New wonders.

I vividly remember what I said aloud last year while unpacking the Nativity, the fuzzy stockings, the prickly tree branches - "The next time I open these boxes, our baby will be here with us."  Through my first trimester queasiness, I was weakened, but thankfully not weakened enough to miss one of my favorite parts of Christmas - decorating our home on the day after Thanksgiving, making it into a fairytale land.  This time of year, we like to live only by the light of the Christmas tree when it's dark outside.

And now, our baby is here - we have a 5-and-a-half-month old who loves playing under that same artificial tree, like a little roly poly bug as she rolls and stretches to reach its branches.  I watch our precious Luci Belle discovering so many new wonders and know that I fully understand it now - the beauty of advent.  The expectation, the patience.  And then the peace and settledness when that which you've been waiting for finally arrives. 

This year, it's so special to see our daughter enjoying the pleasures of Christmastime - white twinkle lights twirled around the tree, shiny ornaments dangling overhead to catch her eye, hymns filling the air.  During her simple, naïve amusement, she doesn't yet know or understand that she was carefully knit together by a Divine Hand, that she was prayed for and anticipated.  She doesn't know how much joy she has brought into our lives.  All I can do is watch her and whisper under my breath the best prayer I know: Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I don't want to miss a moment.

Here are some photos capturing those special moments - around the house, with family, and at our 10th Annual Bailey Christmas Party.  I hope you're enjoying the beauty of Christmas, too, celebrating the reason we have light and life at all - Jesus.

Hanging out with Mimi

Brother & sisterHanging out with Papa Frank