Just Life

A Very Merry Christmas.

I realized on Friday that I had three more posts I wanted to share before the new year and I decided to go for it even though it would mean posting on the weekend. First up is a recap of our Christmas.

I loved sharing the Christmas Eve service at my church with my brother and his family.

I commented to Lydia (my SIL in case you’re new to the family relationships here) on the way out that I’m sure I take my church for granted. The lovely sanctuary, caring clergy, beautiful music ministry, thoughtful liturgy (with underlying thoughtful theology)  … it’s a given for me. and how blessed am I to experience this … and share it. and yes, I really did THINK all of that on Christmas Eve 🙂

Christmas Day started late. and slowly … with mimosas …

and then went to hyper-speed when we got to Katie’s. Games and Sam (just in general this kiddo is a balm for whatever sad might ail you – click the photos to see video!).

Friday was our Family Gathering at my sister’s. with more gifts for the little boys (and another click and play!)

And the group photos were FUN!

This post has been a bittersweet one to prepare. Sara, Katie and her family feature prominently … and right this minute, we have no set plans to see any of them in 2020. I know we will … but still, nothing definite is hard.

AND today I un-decorated … five bins and a de-frocked Christmas tree to be carried down to the basement when Marc gets back from golf. I’m listening to the soundtrack from the new Little Women (Sara and I saw it Thursday). We both loved this latest take on the classic. and I think we both might be reading the book in 2020.

This is what real life is, right? highs and lows (and if we’re lucky, cute little boys with aunts who’ll play games). I want to share more of all of this with y’all in 2020 (and beyond). Thank you for reading, commenting and for always being part of my story. Let’s make the most of this last bit of 2019 and hit 2020 in stride.

xo – M.


  • Kat

    Undecorating!?! I have saved that for Monday/Tuesday task (as in Monday I will do all the un-decorating and Tuesday I will enlist Steve to haul it all downstairs!) No set plans is indeed more bitter than sweet! I hope you have that remedied and soon!

    I am looking forward to a good 2020 – with you and my blog friends very much included!

  • Patty

    Love the live photos! And no u-decorating here for at least two weeks. I Keep. That. Tree. Up! 🙂 I am so excited to see Little Women in the next week and have also said…re-read! And here’s to the highs and lows Mary…not sure when we’ll see Dan again either. We just keep on keepin’ on and keep the highs close at heart! Looking forward to more 2020 together!

  • Karen

    What a beautiful family portrait!!! And yes, not knowing when you’ll see your kids is a difficult reality. When our daughter lived on the west coast for six years, that was often the case. No undecorating at our house until January 11 at the earliest. Once we realized we’d be leaving for Sarah’s right after Christmas every year, we purchased an artificial tree. I thought I wouldn’t like it, but actually I love it. The tree and all the decorations here at Sarah’s came down today in anticipation of Caleb and Hannah’s birthdays tomorrow. (Yes, they share a birthday–five years apart.)

  • Juliann

    You are so good about getting pictures. It was so dark by the time we gathered after church on Christmas Eve so no photos this year. We won’t undecorate for at least a few weeks but we didn’t put much out this year so it won’t take long.
    Happy new year!

  • Sarah

    I’m finding it very hard not to have a big smile on my face just looking at the photos with the boys — it’s clear they bring so much joy!

  • Carole

    Our true Christmas decorations, the tree and window lights and all the red things, stay up until January 6th. I leave the greens and twinkle lights and the tree in our bedroom up for much longer. It helps with the winter doldrums up here in MA. I love your family photos and I’m glad you got to be with everyone for Christmas.

  • Debbie

    I leave my Christmas decorations up through the 12 days of Christmas and don’t begin to put them away until after Epiphany on the 6th. Your family photos are wonderful, so glad you had such a nice Christmas!

  • Honore´

    Since the /any tree didn’t get up this year, no problem about “undecorating” it…the other decorations I put out will be whooshed away in one fell swoop, no doubt. Family pics are fun; Sara looks great and I know how you feel but there are all sorts of surprises in 2020…
    Love the Zingo game; gotta get one for Dolly’s boys.

    Happy 2020 my friend!

  • Vicki

    Oh, I feel your bittersweet… I have no idea when or where I’ll see Maddy next! I don’t even know if it’ll be in 2020. Kate’s working on her Visa application, trying hard NOT to be in the immediate picture in 2021. I helped to give them those wings… it’s not always easy watching them fly. Thankfully, Ali & kiddos seem to be staying put… at least for a while.

    Here’s to 2020 and beyond. <3

  • Bonny

    We raise them to be strong and independent, and then miss them immensely when they become that! So glad to see such fun photos of family! I was lazy about decorating and have been undecorating the same way — a few bits at a time.

  • Lydia

    Love how the photos came out especially the trees in the background. The un-decorating will begin either today or Thursday. Very much looking forward to a “free” weekend, and a chance to do some 2020 planning. Happy New Year!