Our First Tennessee Christmas

I’m a girl who loves tradition. I’m a girl who loves family gatherings (even if they don’t always turn out the way I imagined they would). And I’m also the girl who never really thought I embraced change…yet here I am, living a HUGE change. Sometimes, what we think is true about ourselves – isn’t. I’m learning to be comfortable with all that’s uncomfortable.

When Amy Grant sings Tender Tennessee Christmas it warms my heart and before I lived here, I used to wonder what a Tennessee Christmas would be like and now I know. It’s special – the kind of special that you really can’t explain…you just feel it somewhere deep in your soul. It’s peaceful and filled with lightness. There’s the usual hustle and bustle, but somehow there’s a calm about it…a gentleness if you will. It’s also a time of reflection. The cold and stark landscape gives this California girl pause. I stop and reflect on this past year and all that happened and I reflect on my life.

Our house is filled with decorations ( a few new additions, but mostly familiar and loved). I did my shopping (and maybe went a bit overboard) and the refrigerator was filled with traditional foods that we’ve always eaten in our home, and then I waited for Kaitlyn’s arrival on the 20th.I swear December 20th was the longest day of my life. I was so happy to see her face coming down the escalator at Nashville Airport! It’s a feeling you can only understand if you are feeling lonely for family and I was.

I don’t want to go on and on about all that we did…I’ll let a few photos tell you that story, but somehow, we found a way to make magic happen in our house this Christmas and really, it was just by being together. Christmas Eve was spent in revelry with our new Tennessee friends. My friend serenaded us and we sang Christmas carols after dinner by the fire. Magic really (although I’m not sure we sounded that great…)

Come on in…

There are far more glamorous pics of Kaitlyn…but this one makes me happy…sitting by the fire and the tree.

Our first friends…Amy & Phil

Our Christmas present from Greg…so blessed.

We hung out…we enjoyed each other’s company…we talked to our family in California…I cried a little, and at some moments, I cried a lot. But here’s what I learned…I can make it. I’m far more resilient than I ever imagined. I trust my instincts more. I’m discovering what REALLY matters in this life. I’m finding my personal peace through all the turbulence and the roller coaster of emotions and I’m settling in.

I still don’t know why Franklin called my name…but I’m open to all that just might be possible. The winter is here and it’s time for reflection.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for leaving a comment and thank you for your kindness. I wish you a beautiful, bountiful and BLESSED 2014!


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