Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gifts and Gratitude

The Christmas season has been beautiful...
...with soft snowfalls and lots of close family time.

Our gifts this year include the gift of time...
...time to share memories and loving words.

This year my husband's Dad is celebrating his last Christmas.

We are grateful that, this snowy December, we are able to share happy memories, corny jokes, bittersweet tears
 and lots of warm hugs.

We are still learning from this father and grandfather...
patience, endurance, what it means to be generous and loving.

We are learning the importance of living in the moment... appreciate every day.

We are blessed... love and be loved.

At times, our hearts are filled with sadness
knowing that soon we will no longer
 have this special man in our lives...

But, we also know how blessed we are to have had him with us
 so healthy and active and independent for all these many years.
And for that, we are very thankful.

This Christmas is a little different.
 It is simpler in some respects but filled with a heightened
awareness of the love that we share... 

and the many blessings of family.

Life on this earth is a beautiful gift.

This Christmas we are giving 
 the gifts of time, attention and compassion.

 Our hearts are filled with overwhelming gratitude... we humbly receive God's gift of Christmas.

Wishing each of you joy and peace.


One Shabby Old House said...

So beautifully written. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Muffy's Marks said...

Just beautiful, both words and photos. Christmas Blessings to you and those you hold dearly.

Alice Wingerden said...

Beautiful post Laura. I am so sorry to hear about your father-in-law...I hope that you all enjoy a wonderful and memorable Christmas together.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Laura for sharing your heart and your art. Both are so beautiful. God Bless you and your family this season.

Vicki Potter

Parlor Room Ponderings said...

Such a beautiful and tender tribute. Peace to you and your family this Christmas season.
Blessings, Diane

Repent Girls said...

Oh but Laura - his next Christmas will be with Him and the angels. I read a quote that went "We are all just walking each other home" so help him home. Tell your Dad he raised quite a human being! Mary

Nadine said...

Praying for your family during this time...enjoy every moment together. This will be my first Christmas without my Dad, as he passed away in July. May God bless you and your family this Christmas season!


Junkchiccottage said...

Very beautiful post. Wishing you a beautiful time with your family. Hope every moment spent this year will be a beautiful memory for all of you. Merry Christmas.

oldgreymare said...

<3 <3 <3 sending you love

Denise @ secondtimearoundfinds said...

You have put together such a lovely post I hope you have a wonderful Christmas I can tell already it's full of love and caring. The best to you and your family this Christmas season.

Hayley said...

Really stunning pictures to go with your post- the snow is so beautiful. I know if it were my last Christmas- I want want it to be snowy like that and full of family and love.
Best wishes this Christmas xxx

The Blue Farmhouse said...

And all those things you mentioned will stand the test of time...when all the glitz and glam has endures forever. I'm glad I read today's post.

Merry Christmas...Rita

Miss Holly said...


Lin from A {tiny} Cottage In The Woods said...

So beautiful. The true gifts of Christmas. I was having similar thoughts this morning ~ missing loved ones that have moved far away or have passed, yet so very grateful for our time together.
Happy Holidays to you and yours, Laura.

Ariadne said...

Great photos, Merry Christmas!AriadnefromGreece!

Unknown said...

Beautiful thoughtful words....words to live by. How beautiful are the branches of that bare tree fringed with snow, so beautiful! Wishing you a happy memory filled Christmas with your family! Sharon x

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Your images are so gorgeous, Laura! Christmas is such a beautiful time, but it can also be bittersweet. Blessings to you and your family at Christmas this year!

Simple Pleasure said...

Such an eloquent, heartfelt posting and amazing photographs. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family this Christmas…several years ago we shared our last Christmas with my MIL…Christmas Day is also her birthday…what initially seemed like a double whammy left us with cherished memories…looking back, I would not have done one thing differently…it was a blessed Christmas.
Busy Hands…Happy Heart

Annette said...

Dearest Laura, such a lovely and heartfelt post. May you have peace and joy this Christmas. I am sad about your father-in-law but grateful you have time to say goodbye.
With all my best wishes,

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Dear Laura and family,
Wishing you all the most beautiful Christmas ever, filled with love and togetherness. You will all give your father-in-law the most special time and will have so many precious memories to hold in your hearts.
Sending love to all of you. XXXX

Susie~From My Home To Yours said...

Merry Christmas to you and your very special family. Enjoy...

trash talk said...

Reading your words, seeing the photographs, feeling a peace descend over me, I feel comforted when it is I who should be offering words of comfort. Beautifully written.
Life is a gift, but you have been given another...the gift of expression and the ability to say so much in a whisper.
Merry Christmas to you and much peace in the New Year.
I send you all my prayers.

Burlap Luxe said...

Beautiful, and sad at the same time.
This is a beautiful time to celebrate life lived and knowing that all things come to its time makes it that much more important to you and your family.
Beautifully written words here, as for Christmas simple words of love and joy is Christmas enough.

Blessings, and prayers go out to you and your family.


Rustique Gal said...

Dear Laura,
What a lovely post! Your pictures are just beautiful. I'm so happy that you are having this quiet sharing with your family. It is a great gift to share this time with your Dad-in-law. Enjoy the warmth of family this Christmas.

Marilyn Miller said...

Life is indeed a gift and worth savoring and treasuring each moment. Take care and I can tell you are savoring it.

Michelle Palmer said...

The most beautiful and treasured gifts~ wishing you beautiful memories that hearts will always hold <3
Merry Christmas!
(Beautiful photographs)

Unknown said...

Beautiful. Peace be with all of you.

ThreeOldKeys said...

Lovely, Sweet, just right.

White Lace and Promises said...

What a beautiful post! I have already walked this road and haven't been as quick to find the peace that you have written about.

Thanks for the inspiration to accept what has been handing me with grace and peace.


Anne Lorys said...

Your photos are just perfection, Laura!


WolvesAtTheDoor said...

Your words and images are magic. To be grateful is truly to be full of greatness. Light and Love to you and your family:)

Maison Beldecor said...

Hello my dear Laura,

I hope you and your family had a peaceful Christmas. It makes me sad to hear about your father-in-law, hope you can remember the wonderful time with him.

Wishing you all the best for 2014!!!


Unknown said...

Thank you for this post. It is absolutely beautiful. The words reminds us to treasure the time we have with our loved ones. The pictures are beautiful, the blue sky and the white snow. Awesome.
Hope you are comforted with family and friends during this sad time.