This was a special Christmas for our family. Charlie's first Christmas. Our first Christmas to be in our own home on Christmas morning. We loved making some sweet memories with the girls this year.

When we look back at what was going on last Christmas to where we are now... it's hard to believe. We were still waiting to get this house. Charlie was still in my belly. Elli hadn't started school yet.

This year held so much good for our family, but it was a tough one. While I have been so thankful for our home and the remodel, I've realized that a part of me was resentful. So much work, money, time, and energy went into this house this year, I was struggling to see beyond the sacrifice to actually enjoying our home. 

For me, this holiday season was healing. We did work a little, finishing up a few projects here and there, but we spent most of it just enjoying each other and our home. We lit a fire almost every night and snuggled under blankets. We baked and ate and drank. 

("Mom, it just makes me smile!" - Elli's reaction to egg nog.)

Charlie learned to crawl and marveled at the twinkle lights. I fell even deeper in love with my husband (of eight years!), our sweet little trio of chicas, and the life we all share. I felt energy and passion to create and live intentionally for the first time in a long time. I'm grateful. And so so ready to see what this new year holds.

Daniel and I had a lot of fun creating a play room for the girls' gift this year. We repurposed and painted and sewed a magical room for them to enjoy. 

Their reaction was pure delight! Caroline walked in the room and began dancing, while Elli gasped and explored the two canopies.

Christmas morning was sweet and slow, just how I like it! Charlie was absolutely delicious. I mean really, who can resist that toothy, crinkle-nosed smile?

This was the first year we had the girls pick out presents for each other. They both had so much fun picking out the perfect present for their sisters. One of them was a little more committed to keeping secrets than the other (and it might surprise you which one!), but when it came down to it, they both were overjoyed to see each other open their gifts.

 I didn't get very many pictures of our day with Daniel's family. With seven kids and toddlers and babies... it was busy and magical and precious! How much a year can increase our joy.

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