The Holiday Tornado

The holidays always come and go kind of like a tornado. There's that calm before the storm in which I watch my favorite song on YouTube in order to get in the right mindset:  "Here With Us" by Joy Williams. It's amazing, and I've already decided it will be played when I pass away from this life. I sit with my best friend listen, stare at the beautiful lights on our simple Christmas tree and try to focus my heart and mind on what it means to celebrate the birth of my Savior. It's my favorite part of the holidays by far.
Then the wind comes. Family is in; family is out; friends are sprinkled around if your lucky; meals are consumed; presents are given and received; then there's the lightening of stress, especially when you have four Christmases to tackle with various degrees of personalities in play. But when it's all said and done, the normalcy of routine is resumed and the realization that life is not about special occasions, but the day-to-day love that I feel from the maker of Heaven and Earth. It's an appreciation that we all forget to remember the rest of the year, and it is why I can maintain joy after the hustle and bustle is over.

Here's a snapshot of the joy we  experienced:

Having Gibby in town was the best!
As serious as he looks, I believe more sugar was consumed than constructed
Happy birthday cousin Easton!
The annual Christmas pic with our gifts from our Paris Aunt!
Watching my BFFs kids with Si man was awesome.
Silas has mastered the "cheese" but Wyatt wasn't so sure.
Cousin Tanner will be missed for a while.
The kitchen from Dee Dee was a huge hit for this little chef.
The most surprising and amazing present came from long working nights from this Christmas elf.
He built us a dining room table from scratch!  I've never been so proud of my man!
Silas was excited too.
A couple of tired boys on Christmas morning.
Matthew couldn't wait to give Silas his first set of hot wheels. It was like a passing of the family heirloom.
Our red and green Christmas breakfast- so good!
Uncle Matt, did I tell you what we did Christmas morning- we went to a fire station!
Happy Birthday Jesus!
Thanks Fireman Dan and Aunt B for a special Christmas experience!
The highlight of NYE was a trip to Starbucks
Show um the cheese buddy.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years from the Smiths!