Wednesday, December 24, 2014

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

...and a week before the wedding, but let's not talk about that right now.  Let's talk Christmas instead.

I love this picture also taken on Christmas Eve once upon a time. It appears Santa was serious business around here in the 90's. Hubs own father always read Twas the Night Before Christmas to his family on Christmas Eve, and hubs has carried on that tradition with our children too. Our girls might be in their 20's now, but you're never too old to snuggle up on the couch beside your Dad on Christmas Eve.

Here's another throwback. The bride-to-be and the hubs all dressed up and ready to head into the city for the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.  

The bride was two and a half, and we lived in the furthest reaches of New Jersey back then so hubs arranged for a limo to get them into Manhattan. I stayed home with the newborn maid of honor, but I still remember how excited Daughter1 was to call me on the phone. From THE CAR

Hey, it was 1990 and we weren't all walking around with phones as added appendages back then.

We were back in Radio City Music Hall yesterday, and the show is every bit as good in 2014. The Rockettes are pure dance perfection. Seriously they never miss a step, are never out of sync, and they make it all look completely effortless.

I have a lot of favorite acts in the program, but the Nativity finale and rousing rendition of Hark the Herald Angels Sing is definitely near the top of my list.

The weather was weirdly warmish (for December anyway), and it was misting only a little, not enough to keep us from a peek at the tree.

THE tree.

Which is not actually blurry in real life, but I didn't want to carry my big camera in the rain, so these were all taken with my phone. Plus, there's all those people, people. You have to be quick, and if there's one thing I'm not when it comes to photography, that would be it. The tree is always stunning, and when you come around the corner and catch that first glimpse it kind of takes your breath away.

We had dinner at one of our favorite places, Bobby Flay's Bar Americain. Wedding planning is a funny thing in that every now and then somebody here spontaneously sheds a tear. Mostly it's the hubs-ha! Kidding! Sort of, but last night it was Daughter2.

I understand completely. We're all so happy for the soon to be newlyweds, and we're super excited for the big day and all the fun and life ahead. Sometimes though, seemingly out of the blue, you are struck in the gut with the knowledge that you're not going to have your sister within easy arm's reach, and as happy as you are for her, you know there will be a new normal to figure out.

And that's okay, because we know how to do new here.
Even though you're young, life has taught you that new is good too.

God always makes us ready for next, because life is full of With change we've learned there will come gifts we didn't even know we wanted.

2015 will be a year filled with lots of changes round here. Years ago that would have scared me a little, but right now I feel a sense of happy anticipation to see how the days unfold. I know from first hand experience the challenges that come with geographic distance between me and the people I love. I also know family is knit into the very fabric of who I am, and that amid the whirling, turning, upside-down world in which we live, there they will remain.

I don't know what all the new year will bring, but I do know when I'm writing here this time next year I  can say as I do now- God is good and He is with us.

Circumstances change, and that's a given.
Thankfully He does not.

Merry Christmas Everyone!


  1. Loved this post...I'd LOVE to see that show at Christmas time...and that tree. Maybe some day. Such sweet, exciting times for you. I soo get the mixture of emotions. I didn't let myself think about my daughter moving so far away and changing everything like it did. But your right, you adjust to your new "normal" and life moves on. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and may this next week before the big day go smoothly in EVERY area!

  2. Merry Christmas Joyce! I'll be thinking of you and yours as you celebrate as a family of 4 for the last time... bittersweet, I'm sure.

  3. Oh, Joyce, now I got all teary eyed reading this and seeing the pics of the girls. Yes, changes are looming everywhere for all of you but it WILL all be fine after a time of adjustment, not necessarily easy though. Life as your family has known it will never be the same, a whole new dimension is about to be added and it will be good. Thinking of you and praying for all of you as the wedding nears. Blessings abundant!

  4. Wishing you and family a Blessed Christmas.

  5. Your closing comments are so spot on!

    God is good and He is with us. Circumstances change, and that's a given. Thankfully He does not.

    May we never forget those truths.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  6. Such a lovely post and it brought tears to my eyes, too. You are so right, that God is good and always with us. Merry Christmas, Joyce, to you and your lovely family!

  7. So much love in this post! Merry Christmas and Happy Wedding!!

  8. Merry Christmas! And I know that happy-but-still-get-tears-in-the-eyes feeling. Along with the lump in the throat. Wishing you all the best with this NEW year full of NEW normals!

  9. I've been off-line, so I wanted to stop in and catch up with what's been going on. Aw, your daughter's face brought a tear to my eyes...Wishing all of you the best, as you forge ahead with the wedding plans :)
    P.S. I hope your Christmas was a merry one, too!
    Kathy (from Reflections by Kathy)

  10. Joyce, I can only say "Amen!" to your conclusion. Yes, He is and because of that we can say "goodby" to the past and look forward to the future with the Joy of Hope! Thinking about you these days approaching the wedding.

  11. What a sweet post and here I am with tears in my eyes. Change is never easy and I am thankful to have God with me along the way. Adam and Tristen left on Saturday morning and will arrive in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to start their new adventure. Have a wonderful time at the wedding. I will be thinking of all of you and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. ((HUGS))