Christmas Reflections

Beth issued a challenge last week to find the “magic” (or lights) in the holiday week.
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It’s something I have noticed since we decorated. Reflections of Christmas. They are everywhere in doors and windows, around every turn and corner, on roofs and trees.

Lights. Lovely lights. Reflective lights.

Christmas

Salem and Anna

A view away. A turn. A pause. Are you looking?

Magic awaits. The magic of Christmas. Do you sense it?

Joy and Love. Filling hearts. Do you feel it?

Lights and glow. A surface away. Do you see it?

Reflective and imaginative, if only you just look.

Christmas, it’s here!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours. May the love of Christmas find you and wrap you in its arms. Enjoy your family. Feel the blessed magic that Jesus brings. Merry, Merry, Merry (three merrys for three girls, three dogs, three tens) Christmas to you!

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A Christmas Gift to Remember

Another busy weekend and it wasn’t spent shopping. That, I still need to do.

What I did do was take portraits of the little girls and their mom. It was my Christmas gift to her. I wanted her to have pictures of just her, and her girls. Ones she could share with her family and know they weren’t prints I’d have all over the walls of our house. Because, I LOVE prints of the girls all over the walls of our house, and I probably would. Which? Is why I made them a gift so I wouldn’t steal them ……they are hers.

I’ll just give you a peek.

It was a really nice day. I had my assistant Sydney with me. We went to a park. It was incredible to me that it is December and the leaves are still in color change.

It set a magical scene.

One of the many reasons, I love Texas. Maybe we don’t get to see snow that often, but we get FALL for a long, long time. Psssst, love it!

The girls were excited to have step mom, mom, and sister on an outing together. It was getting in a car and going somewhere. Just us girls – weee!

I was really happy to know they acted the same with her as they do at our house; giggly, loud, and silly – or just like normal little girls.

Sometimes, I get a little afraid when they show affection towards me. There was a time their mom wasn’t very happy about that.

That was a long time ago.

We have come a long way and made great strides toward blended family relations. Based on how we get along, I think a lot of things have changed for the better. Now, I hug with no fear, even her.

I recognize the beauty of mothers and daughters. I could never take that from any one, nor would I want to. I want to always support that bond and encourage their love. What child couldn’t use more love?

More hugs? More laughter?

Am I good person for doing this? People tell me I am. But I don’t think of it that way. I didn’t take photos to get ahead, or to earn favors, or smooth ruffled feathers. I took photos because I love these little girls.

I love them like I gave birth to them myself.

But I didn’t.

I have this woman to thank for that.

For two precious angels I get to love too. I hold that very dear to my heart. I am grateful, so grateful, for being blessed as their step mom.

Incredible husband, beautiful step daughters, stunning daughter, and an ex-wife that is open to my crazy ideas of family. If this is the time of year blessings are counted, I need more than my fingers and toes.

A time to reflect. A time to reach out. A time when we humble ourselves like the deity that crossed the heavens to be a helpless infant for our hope. Hope and love – a gift to always treasure.

I am embracing this time of year, and I am sharing gifts of a different kind. Ones I hope will always be remembered.

Now, I must go and edit my next set of pictures. I took them the next day. Another gift…..a gift of education, a gift of pure pride. My amazing husband got his masters degree and I was there to capture the exciting event (I wouldn’t have missed it – not even for a Survivor finale – right, honey?).

I Am Rich

I am filled up and overflowing.

I am abundantly supplied with love, support, and all the hugs I can hold.

I am blessed with family near and far; blood, step, blended and befriended.

I adore you all. I am so very thankful for you.

I read an email earlier this week and it reverberated in my soul. It was written by evangelist Greg Laurie. Some of you know, it was his radio show I listened to that turned my life from one of abuse, hurt, despair, and pain addiction to one of hope, joy, and blessings. The Bible came alive when I heard him speak about it and for the first time in my life, I truly understood what the Cross meant. So to Greg, thank-you and I am sharing your email on a day I am most thankful for.

    Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
    — Psalm 107:1

    It seems as though merchants really don’t know what to do with Thanksgiving. They market Halloween and Christmas and make a lot of money off these holidays. But they don’t really know what to do with Thanksgiving, which is really very spiritual in its origins. It was designated by President George Washington in 1789 as a national day for giving thanks to God.

