Monday, December 31, 2012

Ellie's First Christmas

As I hung the fifth stocking a few weeks ago I couldn't help but stand in awe once again of our journey to our little girl.  Last Christmas we hadn't even started process so a new little one this Christmas wasn't on our radar.  We feel so blessed that God would pave the way for our little girl to make her way into our family and more importantly in our hearts this Christmas.  

This Christmas Ellie brought a bit of perspective to life.  It has been evident that Ellie found her security being in her daddy and mommy's arms.  She has been slowly letting her siblings in a little bit at a time.  As Christmas approached I felt like it was more important for us to have time as a family and trying to make our days as relaxed as possible.  That meant letting go of some of our traditions this year and instead focusing on time with each other.  

We usually do our Christmas as a family on Christmas Eve but we decided to spend the day on Saturday having Christmas as a family.  Santa must have gotten wind because he came during the night.  The kids just couldn't believe that he came early and they were on the top of his list.  You would think by number 5 this mom would have it figured out and not put the little one to bed in the pj's you want her to wear for pictures in the morning because without fail they will have a blow out.  So Miss Ellie didn't get to have her matching pj's on for stockings. 

She wasn't quite awake or sure what to think with all the hustle and bustle. Shane was so sweet and emptied everything out of her stocking for her one by one before he dug into his.  

It is hard to believe that just last year we were celebrating Max's first Christmas home!  

We decided to head to our favorite breakfast place and then spent the day hanging out as a family.  We watched a movie, played games, played in the snow, baked some cookies and just soaked up time together.

We finished the evening by opening gifts with kids.  

Ellie got her first doll for Christmas. The girls are excited to play babies with her.

On Sunday Eric's family spent the day with us. We had another relaxing day hanging with family. 

Ellie loves books and got some new touchy, feely books for Christmas.  They will be perfect for the hospital. 

Ellie has a fan club cheering her on as she tries and experiences new things.  The kids get so excited for her. 

The kids had an absolute blast together. 

Christmas Eve day was much like the previous.  We spent the whole day soaking up time together as a family.  We began getting ready for church in the late afternoon. 

The lovely self-timer photo! 

We were asked to do a reading as a family and light the last advent candle at our Christmas Eve Service.  It was special standing in front of our church family as a family of 7.  My heart is definitely full this Christmas season. 

On Christmas we made our way to my parents to celebrate Christmas.  

I love how God has knit our family together ...  there are five biological grandchildren, five adopted domestically and internationally and two foster grandchildren.  I know my parents would say they are blessed! 

Every year Grammy gets the kids matching pj's.  The tradition is a picture at the end of the night on Papa and Grammy's bed. Two years ago my heart ached as I took the pajama picture.  We were waiting to travel to get Max.  It was hard knowing a little boy that had found his way into my heart wasn't home.  Last year I loved the pj picture and seeing Max right where he belonged.  This year's picture makes me smile as we have added one more little striped Christmas blessing to Papa and Grammy's bed. 

The most precious gift to me this Christmas season was truly all the time we spent as a family.  By letting go of some of our traditions and some of the business that comes with the season we were really able to soak up our time together.  It has been amazing to see Ellie soaking up all this family time and her security level has jumped to new levels.  She often still keeps an eye on me but she freely will go to her siblings now and doesn't need to come back in my arms after 5 minutes.  The kids have been waiting for this so it was a pretty special Christmas gift for them too. Ellie is also feeling more and more comfortable playing on the floor or in her jumper without someone sitting right next to her.  It has been amazing to see the transformation in this little girl over the last week!

The wonder of the season was magnified as we experienced the most precious gift this Christmas, having Ellie home! Praying we can bathe in the wonder of the gift of His presence and the blessings he has for us in 2013!


Troy and Diane Sturgeon said...

Merry Christmas to you all. Could your family be any more beautiful...inside and out?!

Paige said...

What a merry Christmas!! Every year I say I will bring it down a notch and we finally did as well and it was so much better for this Mommy:)
Your children are precious,I was praying for Ellie today as I swam today. I hope all is coming together as far as docs ect!!!
Happy New Year to your family from ours!!!

carolinagirl said...

Wonderful post! You definitely had a blessed Christmas! Happy New Year!

jennifer said...

Looks like a perfect Christmas! How nice to slow down a bit and take it all in. Your girls were so cute in their coordinating outfits!

Betsy said...

Merry Christmas Ellie from your friend Ryn! We are all praying for you and love to see your little smile. :-)

likeschocolate said...

How wonderfully! Truly blessed! Happy new year,

Fannie said...

I love your updates!! So fun to see how Ellie is adjusting at home. She is such a lucky girl to have such an awesome family. So glad that all the kiddos patience has paid off! :) How did the doctor visit go?

Thanks for posting all the great pictures! Can't wait to see what the New Year brings for all of us!

Jboo said...

What great celebrations! Your family is so sweet and beautiful.


Love Being A Nonny said...

I KNOW what it takes to get this picture. I am the nonny and I have five on my bed in pjs at year there will be seven! I LOVE the picture of your parents with all the children!!!

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