Christmas Morning and a look outside my door. The sun is just starting to rise and it casts an orange glow on the bare treetops.
It's the Before stage of Christmas Morning. Everything is clean and pretty.
That's cream-cheese-bourbon-pecan poundcake you see in the dish. She's waiting for a sweet glaze and a decorative garnish.
Santa likes to put his gifts in a separate spot for easy access.
Our Christmas Eve tradition is to read The Polar Express. Every year I cry at the last line. It's a joke in our family.
The paper whites have impeccable timing once again.
And then comes the After...
The mess and the chaos and the joy!
The boxes and paper. All that time and effort unwrapped in a matter of minutes. And that's the point, right?
Lately when I feel stressed and overwhelmed, especially at work, I chant this mantra:
It's about the people. It's all about the people.
This Christmas was all about having my oldest daughter home from California and all three girls under one roof. These times will be few and far between in the coming years. I know that. Still, having "my people" together is pure bliss.
The happy faces.
The thoughtful, homemade gifts. My middle daughter made this all on her own. She was inspired by something on Etsy. It's my favorite gift this Christmas.
Ah, yes, the After...
The stink bug was hiding out beneath the gifts.
All that cooking and baking and then the mess.
Christmas of 2013 was a good one—good family, good friends, good food.
Today, I am counting my blessings...
and celebrating Boxing Day!