It's hard for me to believe that one year ago today we were anxiously awaiting word on the closing for our house. It has been a crazy year. We got the keys for our house on December 5, 2011. Then the work started. Walls being torn down, electrical and plumbing work being fixed, carpeting removed and replaced, flooring removed and replaced. Walls built back into new places. This house has seen a complete transformation. It was wonderful to be able to decorate this week for our first Christmas here. Last year it still felt like we were in transition. Being able to live with my mom was a huge blessing, but it did make the Christmas holiday seem kind of lost in a way. We were so busy working it passed with very little celebration. We moved into our house on January 28, 2012. By that time Kaitlyn was in school and we were not happy with her placement. I learned how to truly fight the system. In May Joey was born and summer was a blur of diapers, feedings and giggles. School started in August and I felt like my head may actually get a chance to slow down. Then I blinked and Thanksgiving took center stage. And now here we are, preparing again for Christmas.
We celebrate the tradition of Advent, so our Christmas celebration is the entire month of December. Monday I start my own personal Advent study and the following Sunday we start our family study. For any Christian that doesn't incorporate Advent into their Christmas tradition, it is an amazing thing to do. The four weeks before Christmas is a study into the reason for Christ. We celebrate Hope on week one, Peace on week two, Joy week three and Love week four. Hope looks into the expectation of Christ by looking at prophetic passages as well as looking to His second coming. Peace celebrates the peace we can have because of Christ, Joy the incredible ability we have to be joyous in everything because of Christ and Love celebrates the love God showed toward us by sending Christ to die in our place. In the center of our wreath is the eternity candle, symbolizing the everlasting life we can have because of Christ. It really is a fantastic tradition, and one I hope my kids will carry on with their children.
So that is that... a full, busy, crazy but joyous year. So many things to be thankful for. I am VERY thankful to be home after 10 years. I have loved each and every place we have lived for a different reason, but I think I can truly say that this is, by far, my favorite place!! What a holiday season this will be!!!