xmas1 xmas3 xmas2 there is something so blah about this chunk of time on the calendar.  all the advent anticipation is over.  it is a whole 363 days until Christmas.  the lingering happy and rest of Boxing Day has dwindled and the New Year isn't quite upon us.  i am left feeling that blah.  the glinting tree makes me a smidge sad.  so pretty and bright, can't it stay up forever?  i am sorry, tree.  and yet, i know that in a week, i will be ready for a fresh start.  feeling like clearing out the clutter of life and keeping things sleek and simple.  and so, the winds will change and my heart will float on to the next season.  but right now, i am in no-man's-land.  that weird little spot between the joy of Christmas and the noise and excitement of a New Year.  right now, i want Christmas back.  right now, i am not ready for glitter hats and noise makers and the ball dropping.  i have yet to turn that page and allow the impending newness of january to begin seeping in.  my heart is still clinging to december.  but, as i told ben last night, i know that in a day or so, i will begin to make that natural shift.  i will being to talk about NYE celebration.  i will begin to make lists.  resolutions.  plans.  and soon, i will be reveling in a New Year.  i will be eating football-y food and cheering on my Baylor Bears.  i will be talking about 2014.  i will plant my feet in a New Year.  i will stare out across the days ahead.  i will fill in the pages of a fresh calendar.  i will be giddy with possibility and optimistic with hope.  it will be well with my soul.  i will look back fondly on 2013, thanking God for His bounty.  and i will be delighting in the refreshing breeze of a new season.  i know this to be true.  these feelings come every year.  i always love the feeling of the first day of january.  but for now, i am staying close to home.  i am soaking it in.  i am smelling the smells of the season.  i am squinting and staring at the tree.  i am opening my eyes wide in wonder as i watch elinor enjoying the generosity of others and discussions of our natal Savior and jolly St. Nick.  i am keeping the records spinning.  i am eating all the cookies.  i am keeping the gifts stacked up and nearby, visual reminders of a great day and such tremendous moments with dear ones.  i am cuddling up.  i am holding those remaining "red cups" extra close and taking smaller sips of Christmas blend.  and even though my being doesn't quite know what to do during this brief chunk of time, i am choosing to freeze the moment.  as bittersweet as time may be, His mercies are new each morning.  He is faithful.  there is an appointed time for everything.  and so, during this time.  i will take stock.  i will be more mindful and careful of the manner in which i resolve the year.  i will prayerfully make plans.  i will move deliberately into 2014.  come winds of change, sweep delicately yet meaningfully into my heart.  brush away the stale and pale with your refreshing breeze.  leave your crisp air of newness.  prepare the place for new seeds and growth, that my life may be beautifully fertile and bountiful in the coming season.

* these pics were taken five days before Christmas.  further proof that time marches on.  you better snatch moments from the rude grasp of time and hold them close while you can.  reminders of precious and fleeting minutes and seconds.  don't blink.