Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas is Coming!

Now that it is officially December Christmas seems so close!! We put up our Christmas tree and lights, manger scene and light-up Santa. We don't usually go all-out for Christmas, but this year we have more lights and decorations than we ever have, and I have to say I love it. Holly also loves it, and every time she passes any kind of Christmas light or decoration she pauses and says, "It is sooo beauty-ful." We really don't have many Christmas traditions yet, but one that we started a few years ago was to decorate the tree listening to Bing Croby's Christmas Album, and then have Taco Soup and Egg Nog for dinner. This year it was even cold enough to feel like Christmas, and then as a bonus we got snow today!! (After I mocked Target for replacing the rake aisle with snow shovels, saying, "How much snow do we really get?")

Holly is still trying to figure out how Jesus, Santa, and Christmas all tie together. Today she was telling me she wanted a purple and green vacuum. Then she thought about it and said, "Maybe Christmas will get one for me?"

We had a really nice Thanksgiving, aside from the fact that I was sick most of the week. The only good thing about it was that it took my mind off missing Joseph. The really hard part for me was opening up our box of ornaments when we started decorating the tree. I hadn't realized how many ornaments we had for him. There were a couple I had made for him, then a couple with his picture inside, then a few that had all of our names on them. The one that really got me was one with a picture of when he was five months old and Mimi and I thought it would be so cute to put him inside a stocking. It really is a cute picture, but it just made me sad that we won't get to do silly things like that anymore.
I loved getting to spend time with my parents and siblings and their children. One night all my sisters and brothers and I went out to dinner without spouses, something I don't think we have ever done. We had a lot of fun, and I laughed more than I have in a long time. We talked about "Love Languages," of all things, which just made us all really bellyache as we tried to figure out Sam and David's.

Cousin Bella is staying in Nashville for a few days, and Holly loves having a little playmate around. Bella took a nap over here today and she and Holly slept in the same bed for 2 hours. I couldn't believe they did it. After nap I got them a snack, then Holly got them both a box of raisins (one of her and Joseph's favorite snacks). Bella told her that she didn't like raisins and Holly just couldn't believe it. "Just try them! You DO like them." She was practically force-feeding her before I told her that there are people in the world who don't like raisins, and Bella didn't have to eat them. I just thought it was hilarious that Holly was trying to convince her that she really did like them. "They're juicy and sweet!" she said. I can't bear to tell her that they aren't my favorite snack either.

I hope all of you are having fun decorating for Christmas and shopping for or making gifts. A friend of mine dropped over an Advent Calendar today, the kind with the chocolate behind each day (Thanks, Katie!!). That was one of my favorite things to do as a child, so I'm excited to start doing it with Holly. The girl has a serious sweet tooth like her mommy, so I'm sure she will love it. Hope you all are enjoying some fun traditions, too. Stay warm and enjoy those Christmas lights!


Allyson@House of Stephens said...

Gillian - I've been meaning to comment about your last post. It was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

I'm so glad that you had a nice Thanksgiving and hope you all have a sweet Christmas too.

I pray for you often!

Abbie said...

Two little girls napping in the same bed? impossible! They must have been very, very tired. I would've thought they would giggle instead of sleep.
How very sweet. Some of my most treasured memories are of childhood fun with my cousins Ginger & Debra!

Oh--and I loved those chocolate advent calendars as well. All the different little shapes? so fun.

Lynn T said...

I loved hearing about all your Christmas decorating. That is hilarious about Holly trying to persuade Bella to eat raisins. So glad they are together this week. It was great to be with you all. Now that you mention it, that is pretty hilarious that we talked about "love languages". Definitely worth the laughs.
Love and miss you all, Lynn

Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog for over a year now (I found it via Boothe's). Anyway, I can't help but check in on y'all every once in a while. I have prayed for your family. I don't know if you watch Jon and Kate plus 8, but last week the episode involved them having a yard sale to benefit pediatric cancer research. It reminded me of your bake sale. The point of all of this is that during the episode this little girl ran up to the table and she was wearing a Super Man costume and looked like Holly. I doubt y'all were at a yard sale in Pennsylvania, but it prompted me to remember your family once more. Thank you for sharing your journey and the faith that has sustained you. You have impacted many lives.
Allison Gruehn

Nana said...

Gill your last blog was amazing and really touched my heart.I too am thankful for the past year even though it was very hard.We are all so grateful for having that extra time with Joe p.We miss him and his joyful spirit and his zest for life and not to forget his sweet kind heart.It has been a joy to see all the grandkids race around the house play hide and seek, marvel at the lights,run around the yard and turn the house upside down.It is definetely fun having Bella for some extra time ,Holly bear and Bella bear kissing cousins!!"He tends His flock like a sheperd;He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart;He gently leads those that have young" Isaiah 40:11.I love you all dearly .O.M.B. aka Nana-Bear

Adriana said...

