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the mommyhood memos: December 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

may your whole world be filled

"Jesus said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12)

Dear friends, may your Christmas be filled with light, life, and love... and all things good as you celebrate friends and family, the birth of Jesus, and the hope of a new year. May your holiday be filled with joy, generosity, feasting, kindness, peace, and so much more.

with love,

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

meeting the big guy

I wanted to let Levi meet Santa... and yet standing in line for whoknowshowlong to let my little child sit on a big stranger's lap for a few seconds wasn't high on my priority list. It's just not the way I wanted to spend one of our precious holiday mornings.

But when the opportunity presented itself at the end of our Norwegian Christmas party dinner... with no line and with both grandma and great-grandma looking on with hopeful eyes...

Well, that I couldn't refuse.

And I'm so glad we didn't miss the opportunity...

Because it really was a moment in time that just drips with the magic and wonder of Christmas.

And how glad am I to have captured it?

Dear friends, I consider myself extremely lucky - for no line... and for a sweet moment with the big guy void of a terrified baby melt-down. What was your Santa experience like this year?

loving my little guy with this big guy,

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
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Friday, December 17, 2010

my little dream come true

You know how I’ve been dreaming of a white Christmas holiday for my little Aussie family?

Well, God has delivered.

This morning we woke up to snow. Glorious snow.

And in honor of this precious and beautiful snow dump, I’m going to do a precious and beautiful photo dump… mostly of my sweet son enjoying it for the first time, and my Aussie husband in his fleece superman pj’s. (He was too excited to change into something more “reasonable” - just one of the many things I love about him.)

This is the first white Christmas for the Booker boys. And boy oh boy, does their delight bring joy to this little heart-o-mine.

"i don't know what this is but i like it!"

"so many layers, i can hardly move!"

my gorgeous boys... including ryan still in his pj's. :)

"what is this stuff?!"

still snowing... still happy.

perhaps the cutest snowman to-date. :)

superdad and my flying boy.


Dear friends, seeing my family experience snow at Christmastime is so special to me. It’s an important part of them being able to relate to my culture, background, and upbringing. How do you bring elements of your childhood into your present-day family life?

snowed in and happy about it,

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I was looking through my photos from our Christmas holiday in Oregon so far, and as I paused at this one I immediately thought of the word WONDER.

What must have been going through little Levi’s mind as he held glowing bits of light between his fingertips? WONDER.

And when is the last time that I let myself be childlike in my own thinking?

I’m not talking about being childish here—as in immature—I’m talking about being childlike...

Able to suspend my to-do’s and agendas long enough to just be in the moment, caught up in whatever beauty is before me.

Able to discover and question and find joy in simple things.

Able to love unabashedly. Laugh without restraint. Be free of self-consciousness, self-doubt, or self-criticism.

Able to believe whole-heartedly, cry unashamedly, and trust completely.

I have moments of being able to live with a child-like simplicity. But they are only moments.

Far too often my rationale gets in the way. My sense of responsibility. My need to be “right” or do things “just right”. My consideration of others perceptions of me. My desire to have order. My tendency to plan and predict and predetermine.

And although none of those things are wrong… they can get in the way of living if I’m not careful.

I’ve had many of these “wonder” moments lately—being on holiday helps—but I’m not satisfied. I want more.

Thank you, little Levi, for helping mama to remember that it’s important to wonder.

Dear friends, how are you keeping the WONDER in life this Christmas season?

stopping to wonder,

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

10 traditions designed to connect your family this christmas

By Lindsey Whitney of Growing Kids Ministry

The holidays are always crazy busy.  You don’t need me to tell you that.  However, in the midst of all the shopping, driving, celebrating, and running around, we often neglect to connect with our families in a meaningful way.  Here are ten ideas to help you slow down, even for a few moments, and cherish those things that mean the most to you.
1.   Hot Chocolate in Front of the Fire
Nothing causes you to slow down and reflect like a hot beverage in your hand. This winter, grab some of those specialty hot chocolates and make each member of your family a special cup of chocolaty goodness.   Gather together in front of the fire and just sip together.  You can chat if the mood strikes, but don’t feel like you have to. Comment on how tasty your drink is, and make sure you tell your family how much you love them.  Then just stare at the flames together.  No fireplace?  You can have your kids draw an imaginary one on poster board, or you can get one of those crazy DVD’s that put a crackling fireplace on your TV! 

