Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2009...what a difference a year makes! Instead of 2 mini Schrieber's, we now have 3.
Last year, just a few days before Christmas we found out we were having a baby.
August 25th she arrived.
Christmas day she turned 4 months old.
The three visited Santa this year. We hadn't seen him in a couple of years and the kids wanted Berlyn to meet him :)
She was happy and cooperative as usual...no qualms about her.
Christmas Eve we put on our Christmas dresses and attire and went to church for a wonderful service filled with a great message and glorious music.
Brayden fell asleep during the service (which was a bit unusual for him)
When we got home he kept asking for hot cocoa and was saying he was very cold.
However, we were all well enough to enjoy our fondu dinner.
and even got excited when the doorbell rang and Christmas PJ's were delivered from the North Pole.

And all had energy to sprinkle magic reindeer dust on our lawn to help guide Rudolph to our home.

and the two oldest put together a great meal plan for Santa and his crew
(which included cookies, pita bread, blueberries, a clementine, chocolate milk,
sugar and a cliff bar)
And we enjoyed daddy's readings before settling in for a long winter's nap.
And while settling in, Daddy finished up Brooke's Barbie Dream House.
(he actually finished this a couple of nights before..and all gifts were wrapped before Christmas Eve too--a first for us...But here is a man laboring in love)
Daddy's hard work
brought about miles of smiles on Christmas morn'
and the house quickly became filled with "all things girly"
But our little guy struggled to open presents. His long winter's nap wasn't so long or restful.
Brayden woke up about 11:55pm Christmas Eve night with a fever and a stomach virus.
He was up vomiting all night and made runs into the bathroom all morning...
even kept a bowl next to him all day long in case he couldn't make it to the bathroom in time.
My poor guy. I am sure Christmas Day is one of the most "looked-forward-to" days of the year for a child. Who would want the stomach bug on this wondrous day?
He was such a trooper though.
The overall excitement in the house was mild. We certainly missed Brayden's energy and excitement. I've been learning a lot about "expectations" and "life circumstances" this year. Things don't always go as planned...I'm trying to find a way to quickly bounce back during these times. It doesn't always come naturally and I sometimes have to force myself to be positive when rolling with the punches. This is something Darcy is very good at...so I have a good example to model after. I love this quality about him.
like I said before "all things girly"...
Berlyn received a new friend...meet Janet the Mouse.
And these were actually Brayden's Christmas PJ's for his first Christmas.
Berlyn didn't seem to mind.
and Brayden didn't even notice...
He is so good when he's sick. Always so independent...and not very needy.
It didn't take much before this guy was ready to call it quits
and rest he did...
(for a long time)
and the rest of us took care of him, enjoyed each other and the day.

Later in the evening, we made our traditional stop by extended family's house for dessert. Darcy stayed at home with Brayden, so I took the girls myself. It was rainy and my heart felt a bit heavy. I didn't want to be away from Darcy or my son. I had wished and expected the day to have been a little different. I had to drive by our old empty home on the way there. I miss it... and I fought the tears...trying to focus on the meaning of the day, the many blessings in my life.
And as soon as we arrived, the joy started filling my heart once again. Familiar faces, unconditional love, friendship...all wrapped up into one room.
Darcy and I had decided not to exchange Christmas presents this year, but Dana and I had previously exchanged gifts. There was one present she had yet to give me (a silver ring I had picked out at the craft show we attended together in November). It was the first present I had opened all day. A simple band with the words "FORGIVEN" engraved around it. I slipped it onto my finger and immediately felt at peace and began to ponder many things.
It wasn't necessarily Jesus' birth that I kept thinking of, but rather His death.
The end of His life that marked the beginning
of mine.

So Christmas this year wasn't as I had expected. But all I have to do is glance down at my hand and I am reminded that I have been forgiven. That I have a God that doesn't guarantee that life will go as planned or without bumps and detours...but He does guarantee many other things...
HOPE.
COMFORT.
LOVE.
FORGIVENESS.
LIFE.
the things we really need.
It's been a year of learning for me.
Anxiously anticipating the blessings of 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas in Saline

We celebrated Christmas in Saline with my side of the family on Saturday. As always, we had a great time together...lots of fun. lots of love. lots of laughter.
(my mom AKA Grammy Jo and Berlyn...
she had no problem being passed around and loved on all evening)
(my guys. my heart.)
(my little yummy)
(my brother Jeff's son, Mitchell)
(the moment Brooke had been dreaming about...the arrival of Baby Whoopsie-Doo)
(chef natalie opening up her gifts...kids cookbook and cooking accessories.
i hear she has already made some tasty treats!)
(bray)
(my bro-in-law Matt (Sarah's hubby) and my brother Jeff)
(more opening....)
(and delight in gifts received)
(darcy labeled these two pics...appropriately ;)
love the new kitchen towels Mama Jo!
(me, em, rebecca, and bear)
(not so sure about the company berlyn is keeping these days)
and each year, even though we draw names to give gifts, my sisters and I always "secretly" slip away somewhere and exchange gifts together...it's our favorite.
above are the gifts I gave this year.
(Sarah, Emily and I proudly wearing our sister gift from bear...
new pashmina scarves. love them!)
good times
together with family
treasured memories
(my nephew blair...sweet lil' guy!)
priceless moments
being family...
(gram and I)
being loved...
and being ourselves...
( i still crack up at this photo...my dad's old hat i believe...darcy put it on and i told him he reminded me of Jim Carrey as the limo driver in Dumb and Dumber.)
too funny!
I guess the Carter in me is rubbing off on my hubby too.
Family.
One of the greatest gifts we can receive.
Lovin' mine dearly.