I love hearing about your christmas decorating and that you had a nice thanksgiving I hope all of you are going to have a merry christmas Keeping you in my prayers.

Anna Tester said...

Ahh you made my day! Your beautiful christmas is contagious. Sending love from Newport beach- no snow shovels here but we did get some rain! xxxooo

Randi said...

What a sweet update. Cracked up laughing with Holly trying to convince Bella that raisins are everyone's fave snack. That is so cute! I prefer chocolate covered, that is!
I was thinking about all of you this past weekend. I think it is perfect to start up some Holiday traditions.

jody (atlanta) said...

LOVE the pictures and hearing how your life going. I think so neat to go out with just your siblings. Your decorations look FABULOUS! How beautiful and the staircase...what a great house.

The story of Bella and Holly is hilarious. Kids really do NOT get the you cannot force someone to like or eat something. It is so cute.

Miss you and thinking of you always Gill. Give Holly and Allen big hugs from me also. HAPPY DECEMBER. Jody

Sarah-Jane said...

hey, can you send me the photos from that night. I will download mine and send them also.
Hope you are having a good week.
Find us both some permanent jobs in Nashville while your at it, and some homes next to each other:) or we could share a house:)

Amanda said...

Dear Gillian and family,
I hope you have a very Blessed Christmas this year. I know it is going to be SO hard for you. Just remember that Joseph and Jesus are watching you from heaven. Joseph gets to spend Christmas with Jesus this year...I can't even imagine what that is like (and b/c of God's love and mercy, we will all get to see it for Eternity one day). Take care and know that I continue to pray for you all! I still have my friends asking me how the "cancer bake sale family" is doing. :) Take care and please know how much God Loves You!!! And you are prayed for everyday!!
Amanda in Co.

Anonymous said...

So glad to see you all enjoying this Christmas - lots of joy tinged with lots of sadness. Praying for you all.

Margaret said...

I love your post! I can just imagine the Tsgiving madness and so happy for it. Matthew still thinks (I am trying to make this last) that Santa is just some guy at Christmas time. We sit on his lap and tell him Merry Christmas and get a candy cane. There is a house across from our Dunkin Donuts that is where we see our Dunwoody Santa every year and Matthew thinks Santa lives there. Yesterday he said, "Hey Mom, Santa is going to bring us donuts on Christmas morning. Yeah, its a special morning treat." It was pretty comical.
Anyhow, thinking of you and your beauty-ful house and beauty-ful daughter lots.
Love you all! Margaret

Anonymous said...

You are doing an amazing, beautiful job of being a mother!!

SouthernMama said...

Praying for you all. Your faith is so encouraging.

Jean Joiner said...

Everett saw a mini singing santa at the grocery store last year, and to my shame yelled out, "Look's Jesus!"

I'm glad you are enjoying your Christmas Decorations. We just decorated our tree last night but everything else is still in boxes.

We have one of those chocolate Advent calendars too. I got ours at Trader Joe's for $.99. We had one last year too but Everett is way more into it this year and it's a great motivator for finishing his dinner. :)

Take care!

Jean Joiner said...

ps- i don't like raisins either...but Everett LOVES them, especially the yogurt covered kind. :)

Sarah-Jane said...

get me some yogurt covered raisins!!! mmmmm

Christy said...

Oh my goodness, you are all so cute! I also loved doing an Advent calendar when I was little ... haven't gotten one yet as a big old person. Bummer. Anyway, the story with Holly and the raisins is priceless. Give her a kiss from me for that.

LAURA said...

Just checking back in to say we're continuing to remember yall and pray, esp during the holidays. I was so moved by your last couple of posts. You have such a beautiful way expressing your emotions that probably feel inexpressible. You continue to humble me and inspire me to cherish every detail of life. thank you.
Laura Penney

Mass Chaos said...

hey,,,,,miss you...hope you are still feeling Christmassy...wanna come decorate my house??

Q's NEWS said...

Hi there!

I just wanted to let you know that you guys have been in my thoughts and prayers quite a bit lately. Gillian - your blog is wonderful - so pure and honest - it is an inspiration to read (although heart wrenching). Your words - I just can't explain it but I am so glad you choose to keep writing.

Love to you all this holiday season and always!
Susan (in WV)

Susan and Brian O'C said...

We will all be thinking of you all and your siblings and of course dear Pauline and Billy. We are spending Christmas up in Montreal, know you dont have happy memories of the cold. Wishing you a happy, healthy and fun Christmas and know your wonderful memories of Christmas past will help you a lot.
Love from our family to yours.

Chloe said...

So funny with the raisin bossing! a girl after my own heart- it is hard to believe that other people could possibly be mad enough not to LOVE everything that you LOVE. Go holls. miss you guys. I am now going to take the Love Language Test. Ha. I'll be back with the results... xxx chloeoe