It is now 1:30 am on December 26th. Christmas has come and gone! Happy Christmas! We spent the day lounging in our jammies and did a little bit of nothing. Nothing if you don't count opening presents, eating breakfast, watching movies, playing with toys, taking naps, and having Christmas dinner. It was my kind of Christmas day. My parents moved to Midway this time last year. It's only an hour or so away but it requires driving up and down a canyon. For the past 10 years or so it has been a tradition that they come to our home for breakfast so this year we invited them to stay over night on Christmas Eve. I knew that they would enjoy being in our home to watch the children open presents. It has been a while since they have had small children. My mom and I figured out that the Christmas of 1995 was the last Christmas when we were all together but even then, we were older. My older brother and I both got married the following year. Anyway, they did come down and we all went to Temple Square to see the lights. It was snowing and the lights and the snow just glistened and glimmered. It was so beautiful and very magical! We even saw Santa Clause, the real deal! At one point my dad stopped to look at the temple and said that is wasn't very long ago when we were all inside having Liam, then Sara sealed to us. It was nice to stop for a minute and ponder the special events that have taken place this year. My heart was full of so much love for the temple and the memories we have there. It is a very special place and it has been a very special year for us! I am so happy that my parents, Mark's mum and brother were able to share these special moments with us.
All day long I couldn't help but hold Sara close to me, giving her lots of loves and kisses. I was filled with so much joy that she is here, part of our lives, part of our family. (It's still a bit surreal.) Although technically this was her 2nd Christmas, I considered it her first. It was her first Christmas to experience the love and laughter, the warmth and feel of a home. She got many, many things as did my other children and I loved knowing that she deserves every little bit and more. In Ukraine they do not celebrate Christmas until January 7th, but even then I wonder if it is a special day for the babies who lay in an orphanage or if it is a day no different than the others. I am just grateful that Sara will now know that Christmas IS a special time of year! All day long Liam kept coming up to me giving me the biggest squeezes! I kept whispering to him too that he is loved and cherished. This was his 3rd Christmas with us but his first as an official Lutkin. As I watched and cuddled all of my children, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and gratitude for the opportunity I have to be a mother. I got a small glimpse of how Mary must have felt becoming a mother, the joy she must have felt as she looked down at her son, the Son of God. The Savior and my family are my greatest gifts! I have been blessed!
It broke my heart today as Kate and Beck learned that our "Elf" was going back to the North Pole. I allowed them both to hold him and give him a hug (before now they were not allowed to touch him or he would lose his magic). I figured since he was on his way back home, it wouldn't hurt. Kate was sobbing and saying that she loved him and was going to miss him. I have to admit, it made me cry. The magic of Christmas seems to pass so quickly and I too do not want it to end. I know that we can and should carry the spirit of Christmas in our hearts every day, but there is something special about Christmas day and the children with their sweet spirits on this day. I assured them that "Will Jingles" would be back next year and Beck said, "That's not very long, a year goes by fast Kate." Oh boy, did that just break my heart to know that he too notices that time just flies by! I want moments like today to last forever. I want my children to stay children forever! It's moments like today when Kate said, "This is the best Christmas ever!" that you wish would never end. It really was a great day!
There are so many pics that I want to post from today, but they'll have to come later, in a separate post. Instead I will post pics that we took on Sunday after church. It was a very frustrating photo op, trying to get everyone to smile and look at the camera at the same time. We originally took them outside but it was a bit chilly so there were not many smiles at all. I finally just sat them down on the couch and snapped away. It was still difficult to get everyone to look at the camera but you get what you get and you don't throw a fit, right? Mark assured me that one day they will all cooperate but today is not the day and for now we just need to do individual shots. More and more I am realizing that I just need to lower my expectations. They're all blog worthy pics regardless so enjoy. Mark, Cole, Beck, Kate, Liam, and Sara, these are a few of my favorite things!
"When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad."
Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!