Deck the Halls

Tom is making a fire in our wood stove and I’m sitting with a cup of coffee in front of the computer. It’s going to get real cozy here in about 10 min. It’s pretty cold right now.

We decided this past weekend to put up some decorations for Christmas. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to but after a little “sign” from Anna we decided that it was important to do what we would do if the girls were here. We LOVE Christmas and decorating was definitely a favorite. When we decorated for Halloween this year they already were talking about which Christmas decorations they each got to put up. They may have been fighting about it actually.

Joey Francisco is even making appearances each morning. Joey is our elf and for the past 2 years has been one of the highlights of the holiday season. Last year he would bring the girls holiday tasks to do; making cookies, writing letters to our sponsored kids in Africa, caroling with friends and watching favorite holiday movies just to name a few. Tom and I are finding great joy in sending Joey’s new location to Jacob and Michael, two friends of the girls. The other morning this is how we found him.

“What does a fox say?” We think he says, “Get this elf off me.”IMAG1011

When Anna was little, we would go to a tree farm and hike up into the woods, just the two of us. It was so much fun and we felt empowered, or at least I felt empowered. We were the best team, my girl and I. Although being a single parent is tough at times I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. Anna and I have a bond like no other. We had so much fun on our adventures together even when there was a creepy Santa involved.

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The past three years, our family established traditions that I will cherish forever. We would go on a Christmas tree hunt and then come home, decorate and drink hot chocolate or tea (Anna didn’t like hot chocolate). Finding the perfect tree that all of us agreed upon was tricky at times but we did it. We laughed a lot, I can still hear those laughs!

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We plan on keeping our traditions and honoring the girls in new ways as we move through the holidays. It will be hard and I’m sure there will be many times I will feel like I can’t move forward.

Our girls are with Jesus now and this year we will pray more, give more and celebrate his birth to the fullest. We are so grateful for his Grace!

“And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “  Luke 2: 9-11

11 thoughts on “Deck the Halls

  1. I have been off the computer so reading several of your blogs tonight….So thankful you were inspired to take all the many pictures you did. So thankful you are sharing them along with your many memories. Love you…..


  2. You can just feel the love in your photos….what a beautiful way to share your cherished memories …I feel so connected with you just through reading these blogs…I am amazed at what I see….you are a beautiful person inside and out….and your influence is reflected through your children…in those radiant smiles!


  3. I remember the story of creepy Santa! but I’d forgotten how creepy he looked. 🙂 Love your beautiful memories and photos!


  4. If i have learned anything by reading your blogs, it is that i should be taking more pictures of my girls. Without the pictures, their lives wouldnt be told with so much color. ❤


  5. I absolutely love reading your blogs, Susan. You have such an amazing family and I thank you for sharing your stories. Love the Elf on the fox, the creepy Santa not so much. Hugs!


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