Friday, January 12, 2018

High Five for Friday!

{one} The temperatures dropped last night, so it's pretty cold around here {actually feeling like winter!} So I am currently curled up under multiple blankets. My children are pretty unfazed by the cold weather and are definitely more hot natured than I am. But we are all a little more bundled up today. Day's like today make me miss a fireplace. Though I am sure Eli and Maddie would find some way to get into that :)

{two} So speaking of Eli and Maddie...we are in full toddler mode around here! It is so weird when I say babies...because Eli and Maddie are definitely not babies anymore! They are both walking, and they are into everything. Maddie has decided that her first word is going to be "cracker" though it sounds more like "cacka" haha. Eli hates wearing, he can. not. handle it. He MUST hold his shoes when we're in the car, so we just wait to put them on until we get where we need to go. Or he just ends up going without. They both have started doing high-fives, which is super cute and fun :)

{three} A lot of people ask me if I am still working, so I thought I would answer that question here: yes! I still work part time from home, and I still love it! I am so grateful for the flexibility, and it really is nice that I can work around Eli and Maddie's schedule. I really have no plans to give that up, and will stay as long as they will have me!

{four} I am excited about the devotional I am walking through this year God's Wisdom for Navigating Life by Tim Keller. I walked through his Psalms devotional a couple of years ago, so I am looking forward to walking through Proverbs this year.

{five} Some friends just had a new baby, so we are taking them dinner tonight. Otherwise, I think we'll be spending a quiet weekend at home...just the way we like it :)

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017 Book List

When I set my Goodreads goal for the year, I set it embarrassingly low {12} for me. But I wanted to be realistic with myself...we had newborn twins, and I was barely holding it together, so 1 book a month seemed like a reasonable goal. But then I discovered audio books. Why have I never taken advantage of this wonderful invention before?? And then babies took really well to sleep training and, all of a sudden, I had a little more time on my hands. {Let's not get crazy now...  #becausetwins} 

But that being said, I actually hit my goal of reading 12 books by May, so I decided to double it and see how far I got. And then I hit that number by August, so I upped my goal again. I almost laughed when I upped my goal to 40 on earth could I have read more books after Eli and Maddie were born than before?? But somehow I did, and that's kind of fun!

I will say that, while I read more books, this year was not a stellar reading year. I feel like most of the books I read {or rather, had read to me} were meh. I was pretty disappointed with several of them, but I am glad that I at least tried a few new genres and authors. It didn't quite turn out for the best in most instances, but I guess that's just how it goes. You win some, you lose some...and I ended up losing on several this year. Hopefully next year will swing the other direction and be super awesome reading-wise :)

1. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson // I saw this book pop up on a number of book lists, so I decided to see what it was about. It's a true story of a young lawyer who explores the brokenness of the American criminal justice system. It takes a closer look at systemic racial bias, the death penalty, and how our legal system treats the mentally ill. Organizationally, I don't think it was written well in how it connected the stories with the overall theme {just mercy}; I just don't think that transition was made well. But it's a raw read, and there were many powerful and thought-provoking stories. 

2. The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman // Because we. needed. sleep. Ha! There wasn't much different information from other research I have done on sleep training, but I really liked the way she presented the information. She gave several options, but clear rules. AND IT WORKED. I didn't love her chapter on multiples {I didn't find it very helpful}, but I was able to tailor her program to twins, and we. got. sleep.

3. Bossypants by Tina Fey // Several people have raved about this book, so I decided to give it a try. I must not be very funny, because I just didn't like this book. There were parts that were kind of funny, but I wouldn't call it a "laugh out loud" read. And to be honest, I thought that much of her book was crude and offensive. Maybe the jokes went over my head, but I just cannot recommend this book. Super disappointed.

