And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."
Luke 2: 10-12


— n
1.a. the annual commemoration by Christians of the birth ofJesus 
Christ on Dec 25
b. Also called: Christmas Day  Dec 25, observed as a day of 
secular celebrations when gifts and greetings are exchanged
c. ( as modifier ): Christmas celebrations

This Christmas reminded me of how blessed I am.

Our Christmas season was filled with family and friends and joy and laughter and peace.

My sister Vanessa and brother in law Lucas travelled from Texas to visit the week before Christmas. Oliver was thrilled to finally meet them, and we had such a wonderful time visiting with them. They arrived in California on a Thursday and headed up to South Lake Tahoe with my parents and little brother. I was able to take Saturday off from work and Nicholas & I drove up with Oliver and Auntie Toya. We spent Saturday and Sunday enjoying the beautiful scenery and catching up with my sister. We enjoyed an early Christmas dinner with Vanessa & Lucas before they left.

I had to work Christmas Eve, but I got home in time to go to my parent's home to open gifts with my sister Toya, and enjoy delicious tamales. Nick's parents and sister Vicki also were able to join us. 

Nicholas & I spent Christmas morning with Oliver, trying to persuade him to unwrap his gifts. He pulled toys and books from his stocking but was less interested in unwrapping gifts. Instead, he entertained himself with the empty boxes. We also read the Christmas Story to him out of Luke chapter 2. He felt like he should talk too while I read so he helped out in his own baby language. 

We also spent time with both our families and Oliver played with his cousins from out of town. 

We received many beautiful gifts but even more special was the time we were able to spend with our loved ones. I was overwhelmed by all the gifts and love that our families showered on us and on Oliver. We felt incredibly blessed and thankful that we were able to spend such an important day with people who mean so much to us. 

Christmas reminds me of the wonderful gift that Christ gave to us: His birth as a human child, so that he could live and die for us as our Savior and in doing so, give us the greatest gift of all, eternal life with him.

I was reminded of the amazing love us Christ throughout this holiday season. 
Knowing this amazing story and knowing that Christ lives in my heart and is with me always gives me such joy and Christmas is such a beautiful day to share that story with our son and our family. 

I pray that you would feel this joy, and share it with those around you, too. 

Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad. Buon Natale.

P. S. here are a few photos from our Christmas Season....



today I discovered Polyvore.... so while Oliver napped, I summed up my winter style inspiration through pictures.


seven months later..

Look who turned 7 months old, today:

Oliver Aiden.

Each new day, Oliver grows a little more
and learns something new.
He learned to crawl this past month.
Almost immediately after that, he figured out how to stand up 
by holding on to stationary objects 
such as the couch, mommy or daddy's legs, chairs, tables, etc. 

Look out, world, little elf is on the move.

"Please be content with crawling for a little longer, " 
I silently beg my rapidly growing baby.
The muscles in my arms have strengthened from carrying him.
Even so, I still need a rest from time to time,
reminding me that the infant we brought home seven months ago
is fast approaching toddlerhood. 
I love every minute I spend watching this amazing little miracle of human life.

We play games now, 
Oliver & I.
As he sits in his highchair watching me wash the dishes or cook dinner.
He stares at me until I notice him and smile.
Instantly a huge smiles spreads across his face
and he gives me one of his fantastic baby laughs.
I dance for him, he giggles and waves his arms.
I try to feed him applesauce on a spoon.
Sometimes he loves it, 
more times he dramatically makes gagging sounds 
and spits it out. 
He shakes his head back and forth 
and repeats baby sounds over and over again.
I say them back to him and he laughs gleefully. 

And he drives me absolutely insane.
This is a thing he L-O-V-E, loves to do.
He crawls to the brick fireplace and stands against it, 
wobbling dangerously on his little toes.
I rush over and pull him away, bribing him with toys, books,
blocking his way with pillows.
Oliver scales the pillows and is back at the fireplace the minute I turn my back, 
all the while smiling his sweet little prankster smile.

And all the emotions Oliver brings me are insignificant compared to this 
overwhelming love that I feel for him, 
my baby boy.

I pray that God gives you many more days and months and years of life,
so I can watch you grow and learn and become who God created you to be.

For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Psalm 71:5 ESV



doesn't have
 to be 
P E R F E C T 
to be 

-Annette Funicello