2.   Storytime
Start the bedtime routine a half hour earlier and spend that extra time reading lots of Christmas books.  Little Star is a good one that’s out this year.  One family I know gets a different version of The Night Before Christmas  every year as part of their family tradition.

3.   Get Wrapping
Try to wrap presents ahead of time.  I know, you’re busy and this is one task that tends to settle to the bottom of the to-do list.  But seriously, it looks so nice to have those lovely gifts under the tree for a few weeks.  Plus, you don’t have to spend the entire month of December dreading the wrapping process.  Hire some youth group kids or nieces and nephews to do if you want.  I’m sure they would be happy for the extra Christmas cash.

4.   Appreciate What You Have
Spend a night together watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Do movies get any better than this one?)  Veggie Tales just came out with their own version, called “It’s a Meaningful Life” that you might opt for if you’ve got a house full of little ones.  After you watch, have everyone share something that they appreciate about their life and family. 

5.   Read the Christmas Story Before Christmas
Christmas is a great time to read about the birth of Christ, but Christmas morning might not be ideal.  Usually kids are anxious to dive into their presents, mom is busy cooking up a grand breakfast and dad is.. well, who knows?  Maybe getting the video camera ready or installing batteries.  At any rate, if you wait till the midst of all this to read through the Bible, it might get rushed or even pushed aside.  Take time Christmas Eve or earlier in the week to read through the passage and talk about it with your family.  

6.   Kid Friendly Nativity
Nativities are great, but don’t cause yourself undue stress by putting out Great Aunt Wanda’s heirloom set and then yelling at the kids whenever they come within three feet of it.  Instead, go for a kid-friendly version this year and let your kids actually touch it.   Here’s some great ones to take a look at: Little People NativityLearning Journey Nativity,  or Kurt Adler Nativity.

7.   Cookies! 
This is one of our family traditions.  Usually we do them all on one day (what a long day that is!), but you may want to break it up and do a different type of cookie every week.  Each year, when December comes, your family will know that Friday is cookie day!  Take those extra cookies to the neighbors to spread some holiday love.

8.   A Grand Entrance
I recently read this idea in Thriving Family magazine.  One family wanted to capture the “coming down the stairs on Christmas morning” moment, so they had their kids stay in their rooms until they heard Christmas music loudly playing in the house.  Every year, the parents picked a different tune and as the kids excitedly bounded out of their rooms, they were all able to share the first moments of Christmas together.  

9.   Remember Others
Samaritan’s Purse puts out a gift catalog every Christmas filled with gifts that you can give to others in needs.  For $4, you can give milk to a child for a week. For $20 you can give a family chickens to raise for a living.  There is a wide range of prices and gifts, and it’s a great way for kids to remember the less fortunate during the holidays. 

10.  Puzzle Time
Puzzles are another one of those activities that force you to sit down and breathe for a moment.  Find some Christmas or winter-themed puzzles and work together on them as a family.  You can do it all in one night, or spend a few weeks on an especially hard one.  Afterwards, you can glue it together and display it as a Christmas memory. 
Wondering how you’re going to remember to fit these things in?  Print off a calendar for December, and let your kids pick the days to do each of the above activities.  Post it on the fridge or some other prominent place so both you and your kids will be reminded to take time for family this Christmas.

Bio: Lindsey Whitney is a new mom of one adorable little girl.  She runs a Family Home Day Care and is the Children's Ministry director at her church.  Her blog is Growing Kids Ministry.

Dear friends, I LOVE these ideas and I'm a big believer in creating family traditions! We have a few Christmas traditions of our own, but now that we're parents we are open to adopting a few more that will be extra special for the kids. I love the child-friendly nativity idea as well as the cookie day! (And the grand entrance when the kids are older.) How do you and your family connect during the Christmas season? Will you try anything new this year?

enjoying my family this christmas,

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

bare baby bums

One of the things I love about babyhood is those cheeks… those chubby little bum cheeks.

It’s an age of innocence, an age where the sight of nudity doesn’t lift an eyebrow but it does lift a spirit.

Cuz really, how can you not get a smile on your dial when faced with glimpses like this:

And this:

And this:

One of my favorite things about being in Hawaii was being at the beach in the late afternoon when the sun was no longer scorching and dangerous… and being able to just enjoy the warm rays on our cheeks.

