1. Shelby playing the baby Jesus at our church's Christmas Eve service (and Harding, the magi, sneaking back to sit with the Holy Family during the last song).
2. My 30th birthday (also on Christmas Eve). My sweet sister took me to the spa the day before to stave off any "oldness" that might come with turning 30.
3. A white Christmas. The snow was still on the ground from the blizzard the previous week.
4. Harding's wonder and excitement about EVERYTHING this season. He was worried that Santa wouldn't come to our house because we don't have a chimney, but we reassured him that Santa was magical and could pop though a window. I think this ended up scaring him--he cried going to bed Christmas Eve night. I don't think he will be scared of Santa again--Harding woke up on Christmas morning covered by a Santa blanket and found a fire truck (his only request) complete with a fire station under the tree.
5. Being surrounded by the love and company of family. My brother Stephen and his girlfriend Cambridge sold almost all of the Christmas trees on their lot in Richmond and drove in to spend Christmas and New Year's with us. My sister Chris and her husband Grant each took more than a week off from work and were in Asheville with us as well. Trip's grandfather (the original John Harding Kinnaird), braved the blizzard and flew in from Texas for a week. My Aunt Dearing was with us from Ashland, VA and she is always fun. My two grandmothers, Penny and Burney live here in Western North Carolina and so do my parents and Trip's parents, but we got to enjoy extra time with them.
6. Shelby's baptism. It was a beautiful service and Shelby rocked back and forth and babbled loudly in my arms when we stood in front of everyone at church. She cried a little when Mark sprinkled the water on her head, but settled down when he walked her down the aisle. I was touched by all of it. We then got all of the family mentioned above together again for a luncheon at my mom and dad's house. Trip's brother Matt and his fiancee Ashlee came as well as my Uncle Mark, Aunt Nora and cousin Katy. What a special day.
7. We spent New Year's Eve and Day at a rented mountain house outside of Boone with my siblings, my cousin Kate, and all of their significant others. I can't think of a better (and more relaxing) way to ring in the new year and a new decade. We watched football, played games, cooked, ate, danced to Michael Jackson and had an awesome time.
Mom and Harding making gingerbread cookies (I used to do this with her when I was little):
Harding's Firestation (a huge hit)
A little birthday gathering at our house on Christmas Eve:
Harding helping Grandpa Kinnaird open a gift:
The Christmas Table (centerpiece by Cambridge):
Stephen and Cambridge:
Nana, Chris, and Me:
Don't we look festive?
Group New Year Picture (taken when Shelby was napping):