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Some loving moments with Nana and Papa JJ...

We celebrated Christmas early with Nana and Papa JJ. It's just so much more fun to exchange gifts in person rather than over video chat. The girls were very spoiled and felt very seen by their Nana who had listened intently to their interests and then come up with the perfect gifts. It was a treasure to spend this time together.

It's really no secret that this year has been tough. There's a whole list of hard stuff. My soul was very much restored by spending time with my parents; they took care of us and loved us. I could rest and reset. We all left with our buckets a little fuller!

Before outdoor gatherings were completely nixed, we fortunately managed time outdoors with each family. Our first bit of quality time was with the Cranmers. We went for a walk and had a bonfire complete with s'mores and shortbread.

The next outdoor gathering was with Cathy and Jim on Jim's birthday. Again, a walk and some patio chit chat.

And then, my sister Kim came over with her kids. Maeve's biggest complaint of the trip was not being able to play with Theia. Next time baby girl! I would've loved to have snuggled and played more with my little nieces and nephew too. And I wish I could've seen what E and Arinzey really thought of each other in an indoor, snowsuit-less environment!

And last but not least, just as the new restrictions were being put into place, we got to hang with the Larsens. A walk and hot chocolate on their new porch. My motto for this trip was "more than nothing," and that's definitely what we got. If we hadn't made the trip we would've gotten nothing, whereas at the very least we got to do some relationship maintenance. SO worth it!

We exchanged gifts and celebrated Christmas with my parents while we were in town. My parents were so generous and put together really thoughtful gifts for my children. We so enjoyed spending time with them over this Christmas season. It was an absolute JOY!

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