4. On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam // Apparently this book is controversial {missed that until after I read it}. I will say that I don't think the book is worth all of the controversy. There were things I liked and things I didn't. But isn't that like any other parenting book? Anyway, I have heard a lot of their principles before, and they're not that far off from The Sleep Sense Program. But I started having questions about schedules and what to do in specific situations, so Laura suggested I read the book. I first have to say that I wish we could all just get along. Meaning: this book is obviously written from an anti-attachment parenting perspective. And I get it; I lean more away from attachment parenting as well, but I just wish that the way sides are presented were less antagonistic. That aside, I did find pieces of this book helpful. The chapter on multiples was helpful {because the author has triplets and gets it!}. Will we use all of the advice in the book? Probably not. But it was helpful to see some scheduling examples.

5. Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilabagiza // I heard about this book on a podcast, so I picked up a copy at the library. It was a quick read, and she has such an incredible story. Her story of survival and trusting God with her very life makes this a must read.

6.  Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale by Rachel Lloyd // This was an incredibly difficult read. It is a raw and real life look into the world of human trafficking. It's so easy to shut our eyes and pretend that these things don't happen. And by doing this, we become unintentional contributors to the problem. While it was difficult to read, it was incredibly enlightening. Written by a former trafficked girl, it offers a really eye-opening look into this world and how our culture views it.

7. Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs // I really struggled with this book. I agree on the overall principle of love and respect in marriage. But the way the topics were presented made it really difficult for me to get on board with this book. Part 1 basically said the same thing in 50 {sort of} different ways and offered testimonials of how great the author's conferences are. Parts 2 and 3 were a little more practical, but were still not enough to redeem this book for me. The language and tone was archaic, and the marriage examples were over simplified and often ridiculous. I was just so disappointed in this book.

8. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware // This was actually my first fiction book of the year, and I enjoyed it. It is a murder mystery, something I like reading, so I liked this book. There were parts that seemed to drag a bit, but overall it was an interesting read. Fair warning though: there is offensive language in this book, something I don't like reading. 

9. Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham // I was pretty disappointed in this book. It's a fictional story about an actress who is trying to make it {supposedly mirroring a lot of Graham's story}. I felt like it could have been funny, but it just seemed to fall flat in so many places. It seemed to drag on for most of the book, and I just really didn't enjoy it very much. Sad, because I like Lauren Graham as an actress. Guess I don't like her as an author.

10. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah // This is a historical fiction book about 2 sisters who lived in France during World War II. I really enjoy historical fiction, and so I really enjoyed this book. It was such an interesting story, and I thought it was written really well. Highly recommend for lovers of historical fiction.

11. Messy Beautiful Friendship by Christine Hoover // review here

12. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines // In a word, I would say this book was fluffy. It was entertaining to read Chip and Joanna's story of how they met, and all the crazy adventures that led them to Magnolia Market and Fixer Upper. I liked that it was told in both of their voices, as the book goes back and forth between the two, with Joanna telling a majority of the story. Those two as a couple have always been somewhat of a mystery to me, but they are brilliant for all they have done for Waco. I will say that there was an underlying sense of the humble brag throughout the book, but that's also how I feel about the show. They talk a lot about God's plan, and I don't really align theologically with their way of thinking on that, but the book is an overall light, fun read.

13. Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini // A somewhat random pick, but I watched an interview where Leah Remini described her story, and I was interested in reading her book. It's her biographical memoir of growing up in and ultimately leaving the church of scientology. Such an interesting read. But has some adult content, and there's a fair amount of offensive language.

14. As Good As Dead by Stephen L. Moore // A friend recommended this book for those that read and enjoyed Unbroken. I tried really hard, but I just couldn't get into this book. The stories are harrowing, for sure. But in my opinion, it was not organized well, was very repetitive, and it just seemed like an endless stream of names, ranks, and memories. It definitely reads more like a disorganized textbook or documentary than a novel, and wasn't really anything like Unbroken, at least in presentation.

15. Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham // I recommend listening to the audio version {Graham narrates}, but still getting the physical book, so that you can see the pictures to which she refers. This is a collection of personal essays, in which Graham talks about life, love, and working in Hollywood as a woman. If you enjoy Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, this is a fun read.

16. Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery // I continued making my way through the Anne of Green Gables series. The new Netflix series Anne with an "E" made me want to continue re-reading this sweet series. They're nostalgic for me, as I read them growing up, but I am enjoying them now, even as an adult. {Anne finally admits she loves Gilbert!} I listened to this one as an audio book, which was convenient, but also hilarious. The voices the reader made were just so funny :)

17. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander // I went back and forth on this book. It is definitely thought provoking and addresses an important topic regarding discrimination in our justice system. I persevered through it because I wanted to understand and challenge my own ways of thinking. She makes the claim that the war on drugs is the new Jim Crow. While I cannot definitely say that claim is wrong, this author failed to convince me. There seemed to be a lot of cherry picking on the data, and there were several gaping holes in her arguments. I personally don't believe she is the best writer. I wanted very much to like this book, but I really struggled through it. I would say read it with a critical eye and an open mind.

18. A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold // This book is written by the mother of one of the boys responsible for the Columbine shootings. I thought she was very brave to write this book. As a mother, she cannot help but want to humanize her son and find answers for why he did what he did. So her writing leans more toward trying to explain him, but I don't believe her intent was to make excuses for him. It's an interesting read, and it really made me think about the families of those who commit horrible crimes. It's also written to help bring awareness to those with mental illness and those who struggle with thoughts of suicide.

19. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi // I picked this book because it was on a top read list. And probably because I was seeing a neurosurgeon haha. I appreciated his story {a neurosurgeon who is diagnosed with lung cancer and comes face to face with his own suffering and death}. Unfortunately, he passed before he was able to finish the book, so his wife finished it and made sure it was published. I can't fault the author {obviously}, but the book did feel incomplete. It's a quick, easy read, and did provide an interesting look into his approach to caring for his patients. It was a beautiful glimpse into how he prepared himself and his family for the end of his life.

20. The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandria by Helen Rappaport // Probably the most random and nerdy book I picked up this year. I really liked the way the author presented the information on the Romanov sisters; it read more like a story than a textbook. So for the most part, I enjoyed this book. I will say that it tended to provide a lot of mundane details, and it seemed to focus more on Alexandria than all of the girls. If you like history and non-fiction, you might enjoy this book.

21. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead // The best thing I can say about this book is "eh." I just never really got into it. I thought it was slow, and I didn't feel like there was good character development. I also did not like how the underground railroad was presented as an actual railroad; it just seemed strange to me. Not my favorite read this year. Which is sad, because it was a Pulitzer prize winner.

22. Hitler's Forgotten Children by Ingrid von Oelhafen and Tim Tate // I seem to not be hitting the book jackpot here...this book was ok. I thought her story was interesting; I enjoy history, and this memoir was the author's account of searching for answers regarding her part in the Nazi Lebensborn program. I didn't love the way it was written though. It seemed disjointed, and there seemed to be too many cliff hangers {at least in the words chosen to make it seem so}, falsely adding suspense that didn't need to be there. A lot of anticlimactic language. Again, not my favorite read this year. Another disappointment with the Goodreads winner lists.

23. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot // This is the story of the woman whose cells were used for many modern medical advances. Known only as "HeLa" the author tried to learn more about Henrietta and her family. It was an interesting story, though there were times when I felt the author was prying too much into this family's life to get her "juicy" story. 

24. Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman // Since I try to read 1 marriage book a year, I thought it would be good to try to read a book on parenting/motherhood every year too. This one popped up as a Kindle deal, so it is the first annual for me. It wasn't what I expected, but in the best kind of way. I went in thinking I would get a checklist of good mothering tips. Instead, I left with salve to my soul and a gospel-laden foundation for any future books I read on motherhood. I had to start it over because I kept skipping ahead, waiting to get to what my mind was saying was the "good part." And I'm so glad I took the time to slow down and read what she had to say. A must read for any mom wanting to live out the gospel in her mothering.