    In the midst of all our feasting, it is very easy to forget about the one we are celebrating. Sometimes we even forget to give thanks altogether. You might be thinking, Well, I don’t have a lot to give thanks for. Maybe you are having financial troubles or health problems. Maybe there is conflict in your family. But we need to put things into perspective. As someone wrote,

    If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who won’t survive the week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 20 million people around the world. If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than almost three billion people in the world. If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8 percent of the world’s wealthy.

    There is a lot to give thanks for. And the primary reason we were put on this earth as human beings is to glorify God and to give Him thanks.

I am so thankful to God and all he has done in my life. For his grace and his love.

I am rich. I am rich in more ways than I can ever explain to you.

A great treasure this year is Sue getting a hospital day pass to have Thanksgiving dinner with her family. That’s right. Mother-in-law gets to leave a hospital room for the first time in two months to be with her family. We are rich.

I have three beautiful and fun daughters that I cherish more than anything in the world.

I am rich.

I have an amazing husband who is kind, generous, loving and good to the very soul of his being. He is my “perfect” match. The man I wrote a list about. A fantasy list of characteristics which couldn’t possible be in one mate, but there he was. Rich beyond measure.

So…from our family to yours, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Be Rich.

Be Blessed.

Be Generous.

Be Loved.

And most of all…………. have fun!

Ha!

Ten Days After 10-10-10

Four days married + six days in the hospital = ten days married.

We should will be going home today.

We have a diagnosis tentatively for Lupus. I say tentatively because, it was positive on a blood test, but only a rheumatologist can confirm diagnosis. It is possible it’s not Lupus but one of fifteen other connective tissue disorders. That’s a fancy way of saying your own body attacks your own body and causes inflammation out the wazoo that leads to ALL KINDS of problems.

I should be a redneck medical interpreter, I know..

Steroids calm it down (and did), but Jason can’t tolerate steroids (for long anyway) because of his diabetes. It messes with his sugar levels. We have been PROMISED a doctor of rheumatology that can run blood tests and release him tonight after he sees him at six (this after a patient advocate was called and some VP names were dropped. Yeah. I don’t play. Six days is enough). Then, we can blow this joint. I’m not crossing any fingers, because I will unhook him and walk him out MYself. I already cleared this with the admitting doctor. Heh.

Jason’s ex brought the girls to visit this week. It wasn’t what the doctor ordered, but by far the best medicine.


Blended families working together for the best of everyone’s benefit (and health) – that is a great accomplishment. Healing in more ways than medicinal.

When I told her we were family now – I meant it.

A big part of what has kept me going the last six days through hospital gown modeling. Camping on a chair cot. Crappy nurse care. Not eating right. Frequent back pain. And watching Jason endure and endure and endure has been the many memories of our beautiful wedding.

My friend and new sister Kellene has posted the wedding pictures during our stay in the hospital honeymoon suite.

My brilliant photographer and me.

The photographs have given us warmth and love across the miles to see her talent and see her love for us through the camera lens. I never questioned my decision to hire a photographer for the wedding and I certainly never questioned it being her. Take a look and see why for yourself.



There are more pictures on her blog and website – Bella Lucia Photography and Blog. Please visit her and share our joy with us and her incredible talent.

Also, celebrate that Jason’s illness is manageable and we praise God for that. Thanks to all the friends and family that prayed for us during this time.

We are deeply touched and grateful. Our love abounds and grows stronger through these trails.

This post edited to be part of….
Mama's Losin' It
Using prompt…
5.) “Keep your face to the sunshine and you can not see the shadow” – Helen Keller
In what ways are you able to stay positive about something that sometimes brings you down?

I commented to Mama Kat I had written so many posts during our pre-wedding and post-wedding that kept us positive through it all and she said to link one up. It was hard to choose. There are posts before and after on the story of Jason’s Mom entering ICU two weeks before our wedding date with a brain aneurysm then a stroke. We managed to pull the wedding off then end up in the hospital too. Despite it all, we kept our face to the sun and we still are. I don’t see any shadows here. Not one.