I've been thinking and praying for a while about how to do Christmas differently this year.
I want my kids (and myself) to feel the wonder of the season,
instead of just the pulse of MORE STUFF.
We've prayed about it as a family
and I've begged Jesus quietly on where the RESTART button
between Thanksgiving and the end of the year.
I told The Hero I even wanted our Christmas cards to look different.
We are not the sweater and chino matching type.
And even though I try so hard to try to keep up with that image,
we are never going to be a J. Crew family.
I saw a pin on Pinterest awhile back about a photo shoot that involved paint.
I knew in an instant it was for us.
The perfect start to a different kind of holiday.
I called my friend, turned photog-pro Vanessa at Dear Okie
and asked if she was crazy enough.
I think her exact quote was "HELL. Yes."
I found us all white shirts.
And we "looked" like we'd take average ole, "stand in front of the fireplace" pics.
You should have seen the kids' faces when Vanessa and I pulled out the paint.
Vanessa explained we were going to paint the canvas as a family.
I doled out the brushes and
The Hero set up the canvas.
The kids got busy chucking paint.
I got lost in just being together.
The Dinosaur almost hyperventilated when The Hero threw paint on him on purpose.
He was so worried about his shirt.
Until I tossed a brushful in his hair.
And begged he do it back to me.
We painted one another.
Then went back to the canvas.
We tossed paint and wrote on each other for the best part of two hours.
Laughing and screaming.
Letting the paint and joy drip all over.
We covered paint on every inch of each of us.
(thank God we spared her camera).
I've never seen The Dinosaur make this face before.
Here is the masterpiece we created:
Out of the 340 pictures Vanessa took, only five of them were of all four of us staring at the camera.
The rest were so perfect, we didn't need to be looking at the camera.
It was us in our glory and mess.
Just like every day.
But with free license to embrace who we are without all the expectations.
Be. Still. My. Heart.
Be. Still. My. Heart.
Here is to you and yours this holiday season from a family who is trying to start our traditions all over again.
And praying that we paint it right this time,
while covered in love and joy.
If you haven't had a chance to buy my kid's book yet, go to the top of the blog and hit the "Buy Now" button for paypal. All proceeds from the book go to build a water well in honor of our sponsorship son through Children's HopeChest. There are only 1000 copies printed and we are praying they are sold as soon as possible. Thanks and God bless.