share with my first Christmas to share with his family whom I can now call my own. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around how blessed I truly am.
My husband's family arrived an entire day early last weekend, so we were frantic trying to get the house ready for their arrival. They arrived well after midnight, and their favorite granddog was waiting at the door to greet them:

We spent most of the week shopping and cooking in preparation for Christmas day. There are some simple traditions in his family that I've enjoyed adopting, including making homemade soup on a night when the low was 9 degrees! (That was just five days ago - it's 70 degrees here today!)

Even when I was younger and spent Christmas with my mom's family, I have always enjoyed being "Santa" when it comes to distributing the gifts. As not to break from my favorite task, my husband and I woke up well before everyone else in the house to prepare the stockings, brew the coffee, and turn on the tree lights (I also made sure to adorn my dogs with their favorite attire - Nali's "I Believe in Santa" bandana and Maia's Christmas plaid collar with the jingle bells so that she jingles from room to room). While I was busy getting everything ready before the family awoke, my very own Santa secretly placed his gift for me in the corner of the sofa:

A scrapbook bag at last! Since getting back into the hobby of scrapbooking, my shoulder bag has been on its last leg. I've been hinting at wanting this bag for quite some time now, so I was elated to see it Christmas morning! Now the fun begins with filling it with all of my scrapbooking goodies!
As you can see in the picture above, the presents around the tree were nothing short of ridiculous. Some of the highlights for me aside from the scrapbook bag were clothes and a digital camera from my mother-in-law, new house slippers and fun bath stuff from my handsome husband, and a gorgeous windchime from my aunt that I'm almost afraid to hang! My husband also got clothes from his parents, the long-anticipated bathrobe from me that he had been hinting at for months, and I also managed to get us tickets to a performance of "White Christmas" at the Derby Dinner Theater (I hope it's fun - he's not quite as wild about that particular musical as I am!).

I think we've started a tradition with the KY ballcap for my father-in-law. We got one for him three years ago, and we were asked to get him another one this year because liked and wore the first one so much!

Christmas morning isn't complete without presents for the girls! They can now sport their Southern roots with their John Deere tractor and frisbee~

Another tradition - at least one picture of a dog stuffing her face in her stocking~

And as not to break with tradition, the firstborn tends to hoard all the toys for herself - we watched as she made her way around the room in order to collect all of the toys into a pile (I argue with those who think that dogs aren't knowingly willful - if you think that, you've never met mine!)

I absolutely love this picture of my husband with his loving, patient, honorable, admirable mother. She is the kind of woman and mother I only hope to emulate when my time comes, and I truly could not ask for a better mother-in-law~

One of my oldest and dearest friends told me around this time last year, the time when my husband and I were nearing the end of our season of engagement, that she was thrilled for me to be a wife. She told me that I was going to love being a wife, and that she could see married life suiting me well. I pondered her words for quite some time, particularly what she said about marriage suiting me. What did she mean by that? Well, it's taken me almost a year to make more sense of her words. Those women whom marriage does not suit are those who I think perpetually insist, whether in word or deed or both, on putting their own selfish desires ahead of needs and sincere understanding of their husbands. I have already learned so much, and definitely still have more to go, in regard to patterns of behaviors that cultivate a marriage doomed for failure. I have learned from my own family history about how secretly bitterness, resentment, and self-righteousness can creep in, quietly yet inevitably eating away at the relationship between husband and wife. I love being around my husband's family because I'm continually mindful and thankful for the families from which he and I both have come. The Lord has been good and more than gracious in blessing us with families from whom we can learn from. Influence is inevitable, and we have together been able to put into practice words and deeds that are hopefully fruitful and beneficial for our relationship. We will never fully arrive, we will always be learning and maturing in this marriage relationship, and I was shown in very specific ways this Christmas how much our love and honor for one another have already deepened. I'm so thankful for the gift of family and for the memories we have already made during this our very first Christmas together~

1 comment:

Colorado Dreamin' said...

I love all the pictures and loved reading about your sweet Christmas! What a joy to know that you see God's blessings in your life daily! What a cute couple!