December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

What, then, shall I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb.
And if I were a wiseman,
I would do my part.
Still, what I can, I give Him.
I give to Him my heart.

Merry Christmas! I hope it's been a wonderful year for you all. I didn't end up getting a Christmas card out this year, so I'll consider this the yearly summary, and try again next time.
It has been a whirlwind of a year for us. I still can't believe it's already Christmas again. It seems like it was just a few months ago that I was newly pregnant with Ollie, and wracked with worry, anxiety, and anticipation to see if we would have better luck with this pregnancy. All of that was unneccessary, and Ollie came to us this July; our lives have been turned upside down ever since.
Becoming parents is such a unique experience. I can understand why Heavenly Father has asked that we have children, because I really think you learn things about your self, your spouse, and the world that it would take ages to know otherwise. And meanwhile, amidst all this learning, you feel more lost and less smart than you ever have before.
A lot of things about having a baby swept me off my feet, but Oliver has brought so much joy, peace, and unity to our home that I can't really imagine what life would be like without him. Well, maybe I can imagine, but I don't want to.
I love being a Mom. I love watching Justin be a Dad. I sometimes really feel like my heart is going to explode with gratitude to Heavenly Father when I watch the two of them talk and play and laugh with one another.
I feel like it's easy for me to get caught in the doldrums. Money, jobs, and the drama of life gets my mind in a fog sometimes and I forget that I have so many wonderful things to be grateful for. Having Ollie has simplified my life in the sense that he and Justin are the only things that really matter most days. If they are happy, healthy, and fed,then my job is done. Everything else is the icing on the cake, and can wait. When I have my focus in the right place, the other things fall into place. When I trust that the Lord has perfect timing, and knows my needs perfectly, and will help me through anything, then my mind can be clear of worry and doubt.
In reading the Christmas letters we received from friends and family, it seems that across the board, folks had a very hard year. There is so much sadness in the world. I hope that this Christmas can be a time of clarity and simplicity. That we won't get wrapped up in the sadness and hardships, but that whatever Christmas is going to be this year, that we can enjoy it and make the most of the time we have together.

We aren't able to go home this year, which is sad for me. But I'm looking forward to spending the next couple days with my own little family. Right now, our days are filled with so many smiles, so much babble, and many first time experiences. It is really a magical time, and I am trying to soak up every minute of it.

I hope that your Christmas will be magical too!
We wish you all of the things you need, some of the things you want,
and lots of happiness and love to go around this coming year.
Merry Christmas!

Justin, Amanda, Oliver, Ruby, Calvin, and Hobbes

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