Uttering these 4 words gives a very distinctive, clear indication as to what "time" is being talked about. It creates an anxiety that is typically, and positively, worth it in the end but the process to get there can be a bit tricky (trivial??) at times. Stressful. Driven. Climatic. Even harried as there is always more to do than not, and so much rushing about a time or two....or ten. (guilty as charged)
For most, "that time of year" carries a tone of sheer jubilation and is shared in a voice that may be an octave higher out of child-like excitement. But for many it can carry a tone of dread and defeat, spoken in a voice that is much more somber than it's counterpart. I've met people recently that are very definitively on one side or the other. I've done my best to really pay attention and "hear" their heart, as much as they're willing to share anyway. And there are so many stories to be shared by the hearts of those we pass by daily, if only we'll take but a minute to really stop and listen.
|I. Love. These. Boys!!!|
|Yard work is so much fun!! :)|
|Tree cutting 101|
|A small leaf pile....|
|...but it's sheer joy regardless!! :) :)|
After what felt like just a few brief seconds, but was easily an entire minute or two, of engaging in what could be labeled a "surfacy" conversation with the person behind me in the check-out line at Cub Foods (grocery store), I get the feeling that she's looking for a Hallmark-movie-type-ending to her holiday season this year. There's so much more depth to her story. Wounds unhealed. Scarring taking place. Questioning and searching. A choked-up "Merry Christmas..." with a warming smile is about all I could come up with to say as I slowly turned away from her, groceries fully bagged in my cart. A prayer lifted up for the beautiful brunette as I backed out of the parking lot, onward to my next destination.
Legacy Soccer for Austin!
|love that Grams and cousin Warren came! (even tho it was COOOOLD!!)|
Deep Portage for Carson and Andy (5th grade trip through Legacy!)
|Carson and buddy Kyle|
|they loved the rock wall!|
Passing a parent in the hallways of Legacy, it's a brief yet practically blissful encounter that let's me clearly know the Christmas festivities are in full swing at their house, traditions being carried out to the enth degree! You couldn't erase that contagious smile stretching from ear to ear no matter how hard you tried! Eyes twinkling with delight. A spring in her step as she turned to exit the double doors to the parking lot.
Students eager with giddy anticipation as we count down the number of 'sleeps' in our classroom until it's finally Christmas. The energy is contagious. Family reunions that once caused angst now cause the shedding of long-awaited joyful tears.
|First snowfall of the season....|
|...and after!! Why does he look so much older?!?!|
|It's hunting time!!! And it's always better with friends. :) Anderson's & Mulvihill's|
|Love spending time with my Ames! :)|
|Playing a little fox and geese with Grandma!! :)|
|meat for the freezer! Yay!!!!|
And some of them come to realize it's not really "magic" at all.
It's more like..... Miraculous. In every sense of the word. It all started with God's divine plan brought to earth. A plan that would be carried out in a young & humbly servant-minded Mary. With a baby born to be King. Born to die. And all because He loves an imperfect you, perfectly.
(A few more picture highlights as we continue our Anderson countdown to Christmas!!)
Happy Birthday Mason!!! (8)
|Birthday at the farm! Grandma knows our boy loves the Vikes!|
|So fun celebrating with the cousins :)|
Happy Birthday Carson!!! (11)
|Birthday with his bros ;)|
Legacy Middle School Basketball for Carson...love this team of boys!!!!
|Carson has some up's!!!|
|Way to steal #54!|
|Praying before the game--it doesn't get much better than that.|
|He shoots.....he scores! :)|
|The stockings were hung...|
|I love it when the boys do the lighting and tree trimming! #HOME :)|
|I love my crazy fun family of gents :)|
|MERRY CHRISTMAS from our home to yours!!|