We had a wonderful experience last night as a family(and quite eye opening) that I'd like to share. I truly felt the spirit of Christmas enter my heart. I packaged up a big ole bunch of bags of goodies to give to friends/neighbors/teachers/etc and we did the neighborhood run last night up and down our street to just some of the neighbors we know and also a new couple that just moved in to welcome them. It was really fun to see everyone and meet new neighbors too...we debated about the couple across the street. I had this strong feeling we should go over but was nervous about it. See, we've lived here over a year now, and there is an older couple across from us. Anytime we've seen them out, they never look our way, always head down, to themselves. So we sorta labeled them "the unfriendly cranky old people across the street" because well, thats just the impression we got...we thought our kids annoyed them and they wished we weren't there! hahaha. They seemed to ignore us. Anyways, as we walk by their house debating it, the woman opens their front door and walks onto her porch to get a package(and we rarely see her as it is so we decided to go for it, even though I'll admit I was honestly afraid she would just close the door on us), so we walk up. She looks at us(finally!) as we walk up and smiles so big, puts her arms out to me and gives me the BIGGEST hug. She says, "I'm so happy to meet you!!!" as if she had been waiting for us to come over all this time. I honestly fought back tears feeling so guilty for what I had thought about them as her arms were squeezing me tight. She was so nice and seems very shy, which explains things. We introduced ourselves, gave her the treat we made, wished her a Merry Christmas and had a long conversation with this sweet older woman, about her husband, her kids, life. She offered help to us anytime we need it. So now when I see her walk out of her house I'm going to shout out, "Hi Nancy!!!" every time.
This year was one of those holiday seasons where I didn't feel like we were able to do many fun things as a family. The weather cancelled the big parade we wanted to see. We were low on the cash flow to do anything big like ICE at the Gaylord or a stay at Great Wolf Lodge. We missed our Ward Christmas Party because of sick kids. The downtown festival we also had to miss because it was just too windy and cold for our littles. So all of the fluffy fun stuff we didn't get to enjoy. And that was such a bummer. Because I love to go and do things and have fun! But really, when I think about it, I think we were able to feel the true spirit of Christmas through this evening we enjoyed as a family even more than any other thing we could have done. We also decided to be secret elves to a family thats had a tough year and that was a wonderful experience too. Joey and the older kids also went caroling one night with some friends(when boys were sick) to the bishop and a couple of families. Those are just a few basic simple experiences that were way more important and impacting than all the big stuff. Christmas isn't about money and things and fun. Its about our Savior. And those are the kinds of things the Savior would want us to do during this season, do things for others. So while some things were disappointing this year, when I look back on December, it was a great holiday season. I know I'll never forget meeting Nancy that night.
And how could I not post these ridiculous pics of me? I've just embraced that I'm a goofy person and I'm proud of it :) Here I am Vannah Whiting my chex mix..
And making fun of all the middle schoolers duck face instagram pics...