Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Counting Blessings

PHOTO: Some say I look a little bit like cooking mogul Paula Dean. You be the judge…

The three ‘C’s’ of Christmas are: 1) Cooking 2) Cooking, and 3) Cooking. I think between the nine adults sleeping at my house over the holidays, the little space in front of my stove was the most used real estate in the whole house, and that includes the bathrooms. We took turns, baking bread, pies, cookies, candy, turkey, sweet potatoes, dressing, and the list goes on. It was fun, but if I don’t have to stand in front of my stove for the next month boiling water or anything else that resembles cooking, I’ll be a happy woman.

The Clevelands had a lovely Christmas together. We had much to celebrate and much to be thankful for. We had our Papa/father/husband with us, strong and celebrating a victory over cancer. We had my parents, 2Pops and Granny Jane, 83-years young, sitting on the couch in their furry robes opening presents with us on Christmas morning. We had six little people sitting on the floor in footie-jammies, oohing and awing their way through wrapping paper and toys. We had a crackling fire keeping us warm, a white Christmas outside to keep us in the spirit and of course, food. We had food. Lots of food.

But, my most favorite moments were when I was able to just sit quietly and listen to the sounds around me. Children chattering with sweet voices that came straight from angels; My parents having quiet conversations with their grown grandsons; my daughter-in-laws laughing together in the kitchen-- in front of the stove, of course; And, toddlers squeaking and squealing around our knees like soft squeeze toys. Could a cup be any fuller?

These are the moments I want to breathe in and hold inside of me. It will be these moments I will return to when the snow melts and the mud starts clinging to my shoes. When the days wear on and I feel afraid or stressed or beaten down, I will remember the health on my husband’s face, the giggles of my grandchildren, the light in my mother’s eyes, and the goodness in my sons’ hearts. And, I will once again be reminded how gracious God has been to me.

It’s a new year, dear friends. I’m counting my blessings. I hope you are too.


Below are a few family photos from the holidays... Thanks for stopping by...

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