Levi’s especially.

Dear friends, isn’t it so fun to watch the littlies play without the restrictions of clothing?

bumming around,

  Have you registered your blog here yet?

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
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Friday, December 10, 2010


We are in Hawaii.

I know, I know. It’s a tough life.

We’re actually here for a work conference.

But like any clever family would do, we came four days early so we could have some fun and free time.

And fun and free time we’ve been having… with some amazing family and friends.

There has been unbelievable beauty.

There has been ice cream.

There has been sand. Plenty.

There has been swimming. And wave jumping.

There has been splashing. And posing. And a whole lot of smiling.

There has been screaming with delight.

There has been dolphin sightings and aqua blue lagoons.

There has been sunshine. And palm trees. And green, green grass.

There has been naps in the shade.

There has been fine dining.

There has been new friends. (Beautiful new friends.)

There has been lots of time to play.

There has been double the fun. And a bit hand-holding.

There has been freedom to go au natural.

There has been play time with the big kids.

There has been many sleeps on-the-go.

There has been numerous attempts at a family photo.

There has been lots of precious moments with people we love.

And there has been one very happy family.

Dear friends, how's that for a photo dump? All I can say here is… I hope you get one of these soon too. Cuz this is really, really good.

working at not working,

p.s. I'm actually in Oregon now... but when I started writing this I was still in Hawaii. Anyway, there you go. It was such a good vacation that I just had no time to be online. Or something like that. :)

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

black friday frenzie

It’s been five years since I’ve had a Thanksgiving in America.

And that also makes five years since I’ve been shopping on a Black Friday.

Black Friday.

The name even sounds a bit daunting, doesn’t it?

Last Thursday night (after an incredible Thanksgiving meal and celebration) I lay awake in my bed at midnight, completely exhausted and jetlagged… and yet unable to sleep. I was a ball of nerves and excitement about the next day.

I was to wake at 2:15am and head out the door with some girlfriends for a 2:30am breakfast at Dennys and an early start to get the best deals.

Even though I had nothing I really hoped or needed to get, just the thrill of a deal and the ridiculously fun cultural experience was enough to keep me up like a child before Christmas.

I finally fell asleep for what seemed like a few minutes before—PING—my eyes sprung open at 2:10am before my alarm even had a chance to sound.

It was a fun morning shopping, but I confess, I probably enjoyed the cultural experience more than the actual shopping and deals.

I bought a few little things ($2.00 DVDs make great stocking stuffers!) but I had even more fun checking out the people sleeping in the aisles at Walmart while they waited for the electronics to go on sale. (I desperately wanted to take a photo but didn’t for fear they would wake up mid-snap and take their shoppers rage out on an unsuspecting displaced American in… America.)

I also enjoyed a fresh Starbucks delight at 5:00am – an hour that I rarely ever see (even if there was Starbucks incentive in Australia) – and I helped a friend snatch up the best of the best deals for her kids’ Christmas gifts.

By 9:00am I was ready to collapse; my two hours sleep weren't stretching very far.

There is nothing that comes remotely close to Black Friday in Australia. But I think that’s possibly a good thing. For now, I’ll just consider it a rare treat that I can come home every five years to get a too-good-to-pass-up bargain… and save myself the sleepless nights tossing and turning over $4.00 pajama bottoms.

Dear friends, how about you? Did you shop on Black Friday? Was it a success?

for the love of a bargain,

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

who are you missing?

Do you have friends that live far away that you just wish lived closer?

We got to visit some friends that fit in that category while we were in Sydney recently.

Although they have a couple of kids older than Levi, they do have a little cherub that is just two weeks older than him.

Introducing Ashley:

Isn't she just gorgeous?

It was so fun to see the kids playing together.

They were a little more interested in each other than the last time around:

{10 weeks old with levi's nan and ashley's brother will.}

Yes, our little 10-month-olds were a sight to be seen.

Two adorable peas in a pod really.

Does it get any more precious than this?

Seriously. {sigh}

Dear friends, who are you missing lately?

loving the littlies,

p.s. Just a little FYI... while I'm on holidays I may not have much time to visit and comment on blogs... So if you hear from me a little less, that's why. But that doesn't mean I'm not still reading them in my reader! :)

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
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