Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lyla's first Christmas

Lyla had a good first Christmas. Katherine and I hadn't done much Christmas decorating because we had been pretty occupied with taking care of the baby. On Christmas Eve I wasn't feeling very much in the Christmas spirit, I was sad that we couldn't be in Dallas with the rest of the family and Katherine and I were feeling stir crazy from being in our apartment for three weeks straight and not spending very much time around other people. So we decided to go to a 7 pm Christmas Eve service at Calvary Church near our house. The church's chapel was beautifully decorated with hundreds of lights and they sang a whole bunch of Christmas songs, it was really nice. Then we went home; I had decided to pick up a Christmas tree earlier in the evening, and I set that up while Katherine started baking cookies. Then Katherine took a break to feed the baby and I started dinner. Then we gave Lyla a bath and after the bath resumed decorating/making dinner/baking cookies. All of that work and getting Lyla to sleep took a long time and we didn't get to bed until 2 am.

We awoke the next morning and headed off to a 10 am service at our church. This is the first church that Katherine or I have belonged to that had a Christmas day service. It was really good, we sang Christmas hymns and Pastor Tim spoke about how Christ's birth is God's gift of joy for us. That Christ is the eternal source of joy and that our sinful natures long after other things that are only temporary sources of joy that ultimately leave you worse off than you were before. He taught that the gift of joy given on the first Christmas day is attainable through faith and that joy and faith are designed to be paired. It was a great message and wonderful for me to hear because I had been feeling sad about the things that I didn't have this Christmas and I wasn't focusing on my true source of joy.

After church we headed up to Uncle Tom and Aunt Lynda's house (Tom is Kevin's mom's younger brother and, thus, Kevin's uncle and Lyla's great uncle). They live about 25 minutes north of where we live in this old farm house that they've been in for the past 10 years. We spent the rest of the day there, had a wonderful Christmas dinner, played board games, passed Lyla around, talked, had a wonderful post-Christmas dinner dinner (which included no leftovers), talked more and had a wonderful time surrounded by family.

In addition to Kevin, Katherine, Lyla, Tom and Lynda were: David, Jenn, Laura and Mike (Tom and Lynda's children), Matt and Andy (Jenn and Laura's husbands respectively), Loren (Lynda's brother), and Josh, Jeremie, and Jacob (Loren's three sons). Katherine and I had such a great time spending Christmas with everyone and were so touched by how much everyone's love for Lyla showed (primarily indicated by a strong desire to hold her).

Here are some pictures:

Christmas dinner

People holding Lyla throughout the day