Friday, December 21, 2012

You've Got Mail: 2012 Herrington Christmas Card and Letter

Happy Holidays from the Herringtons

Oh, friends. I hardly know where to start. This year has been filled with abundant blessing and we are beyond thankful for all the events, experiences, and people that have filled it so beautifully. 

Peyton and I are coming up on our fifth wedding anniversary this Summer and I think we are both humbled and encouraged by how much we’ve grown and changed- as individuals, as a couple, and as a family- in those years. So much has happened in these four and a half short years- we’ve dealt with lost jobs, we’ve experienced the joy of the addition of a precious little girl, we‘ve undergone changes in jobs, we’ve experienced the joy of the addition of a precious little boy, we’ve gone on fantastic trips, we’ve had life changing experiences, we’ve developed our faith in many ways and we’ve learned more about each other and about those two tiny beings that have become such a huge chunk of our world. 

Peyton is still enjoying his job at Walgreens. Recently, there has been an influx of “traffic” to his store as Walgreens bought another pharmacy in the area. His days are long, but he’s a hard worker and more than that he’s patient, and kind, and gracious. I am so proud of him. He’s also taken on some new responsibilities at church and has a strong presence among the “lay leadership”. His area is “adult education” and he is working hard to find new and exciting material that will best serve our congregation. 

This is the first year that I haven’t worked a (very) part-time job at our church’s Mother’s Day Out program. If I’m honest, I miss it terribly some days. But, I’ve seen firsthand that you can miss something, even yearn for it, and have a total peace about the fact that it’s not your circumstances for a season. The primary reason I decided to step back this year has to do with our schooling choice for Ann Peyton. We are planning on home schooling our children and this was our first year. I have to say, it’s already been both challenging and enriching and I know it will grow me as well as the children. It is so very exciting for me to step back into the role of an educator, as I spent four years in college learning to be one. I am beyond thankful that Peyton has taken an active part in this endeavor and intends to continue to do so.  We also found a two day a week school that was developed specifically for home schooling families- Annie takes ballet, tap, art, gymnastics, and music as well as doing some age appropriate pre-reading activities. She loves it and it’s been nice a nice addition specifically for the socialization aspect. I knew she’d miss the time with other children when she got too old for Mother’s Day Out and this has been the perfect replacement. 

Speaking of Annie, she’s quite a darling. She loves princesses and ballerinas and fairies and all things pink. She insists that we call her “Cinderella” and it’s a bit comical the things she comes up with. She actually told me the other day that Cinderella had to ride to the hospital in the ambulance (because she had a bad cold), but her mice had to “take their own car” so they could ride in their “tiny car seats”. We were howling. She has what my dad refers to as a “definite determination of purpose”, something he remembers fondly (ha!) from my childhood. She is still such a sweet, typically good natured child, but she keeps us on our toes with her questions and her deep desire for an explanation. I love that I see myself often in the way she seems to feel things deeply and respond to them. I count it my blessing to try to help her channel this as a force for good…for God. 

Graves is just a mess…in such a perfect way. He’s full of energy and he just loves people. We’ve grown to realize that he’s very social. He’s a risk-taker and will climb on most anything. And he loves any kind of ball. He seems like a true little boy in some ways. But in others, he’s still such a baby. He walks around with his blanket (and usually two or three other comfort items) and is just almost unbearably sweet. Peyton has taken to calling him “Linus”. I love to watch his personality develop and I pray for his character, for the man he will become. 

So many things have happened in the last twelve months that I’d love to share with you….books that have molded my heart-music that awakened my spirit-events and experiences that wrecked me in all the best ways-conversations with friends that deeply encouraged and edified me in ways I didn’t know possible-mundane moments of parenting and marriage and educating and  homemaking that took my breath away because of God’s abundant grace. But the white on my page is quickly disappearing and two pages is more than sufficient for a yearly catch-up. Just know that our days are beautiful (except when they’re ugly- and there’s beauty in that), full (except when they’re empty- and there’s a fullness in the overflowing of praise for those), and joyful (except when they are difficult and tiresome and frustrating- and there is more than enough hope to find joy even in those). 

I have a quote written in our kitchen that says “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a smiling family all wrapped up in each other”.  Our prayer, dear friends, is that you will find these things in your days….that you will feel wrapped in the love of family, friends, and the Lord. 

The Herringtons 

2009 Card and Letter
2010 Card and Letter
2011 Card and Letter 

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