25. Joni: An Unforgettable Story by Joni Eareckson Tada and Joe Musser // Since it is the 50th anniversary of Joni's diving accident, I decided to read her original book. Her story has always fascinated and inspired me, so I was familiar with a lot of her story. I have actually met Joni in person, and she is such an incredible testimony of faith and endurance. Having met her and read several of her other books, I would say that this one wasn't my favorite...she has definitely improved her writing over the years. But her story is nonetheless unforgettable.

26. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman // This story was quirky, but oddly charming. There were some dark elements, but I actually enjoyed reading about grumpy old Ove. A quick, {mostly} light read.

27. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance // I thought this book was really interesting. It's the memoir of a young man who grew up poor in an Appalachian town. He gives a personal account of growing up in "hillbilly" culture and how he was able to beat the odds and achieve upward mobility. An interesting look at class and culture.

28. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris // A psychological thriller...things are not always as they seem. And if it seems too perfect, it probably is {how's that for an enticement? haha}. While it was predictable in many ways, it still kept me on the edge of my seat and was still a page turner. Definitely not a light read, but a good mystery/suspense novel. I also appreciated that there was very little {if any?} offensive language.

29. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh // Another psychological thriller...I like mystery/crime/thriller books, and it was fun to read some fiction. I enjoyed the plot twist in the middle of the book and the overall story, but I didn't love the end. Seemed too unrealistic and fantastical to me, but it wasn't a complete deal breaker. She was a good enough writer for me to try another of her books.

30. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda // A murder mystery told backwards...?? I just struggled with this book. I liked the story, for the most part, but the way the author told it made it hard for me to follow. She kept you in suspense the whole book, but didn't explain things well, and I felt let down at the end. It just fell flat for me. I think it would have been better if she had told it differently.

31. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins // I was pretty disappointed with this book. There were times when I thought it would redeem itself, but then she would insert cussing or a new character. And there were just too many characters. Instead of adding suspense, it was just confusing. I listened to the audio version, and I just laughed the whole time because the readers {there were multiple} and their accents/inflections were just ridiculous. This book just felt like a flop to me, after reading her first book.

32.  Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate // Overall, I enjoyed this book. The story was heartbreaking; it is a fictional story surrounding true life events of adoption scandals. But I thought the author did an excellent job of telling the story. There were some parts that dragged a little {maybe I don't have a long enough attention span??}, and some details were hard to connect. But otherwise it was an decent book.

33. Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s by Jennifer Worth // I started watching the series on Netflix and really enjoyed it. So I decided to read the books. I have to say that I was pretty disappointed. It's very rare when the movie or show is better than the book, but I think that's the case for this one. The book was written more like small story vignettes, rather than an overall story. And it was incredibly graphic, and {in my opinion} needlessly so. I didn't mind it so much for the birth stories, but it was too much in the chapters involving Mary {a prostitute}. I had higher hopes for this book, and I would say "pass." I won't be reading the other books in the trilogy.

34. The Break Down by B.A. Paris // I decided to try another by this author {see #28 above}. And I was SO disappointed. This book was repetitive, with a capital "R" and I just couldn't wait for it to end. I nearly stopped reading multiple times, and after finishing it, kind of wish I had. 

35. What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan // I wouldn't call this a psychological thriller {it wasn't that suspenseful}, but I thought it was an ok mystery. There were several parts that seemed to drag on, but overall it kept me interested. I would be willing to give this author {and series} another shot.

36. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham // I enjoy this author, and have read most of his books. So I was pretty disappointed with this book. It wasn't like any of his other books, and it just seemed like a strange story to me. There were a lot of random plot lines, and it left me saying "huh?" too many times. So sad, because Grisham is usually my go-to read!

37. Yes Please by Amy Poehler // I think I have too high expectations for some of these books...I do think this was {slightly} better than Tina Fey's book, but it wasn't quite what I expected. There were some funny and endearing parts, but there were definitely some inappropriate and "meh" parts. If I could delete about half the chapters, then it would have been better, in my opinion.

38. Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper // This was an ok advent devotional. I really like John Piper, but I think because this was a compilation of excerpts from his writings, it felt very disjointed. Almost like the devotionals were incomplete.

39. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline // After so many so-so reads, I was really glad I read this book! I really liked it! It follows the story of a 91-year old woman who recounts her story of the orphan train and how it shaped her life, as well as the story of a 17-year old girl who is ready to age out of the foster care system. Really interesting read.

40. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty // I listened to the audiobook for this one...and I laughed through the whole book! The accents were ridiculous, and I just couldn't take this book seriously. Maybe it was my mistake to listen instead of read, but the audiobook made this book worse for me. Aside from that, I just didn't like it. I kept waiting to see what happened "the day of the bar-b-q" {a phrase that was repeated about 800 too many times}, and it was just a disjointed, super long, strange book. And 89 chapters for the size of this book is just silly.

41. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones // This is such an amazing children's Bible! And it's not just for children...I love how it takes such big truths and uses simple language...all pointing to Jesus. From creation to Revelation. Highly recommend {even if you don't have kids!}

42. As it Happened: A One Year Chronological Walk Through the Bible by God // I was able to read through the entire Bible in a year! Well, actually I listened to it...babies and I listened to the Word every morning at breakfast. So I guess Eli and Maddie have heard the entire Bible already :) This reading plan was put together by Mountain View Fellowship.


Books I started but didn't finish:
  • I See You by Clare Mackintosh // I just couldn't get into the story after borrowing it multiple times from the library so I just eventually gave up.
  • The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman // I just couldn't get past all the description. Which is sad, because I am sure the actual story is incredible. But it is possible to use too many adjectives and give too much detail...
  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles // It seemed to be beautifully written, it just was not my cup of tea.
  • The Whistler by John Grisham // I couldn't even make it through 2 chapters before I was bored to tears...

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Walk With Me Through 2017...

2017 was filled with all things baby. It was a long and crazy year, but it was full of love, joy, and laughter. It was a beautiful picture of redemption and healing after so many years of heavy hearts. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Past reviews: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

In January, Eli and Maddie turned 2 months old, and we were still in the bleary-eyed-just-trying-to-survive stage :)  The reality of having twins was kicking. our. butts. For real. But all of the hardship was worth it, especially when those 2 cuties would look up at us and smile!

Grandma came to visit in February, and we were ALL so thankful for the extra hands! We also started sleep training, which changed. our. life. Our little baby sumo wrestlers sure looked adorable and made the sleep transition SO well! I got to celebrate my birthday as a mama to 2 babies, which was an answer to so many prayers. Eli and Maddie celebrated their first Valentine's Day, and I helped host Laura's baby shower. We also celebrated our 1 year Transferversary, and we rejoiced over all the Lord had done!

In March, I was starting to find somewhat of a rhythm as a twin mama. Things were still really hard, but I was finding a new normal where I felt I could function a little better. We got the official word that my dad was cancer free, which was such a huge blessing! Babies started sleeping through the night {WAHOO!}, and they also started solid foods, which started a whole new adventure.

I took a walk down memory lane in April, sharing photos from my college days at Baylor. I also blogged for the National Infertility Awareness Week. Eli and Maddie celebrated their first Easter, and I was able to be a part of Christine Hoover's launch team for her third book. Eli and Maddie also welcomed their friend Cooper to the world! After some routine blood work, I learned that I had a tumor on pituitary gland, which started a long few months of additional tests, doctors, and trying to figure out next steps.

In May, we hit the half way mark of Eli and Maddie's first year...6 months! I said goodbye to Peabody {my Mazda Tribute} and Mike got a new car, Eli started seeing the chiropractor for his torticollis and plagiocephaly, and I got to celebrate my first Mother's Day with my arms full! We made our first family road trip to Oklahoma for a weekend adventure, and I got to enjoy my first day off since the babies were born. May also brought our first round of sickness; while it was no fun, we are thankful that we made it 6 months before babies got sick.

