Six days to Christmas and all is well

My son’s Christmas countdown tells me it is currently six days until Christmas. My radio, tuned to the local non-stop Christmas music station, agrees, as does my kitchen, currently overflowing with the remains of last week’s massive round of Christmas baking. We visited the Dickens Christmas festival in downtown Franklin last Sunday and have watched several of our favorite holiday movies. We’ve read as many versions of the nativity story as we can get our hands on. I am enjoying all these things while simultaneously remaining completely astonished that this year is drawing to a close.

So, here I am, finally posting a few pictures from our lovely Thanksgiving at the in-laws’ in Georgia.


The spread


These potatoes, y’all…


The table


The crew

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The family



The handsomest grandpa around

There are times when it nearly takes my breath away, how fast life is passing and how quickly my children change. This year, Corin remembers nearly every detail of last Christmas and can look forward to holiday events with much more specific anticipation. He put a lot of the ornaments on the tree this year. He also understands more and more of the Christmas story. Lina still mostly ignores a lot of the preliminaries and really still prefers that we open gifts for her so she can get to the fun part of playing with whatever’s inside. She adores the holiday sweets, and her fairly new appreciation for babies makes the story of baby Jesus one she can relate to better than most. Today, she spontaneously said “Bible” for the first time, and then repeated it throughout the morning. Our Little People nativity set – given us by Aunt Lila several years ago – is always a big hit, and we will spend more time this next week acting out the story of Jesus’ birth in a way that hopefully brings it home a bit for the munchkins.

As an adult, you would think the endless repetition of the nativity story would get old. I find the opposite is true. Every year, the story has new meaning for me. This year, I’ve been struck by the universality of the gift of God’s Son: “Good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” We humans tend to put everyone on a worthiness scale. It has come home hard this year that God sent a Savior for everyone. I find myself asking, “What am I doing to bring God to people where they are?” It’s a hard question, and I wrestle with what that really looks like in my life. For now, I am thankful for the seasonal reminder of a boundless love that belongs to all of us.



Singing and dancing to Christmas music









Giving thanks

Really, there’s not much narration necessary here. It was a beautiful Thanksgiving with family, hosted for the first time at our home. The meal was a true group effort, with everyone contributing to a fantastic menu. It was so good to spend time with family we see too rarely. Our hearts were as full as our bellies, which is saying something. Friday was a site-seeing outing downtown and a fantastic lunch at The Pharmacy in East Nashville. These times are over too soon, and we have to hold out for the next holiday we can gather and enjoy each other again.

And once again, I am indebted to my brother, Ryan, for taking quite a few of these photos.

















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Whatever may come

I sat in her darkened nursery this afternoon, rocking my sleeping baby, awash in a love so deep it hurt.

I prayed a new prayer. I told God that I was opening myself up to whatever her future holds.

I have always chosen optimism, but today, maybe for the first time, I could throw my arms wide to the unknown. I realized, in the rhythm of the rocking chair and her steady breathing, that being this child’s mother is worth it. Whatever it is, whatever may come, it is worth it. I am hers and she is mine, and that joy is bigger than any fear for the future. I suppose I’ve known that for a long time, but I felt it in a new way today.

In this season of gratitude, I know for certain that I am incredibly blessed.



Jon and I were asked to share a bit of our story as part of a gratitude-focused church service in celebration of this Thanksgiving holiday. Neither of us has much public speaking experience, but we prayed hard and gave it our best shot. It was a beautiful service, but if you’d like to skip to our portion, it begins at 1:17:17 and lasts about five minutes.

I am so very grateful for the two precious lives God has entrusted to us. Jon and I are honored to be Corin and Lina’s parents. Through an often-difficult journey, and through all the chaos and exhaustion of raising young children, we are thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. May your homes and hearts be full this holiday.

Grateful begins and ends here

It’s my favorite time of year. I wanted to get the Christmas tree up today, but this two kids thing means somehow I never get very far into my to-do list. Soon, twinkle lights and garland, soon we shall meet again.

We spent Thanksgiving here in town with my parents and my brother, sister-in-law, nephew and grandmother. My dad’s 60th birthday is also this weekend (sorry, dad, hope you weren’t wanting to keep that under wraps!), so we celebrated that, too.

I could make a long list of things I am thankful for. I could wax eloquent on all the reasons I am so very grateful. There are many. Instead, I’m just going to share pictures of the ultimate reason I am thankful: FAMILY. My grateful truly begins and ends here.

Corin and cousin Benjamin had a blast together.

Monster truck races on Grandma and Grandpa’s back deck

75% was the best we could do for everyone looking reasonable.

My babies

Why yes, that entire stick of butter DID go in the mashed potatoes.

Our first year with a kids’ table

Pretty good lungs for an old man