"A baby overwhelms us with its lovableness; even its smell stirs us more deeply than the smell of pine or baking bread. What is overpowering is simply the fact that a baby is life." -Bill Cosby
I love Christmas. It is by far my favorite holiday, and I am always so sad to see it go. This year I kept reminding myself that it was only a year ago that we announced we were having a baby. (I don't think I ever posted the photo of my family members' faces when Steve shouted "Rachel's pregnant" during our Christmas eve toast. Here it is, one year later).
No big announcements this year, but there was a little baby to cuddle and spoil. It brought me so much joy to watch my family hold and play with Miles. My sister and her husband Josh were so great with him, and my Grandpa Dick chatted with him like they were best friends. We spent Christmas eve at my grandmother's house, enjoying a delicious meal. Then, everyone except me and Miles headed to church (the downside to an early bedtime).
Like usual, Christmas day was spent at my mom's house, where we didn't get out of our pajamas the whole day (not atypical for me these days) and ate meal after delicious meal. I think I've figured out why I like Christmas so much--it involves two delicious dinners and breakfast. And in our house, it also involves a puzzle.
Every year we work on a puzzle on a card table in the living room. Generally the participants rotate in and out of the chairs as we take turns watching sports, taking naps and preparing meals. The only time the puzzle becomes somewhat competitive is when it nears completion and we begin to speculate over who will put in the last piece. Really competitive, I know.
I made these dark chocolate peppermint brownies that I've had my eye on for some time. It's a little bit of work to make brownies from scratch, but definitely worth it.
Miles did pretty well staying at my mom's house, but I'm telling you, this baby does not like to nap. Whether he's afraid he'll miss something fun, still struggling to transition through sleep cycles, or is just plain overtired, I'm not sure. He's recently starting gnawing pretty hard on things and scratches at his ear, which I've read are both signs of teething. In any case, it was the beginning of many more years of sharing the fun of Christmas with a little one. I can't wait to see him enjoy it even more as he gets older.
My sister is so sweet with her little nephew, and didn't seem to mind his cries of protest during naps or tendency to spit up on her clothes. I wish she and Josh lived closer.
So many times over the past few days, we found ourselves gathered around a blanket on the floor, just watching Miles play with toys, practice rolling over, and respond to our silly faces or songs. We'd laugh about how easy it was to just sit and watch a baby be a baby. I can't help thinking about how Christmas is about exactly that--celebrating the miracle of a baby. Christ came into the world just like us, and brought not only joy and love, but also hope. God loves us, God is for us, God is with us. I am so incredibly thankful for this gift.