In June, Mike got to celebrate his first Father's Day with his arms full. Sasha turned 10 {!} but got a clean bill of health from the vet. I saw a bunch of specialists for my tumor. Babies were growing fast, sitting up, and starting to get mobile!

I saw more doctors and had a repeat MRI in July. My health stuff was a bit overwhelming, but God was gracious to provide peace and plenty of distraction. We made a trip to San Antonio, so babies enjoyed their first trip to see Grandma and Grandpa. Mike and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary {complete with an actual date night out!} Babies had their first swim, started bathing in the big tub together, and we had to lower their cribs because they started pulling up!

August was the month that babies officially became mobile- they were crawling everywhere! I started a new Bible study with Laura, and we welcomed our new niece Charley. The biggest news in August was that JESUS HEALED MY TUMOR. I had one that would probably require surgery, and then I didn't. It shrunk, and I was given the all clear. 

We took a trip to Colorado in September, which made it Eli and Maddie's first plane ride! We got to spend time with dear friends and it was nice to enjoy the mountain scenery. I had a routine colonoscopy {fun}, and we enjoyed a lot of time outside in the beautiful weather.

In October, we welcomed the fall season with a trip to a pumpkin patch. Since Eli and Maddie are still so young, it was mostly so I could get cute pictures of them, but we had fun nonetheless. We had another round of sickness, which kept us at home for a couple of weeks. Eli and Maddie experienced their first Halloween, and I took advantage of dressing up my kiddos :)

Eli and Maddie turned 1 year old in November! We celebrated with a fun photo shoot, a Winter ONEderland birthday party with family, and lots of time pouring over photos to watch them grow over the past year. We got to enjoy some good time with Grandma and Grandpa, and spent a lot of time enjoying all the new toys they received for their birthday. We spent Thanksgiving with Granny and Grumpz and all the cousins, and we breathed a sigh of relief for surviving the first year with twins!

We started off December with a new Advent tradition. We decided to forego the Christmas tree {because twins}, but still were able to enjoy some holiday decorations. We enjoyed a visit from grandma...and then a week later she came back with grandpa for Christmas! We had a fun-filled week of Christmas festivities, and we are so grateful for family and fun memories. 


The beginning of 2017 was a bleary-eyed fog of new parent craziness, but by the end of the year, we were finally feeling like we were getting our legs underneath us, getting into a rhythm as a family of 4! We are so thankful for all the Lord has done, and we praise God for our little family. Thank you, Jesus, for our sweet baby loves!

{iPhone Rewind} :: December

So much for drinking my Sonic drink alone :)

Straight to Sasha' bed. Every time.

Probably why my children were sick the first half of December...

Hi Mom!

Siblings :)

Maddie has spent a lot of time playing with her little doll. She pats it, talks to it, shakes it {eek}, but she will spend long periods of time just her and her doll.

She's such a goofy girl :)

I want to always remember their little baby feet in footed pajamas :)

We loved using The Jesus Storybook Bible for our Advent devotionals this year!

The best footprints we could get for Mike's Daddy Book :)

I swear his eyelashes are getting longer...

Strike a pose!

That snaggle tooth!

Everyone enjoys the toys! :)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

McCullough Christmas

Even though Eli and Maddie had already opened presents from Granny and Grumpz, we still had not celebrated Christmas with all the aunts, uncles and cousins. So today we headed over to the McCulloughs for Christmas Part 4 {!}

I didn't get many photos because there was so much going on, and we are now chasing 2 walking toddlers...but Eli and Maddie had SUCH a blast with all of their cousins! It is so fun to see them interacting more, and we loved getting to celebrate Christmas with family.

Eli playing the floor keyboard with Uncle Bryan

Granny was definitely in her happy place with all the grandkids together!

The tent we got from Uncle Bryan and Aunt Christa is a HUGE hit!

It was a really fun day, but we were all pretty exhausted from all the Christmas festivities. We are so thankful for all the fun family time, and we are looking forward to some rest as we look ahead to the new year!