For the past eleven Novembers, I've spent more than a little time coming up with a Christmas card that featured the little people in all their glory. For so long, I had the great pleasure to work alongside some really talented designers... and my 'business' if you will was photography. Even if it was a little stressful, it was fun to see the end results.

It's fun to look back on those cards and recall the memories from those times.... watching families change and grow happens a lot via Christmas cards. For those of my friends and family that I don't get to see in person, the cards are a great way to see a snippet of their lives as well. 

This post is dated, December 15, 2014. Not November. That late date is not the reason I'm not going the route of traditional picture card this year. This year, I've been having a difficult time coming up with a picture that tells the story that I want to tell. Maybe I'm becoming too wordy... but a picture doesn't seem like it's enough... My family has grown and changed so much; I'm proud of each of the little people and who they've become... one of the little people in particular, isn't so little anymore.

Gavin is growing into a young man... smart and funny, caring and thought-filled, athletic and book-ish. He's just who his was made to be and we love him so very much.

All that said, he's giving the terrible-two's a run for their money. He's got more questions than I have readily-available answers... and developing his own opinions. My house is becoming a grade-A, High Quiz Bowl training facility.

Even though he's older, Gavin still clings to some traces of the little energetic boy who's been running our show since his first breath. He loves to have fun. Sometimes that fun is right along side his siblings.

They're the same... but different. Benett tries so hard to keep up, his will is strong... but his legs are small. (Literally and figuratively.)

"Keeping up" means that if it's good enough for Gavin, it's good enough for B. Baseball, wrestling and school just to name a few. But he's different too. Benett's imagination comes through in his art. He is always drawing and writing. I have hundreds of slips and sheets and corners of paper everywhere, with little sketches on them. It's impossible to throw many of them away. They each tell a story; many in great detail.

Some are just letters that he's mailed to me. (A.K.A. tucked into my bed, in the pantry or left on the floor outside of my bedroom door.) I'm not always sure what they mean, but when a heart and a check mark are included, it must be good.
And Ellie... she started on her own little adventure this year too. Benett's off at school and she's flying solo. I was worried about her, at first. That worry lasted about 3.7 seconds. That girl is just fine. She can fight her own battles and speak for herself. (Actually, it's tough to get her to stop talking.) She's always jabbering. Always. 

Her second favorite thing, is the little boy in the center of this photo. He also happens to be the center of her world. I'm convinced that when she's not talking about baby Q, she's thinking about him. She is smitten, and with such a sweet face, and equally adorable temperament, it's easy to see why.

As much as we love them, Monte and I decided we needed a little break from the little people and headed West, for a little adult time. We enjoyed ourselves and came back refreshed. Sometimes it's difficult to remember how important that time is...

As we close out 2014, we're thankful for our many blessings. For three healthy little people and a loving family to surround them. For you, our family and friends, who surround us. And for God who keeps us all wrapped in his loving arms.

So that's our Christmas card... never would have fit on a 5x7.

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah

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