We had full days over the Christmas week, with something to do and somewhere to be every- single-day for 8 days straight! Fortunately we managed to squeak in some rest and relaxation time amidst some wonderful moments with our families.
Our nieces and nephews are such a joy to watch grow up, mature and develop each of their personalities a little bit more. They are each soooo different, and each wonderful. They're all loving and affectionate, well-mannered, and respectful (I'm sure this is how they are always behaved in their own homes, too!). Our youngest niece, Ella, is almost three, and really starting to come out of her shell and warm up to us now. She's so fun to watch and so full of energy! I don't know that my brother ever expected to have his sister reincarnated in his own daughter, but I see little glimpses of myself as a child in Lauryn each time I see her!
We had some time to celebrate Christmas while Jill & Daniel were still up north before heading back to Florida. We also had some time with my parents, and with Tim's family, including all the siblings and their kids. Before Christmas, we attended the annual "Zimmerman Family Christmas," which is Tim's maternal side's gathering of anywhere from 130-160 people (yowsers!). We had a much smaller gathering of the Johnsen family after Christmas, with my dad's siblings and just a few of the cousins.
I think we were both very thankful for the peace, quiet and soft-sung worship that we were able to experience (albeit only for an hour and a half), while we soaked in all aspects of the Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at our church. With all of the hustle and bustle of the season, it seemed like just what we needed to help us inch our ways a little more into the Christmas spirit... the real spirit of the season! We've celebrated the birth of our King and Savior - the greatest gift of all!
Here's a sampling of our photos to share the memories of our Christmas joy! We are abundantly blessed!