Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed some joyous celebration to kick start 2011. We ate chinese food and went to bed at 11pm. What can I say? We. Like. To. Party.
Let me rewind a little since I haven’t checked in here since before Christmas. We had a very lovely Christmas at my mum’s house, although we did miss Ben very much, me especially. We went to mass on Christmas eve and enjoyed a few traditions once back at my mum’s. One being her chicken stew. I’m not sure if it’s a french thing or just our family, but either way we look forward to it every Christmas. The girls opened a few gifts from extended family on Christmas morning but we saved nearly everything for our very own little Christmas when Ben returned.
Ben brought home some awesome kiwi loot! Tim Tams, Weet-Bix, some butter chicken packets and a few gifts for us girls. He brought me a special gift, some beautiful earrings that his sister helped him pick out. He also brought us Brooke Fraser’s new CD which is completely fantastic. She writes so beautifully about her faith and also just some fun music to sing along to. Among all of these goodies, was a gift from one of his sisters for our family. She created an artwork to add to our Christmas decorations. I totally love it. It’s colourful, different and sparkly.
Here is our tree looking a little smooshed in the corner, but it worked out very well because I was able to block it off with our coffee table whenever Abigail decided she felt like pulling the lights, beads and decorations off.
Ben arrived home on December 28th as his flight was scheduled to. His bags got stuck in Boston overnight but we were all so happy to see one another that it didn’t even matter. It worked out well that Lucy and Abigail’s naps weren’t in sync the day that Ben came home since he was able to spend some one on one time with each of them. They were so happy to see him! Lucy kept asking Ben to play with her and read her stories and even now, days later she is so excited when he comes home.
All in all we had a wonderful Christmas. The girls enjoyed our Advent traditions, Lucy learned about scripture and asks for it whenever we sit down to eat now. Ben arrived home safely, and that is all I could really ask for this year. He enjoyed his time with his family and was so grateful that he was able to be at his sister’s wedding. It was a blessed time for his whole family and God was good to us girls as well. It had it’s difficult moments but God really was present in each and every day helping us and gracing us with good friends, food and family to help us through our time without Ben home.
Now onto a new year. I have no idea what God has in store for us, but I trust that He knows what we need and that He will provide for us in whatever He asks of us. I have decided on two simple resolutions/goals for 2011. The first being that I will read from my Bible each and every single day for the next year, whether I read one sentence or an entire chapter, I will let God’s word feed me. Secondly, I resolve to become Katie Andrews this year. Legally speaking. All of my documents and identification still say Katie Toner…four years into our marriage seems as good a time as any to resolve this.
I pray that we can all be open to the many gifts God wants to give us this year, whether we recognize them as gifts or challenges. It seems fitting that the first day of the year is also the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. She said YES! to God when he called upon her.
Whatever this new year brings, Lord, give me the courage to pray, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”