Still being merry

blogimg_9214-2I know. Be merry?

The date on the calendar reads January 24th.  And the Christmas holiday is long over.  So why am I posting about Christmas when the month of February is looming right around the next corner?

Our family has been making merry for almost two months now. We are one of those families that start decorating for the holiday the day after Thanksgiving. Out come all of the Christmas totes and boxes of decorations, the tree goes up, and Christmas carols and songs ring through the house.

This year, Papa, middle daughter, and I outdid ourselves with lights and décor because Little One (our almost 2-year-old granddaughter) delighted in it all. Each morning upon awakening, the first thing she asked us to do was plug in all (and I do mean all) of the Christmas lights.

We celebrated Christmas with her and our daughter (her mommy) a few days before the actual holiday because of daughter’s job and other circumstances beyond our control. 

Christmas Eve found Papa and Mama at our church late night candlelight service and on Christmas Day, we celebrated yet again with my sister and brother-in-law at their home.

Then just a few days later, we hosted another Christmas celebration and dinner in our own home with our oldest daughter and son-in-law and their sweet, newly married Australian friends who had traveled to the United States for their honeymoon.

And the season of giving just kept on giving.

Just recently, we celebrated Christmas yet again at our son and daughter-in-law’s home in one of the states next door.  Because granddaughter number two (who will be known henceforth in this blog as Little Two) was making her arrival just a few days before the holiday, we had already planned to delay our family gathering until the new parents and baby could get a bit adjusted to their exhausting new lives.

So a weekend celebration in January was planned for all of us to converge on their home and provide all of the meals and fun and exchange Christmas gifts to celebrate not only the birth of our Savior but the dear new little life that has joined our family.

What better reason than that to be merry? Whether it be in December, January, or all year long, Christmas should stay in our hearts.

“Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” ~ Dale Evans

©2017 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Thanks Giving: for family

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My 30 days of thanks giving are winding down and the countdown to Christmas will begin soon.  If you’re a steady reader of Mama’s Empty Nest, you know that family means the world to me as I do write about my loved ones often.  

I consider myself ultimately blessed to have a close-knit, loving family – don’t get me wrong, we’re certainly not perfect and we have our squabbles but we love each other enough to work things out and forgive one another.  I realize many folks can’t say the same.  For those who struggle with family situations, my hope for you is that you find caring, supportive folks who will love you within the family of God.

Not all of our immediate family is able to venture home for Thanksgiving Day tomorrow. Many miles separate us but love binds us together and I pray it always stays that way as our family grows and increases.

I’m grateful for the loved ones who will be around our dining room table tomorrow, including one of son-in-law’s buddies who can’t be with his own family clear across the country.  And I’m so thankful all of my family will congregate to celebrate Christmas together before oldest daughter and son-in-law leave on their grand adventure to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.  (They are top left in the photo above taken two years ago; middle daughter & son-in-law who are expecting our first grandchild are top right; son and daughter-in-law are bottom left, and of course, the two who started it all – Mama and Papa – are bottom right.)

And for now, I’m thankful for a house full of people I love and the opportunity, God willing, to all be together again for Christmas. 

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”  ~ Desmond Tutu

©2014 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

2/3 but who’s counting?

blogIMG_2825It was a full Easter weekend at Mama’s Empty Nest even if it was only 2/3 full. Notice I choose to view the nest 2/3 full instead of 1/3 empty since four of the six faraway loved ones flew (well, drove) back to the nest to celebrate Resurrection Day with us.

I confess that often I’m a bit envious of those families whose grown children live nearby them. They get to spend all holidays and even regular old every days together whenever they want. When our three were young, Papa and I lived far away from our families and we missed celebrating holidays often with them. And now, with our three strewn across three different states, I find myself in the same predicament.  

Our grown up girls and their spouses managed days off and long drives to spend some good quality family time together with us this Easter weekend. Since we haven’t been together as a family since Christmas, it truly was cause for celebration even though son and daughter-in-law would not be here.

We talked and we ate. We laughed, we ate. We played games, we ate. The girls made Easter favors; the guys helped Papa drag out the outdoor furniture and then had their usual target practice. And did I mention we ate? We curled up in the family room and watched “Saving Mr. Banks” together and we ate some more. And then we celebrated our Savior’s victory over death at our church where Papa and I were narrators for the Easter Cantata.

What a glorious weekend! Even the weather cooperated and we enjoyed two sunshine-filled warm days. We broke out the ladder golf game and ate lunch outside on the back yard deck.

All too soon, time arrived for them to leave and drive back to those other states where they reside. Papa and I stood on the deck waving goodbye as each car pulled out of our driveway. We walked back into our quiet home and started cleaning up the kitchen, loading the dishwasher, tidying up.

Afterwards, we plunked down in our usual spots in the empty family room. Papa fired up the laptop; Mama turned on the TV to watch The Amazing Race. But our day of joy wasn’t over yet. The phone rang and our empty nest felt complete when we heard our son’s voice wishing us a Happy Easter.

Family love fills my tank. Time spent together is the fuel, whether it’s in person or on the phone. And believe it or not, life is full in our nest even when it’s empty.

“Circumstances and situations do color life, but you have been given the mind to choose what the color shall be.” ~ John Homer Miller

©2014 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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