We got back from New York (NYC part 1, NYC part 2, NYC part 3) and hit the ground running. Bennett headed off to school and his teacher assured me he was in the Christmas spirit. She sent me a note telling me he was walking down the halls looking at all of the Christmas decor and asking for his photo to be taken in front of all decorations :). This kid love Frosty the Snowman. Teehehee.
Nashville Christmas parade with some friends and got an up close glimpse at this year's Grand Marshal, Kelly Clarkson and her daughter! It was a chilly morning, but the kiddos loved it.
Christian/Catholic home. And anyone who is Catholic knows St. Nick is one of the best kept secrets of Catholicism (as a kid anyway, ha!). There are many ways to celebrate, but essentially is a stocking full of goodies. Some of my friends used to leave their shoes outside, some would fill their actual Christmas stockings. In my house growing up we never left anything outside, we just always received one white tube sock filled with goodies on our doorstep. And per tradition, in our house St. Nick still comes in a big white tube sock on December 6th, every year. The kids were so excited and surprised to find some fun goodies in the morning!
The Melting Snowman! We build this guy 1400 times a day and watch him melt, Bennett loves it and we get really silly with the placement of his arms and eyes sometimes. Three year olds :)
This year has flipped "control" on it's axis and it's left me vulnerable and in places I never thought I would be. For the most part, I've usually been able to keep it all together. But this year has really changed my perception. And it truthfully has my heart aching. Not always for me. But for everyone else. I don't know if it's motherhood, growing older, or maturity, but I feel like my eyes are opened to so many more things. So much more heartache, so many tragedies, so many hardships that others are facing and some days it honestly feels like more that I can physically process. Shane and I have talked A LOT about what this year is calling us to do. What all of this means, why have we faced these challenges, and how can we come out on the other side doing more.
On one of our shopping trips this week, Lainey had fallen to sleep in the backseat and Bennett was playing quietly in the passenger seat. While we let baby sister get a quick cat nap before tackling the store, it was silent. And the silence in this particular moment, was deafening and I started to cry. Real choking tears that were coming from a deep place. Some were coming from a place of mommyhood, wanting to freeze time and keep my Santa-believing babies little and at home with me. Some were coming from a place of fear, fear of the unknown, fear of being out of control and knowing we're still in the midst of fighting a health battle. And others were coming from an unknown place, a place where I could truthfully feel the heartaches of strangers. It called me, it pulled at my heartstrings - and I wanted to share some sentiments.
And I do believe there is more. And I do need to do more to figure out what that is. God gifted us this beautiful and messy life. And He intended us to do more. He meant more for me. And He meant more for others. And it's time I really start listening in those moments of silence. Because He's calling us. Calling us to help, calling us to heal, calling us to hug, calling us to say "I'm Sorry", calling us to tell someone they're doing a heck of a job instead of criticizing how we would have done it differently. We're being called my friends, but are we listening?!
And again, maybe it's the holiday brain ... but I know I can try harder. I know I can better utilize my time, my platform, my day to day for the betterment of others. Because I am not the only one fighting a battle. My battle may be different than theirs, but it is a battle all the same. And finding a way to bless others, blesses me far greater in the end.
Have a happy week my friends! Cheers to more Santa, Silliness and Sentiments :) all year long!