It is common for this time of year to bring feelings of gratitude for family, friends, and faith, but for some reason this particular year I'm feeling it very poignantly.
I think it really started with Thanksgiving and the joy and fun we had. We live far from family and so our little family and our friends end up being a big part of our celebrations. As we were finishing out the day (Thanksgiving), Matt and I reflected on our blessings and how we are experiences so many different things - wonderful things - because of the fact that we are many, many miles from family.
Well it's happened again at Christmas, and I'm basically brim to overflowing. So let me share a little bit.
First of all, our Christmas was wonderful. Our children loved what Santa and their grandparents gave them. In fact it merited a trip to the big box store to stock up on storage bins so all the little pieces of toys will have homes, and so we can control what is out and being played with, rather than have them all over the floor, in S*'s mouth, and waiting to be sucked up by the vacuum.
We've also been partying like its 1999 ... which is frankly out of character for both Matt and me. But we've loved it. We had a party with friends and the missionaries on Christmas Eve, including a Nativity play by "four children and one cute baby". We had some friends over for a great Christmas night meal. And tonight we just cleaned up from another friends' party. It's been a great season.
As I was washing dishes, I thought that the one common thread in all of this is the Church. We have loved our time here (location shall remain nameless), and most of our great friends are from our ward. I think that's pretty common when far from family .... your ward family really does become your family.
We have a friend who did an essay about her membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (I wish I had a link here but will get one soon) on the local NPR radio station and it was so right on, as far as being a member of the church is a way of life and not just a Sunday thing. So this is a prime example ... anyway, we're just so blessed.
We miss being with family, but we're grateful for phone calls and other technology that makes it so the distance doesn't seem all that far. We couldn't have asked for a better Christmas season. We hope yours was the same.
(Camera is broken ... will be posting w/o pictures until the situation is remedied)
2 years ago