christmas traditions with wendy
One of my favorite traditions that we have in our family is the family photo. As stressful as it is getting several little kids looking clean and happy at the same time, or sometimes not so clean and happy, it’s still worth it. My husband and I will be married 25 years next month. Wow. Holy cow, that’s a whole quarter of a century, which is a lot! It just doesn’t seem possible that we are that age yet.
Anyway, it’s all the more reason the Christmas family photo is significant. When we are able to look back at these photos and see how our family has grown over the years, it’s truly breathtaking. Each photo brings up memories of what our family was going through that year.
Let’s start with our newly married / college years – my good lookin’ hubby, mullet and all, sitting close to me with baby #1 on the way. That was a doozy! In the middle of my hormonal fog, I had chopped off all my hair and then I permed it to compensate for the extra weight around my middle section. I looked like I had a lamp shade on my head. Another year that stands out is the year our oldest daughter Charlee had open heart surgery to repair her aorta. We were so grateful that she was recovering, and we found out that baby girl number 3 was on the way.
Skip to the year we had beautiful foster children in our home. The privilege of being parents to those precious kids truly changed our family for the better. Then a couple years later, we knew our family portrait was complete (at least that’s what we thought at the time). We had added our last two children by way of adoption. “The adoption place is in Heaven.” That is what our little girl Brooklyn said when she was a mere 3 years old.
A particularly hard, yet amazing year was when our oldest was far away from us for the first time, serving an 18-month mission for our church. As difficult as it was to be away from her, we watched her do hard things, serve others, and gain a stronger testimony of her Savior Jesus Christ. During that time our second oldest left the nest for college. It was rough, but they both grew up in important ways. They learned to have a genuine love and respect for all kinds of people — what a gift.
This year our married daughters came home for Thanksgiving, so we planned to have our family photo at the same time. Once we figured out what we were wearing, being out there in the desert with our dear friend and photographer was so much fun. Watching our kids love one another, listening to them laugh, reminisce, and express how much they LOVE being a part our family was the best Christmas gift my hubs Loren and I could ever have.
Looking at the photos we have this year, it’s so hard to believe how incredibly blessed we have been. We have gained two wonderful sons and we have two sweet little grandbabies on the way – a boy due any time and a baby girl just a few months after that. I realize that our annual family photo will continue to change and that’s why I love it!