This past weekend the hubs hosted and trained some believers with the help of a colleague = mommy and kids time. The kids have been begging to decorate for Christmas. It's getting darker and darker by the day. Days disappearing to only a few short hours of sunlight...or cloudiness a day. So twinkling lights and candles? Yes, kids! Let's decorate. 

I promised the kids we could while Daddy was gone and then have everything ready for him when he got home. My little worker bees got busy. 

I love to freeze a moment in my brain with my camera. I snapped this sweet little picture because I wanted to remember.  



Later that night, when the kids had surprised their Daddy with Christmas coziness, and were all tucked in bed, a dear friend texted to check on me. Here's a snippet of our conversation... 



Nothing about life is perfect. No one's life is always what it seems in pictures. Don't buy that lie. Our day was faaaaaaaaar from being "Hallmark" like, but I take pictures of these tiny gifts in life that I want seared into my memory. I want to remember: 

- her tiny chubby hand and the soft patient voice her big sister uses to teach her

- the twinkle of the lights in the glowing eyes of four kids

- the wows and ooohs and aaaaahs when we were done

But when I look at that picture above, I'll most likely also remember:

- the punches thrown between brothers and ornament hanging  

- the toddler yelling "habe" which means give it to me or I want it!! 

- the way the biggest sister shook her head and rolled her eyes.   

- how the boys wrestled and almost took the tree out twice  

- how imperfect the tree is decorated. (I haven't moved one ornament. It's beautiful in their eyes and so it is in mine too) 

We were together with the people we love most. Not Hallmark. More like the cast of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" and I don't want anything else. I love my little Herdmans. 

I have learned to embrace my crazy. It's not always going to be like this. I won't always be at home alone with littles. I'm not always patient. I don't always speak in a calm, kind voice. I don't handle my crazy perfect. But I love my crazy and they love me back.  

So, next time you see a picture of mine, know that there is most likely always a crazy, wild, hilarious story behind it.

Embrace your crazy and go live a full, NOT "Hallmark" life!