Hello there! The weather is gorgeous here in Ohio - I think we have had two full weeks of sunshine! I attached a photo of our two kitties, Henry and Lucy, enjoying the sunshine while it lasts :).
As we pass from fall to winter, I am noticing a change in myself. I used to dread winter and how cold it always is for months on end. I’m a summer girl - I love 80 degree weather and being able to be outside as much as possible. But over the last couple of years, I’ve eagerly anticipated winter. The holidays always bring lots of fun events to go to. The cold air is fresh and clean. And who doesn’t love playing in the snow? I think having a warm winter coat helps as well. I got a new coat last year that keeps me nice and toasty, and I’m much more willing to go outside!
I thought it would be fun to think about what we will do for the holidays/winter in the future with our adopted child. We definitely want to start new traditions when we become a family of three.
When he/she is still a baby, we can walk around with a stroller and look at the pretty Christmas lights on the houses on our street.
When he/she is a toddler, we can take a carriage ride at the big outdoor mall in the city.
We can bake Christmas cookies together and introduce he/she to our favorite Christmas movies like Elf, A Muppet Christmas Carol, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Clause is Coming to Town.
I (Kristen) love ice skating and took ice skating lessons as a child growing up. I love the thought of us ice skating when he/she is older, both of us holding one hand as he/she learns to skate with Christmas music playing in the background.
Eventually, when he/she is old enough, we’d love to start the tradition of chopping down our own Christmas tree!
Most years we visit Kristen’s family in California, so maybe going to Disneyland at Christmastime could also be a fun tradition!
One thing we think is an essential Christmastime tradition is celebrating Advent as a family. Our children will know and celebrate the birth of their savior with joyful anticipation each year! There are fun things associated with this, like special christmas cookies and drinks, and stories and ornaments that represent our eagerness for Christ’s birth!
We look forward to the day we will begin some of these traditions! For now, we will enjoy some of the last days of sunshine and celebrate each season in life as it comes.
Growing up, my (Kristen’s) family did not live near family (we were in Iowa, they were in California), so thanksgiving was usually spent by ourselves. Sometimes my mom would cook the big meal, with turkey and stuffing and everything that is yummy about Thanksgiving.
I remember thinking we weren’t normal doing holidays by ourselves, and wishing we could go visit family or that someone would invite us over for their thanksgiving, and even though sometimes that would happen, those thanksgivings were few and far between.
Christmas tended to be the same. I remember my dad would wake us up by playing the Andy Williams christmas special on TV really loudly, and that was our cue that Christmas was going to start!
My parents, brother, sister, and niece all live in California now, and Jon and I are in Ohio. We usually spend thanksgiving now with Jon’s family, and they are filled with lots of laughter and good food.
At Christmas, we go to California to see my family and all of my aunts and uncles, cousins, etc. I will always cherish the memories we have with my grandparents over the last several years on the holidays (they both passed away in the last year and a half) and the wonderful large family celebrations we’ve been able to be part of.
It’s so funny, because I just got off the phone with my mom - and it made me miss those small holiday celebrations where it was just “us” - and we had our own special traditions.
Now that I’ve experienced both, I can honestly say that whatever our thanksgiving looks like - whether it is spent with lots of family or by ourselves, what I will always cherish about the holiday is how much we are loved and how much love we can give to our families and friends all year long.
Thankfulness doesn’t begin to cover our gratitude.
God bless and happy thanksgiving! :)