Squeals of daddy throwing them on the couch into the pillows. Millie ripping each present open with tiny tears and scattering small pieces of paper on the floor. The cozy crackle of the fire logs. Quiet knitting next to my mom, her needles also clicking away. A little time with a good book on my Kindle (Mrs. Mike, an excellent read, if you were interested in knowing - I will be writing more on that book in another post if I have time). My mom's clam chowder, salty and creamy and warm. Lyddie excitedly emptying the dust bin on her new toy vacuum cleaner over and over. Lyddie cuddling on Poppi's lap with a book. Millie screaming in mock terror as Uncle Andrew chases her down the hallway for tickles. Memories to hold on to of this Christmas.
Now I'm off to pack us up so we can load and hit the road. I am pretty sure our tree will be dry as a bone when we get home, so I guess the tree will be going pretty quickly but I am not sure I will take down the rest of the decorations just yet. I am ready to return to routine, though; the last month has been a flurry of extra and different. I just started reading Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliott while here and I think it will help orient (and re-orient) me to living peace and quiet even when circumstances are chaotic. She quotes Annie Keary in her introduction and I really appreciated these thoughts as we return to regular daily tasks:
"...I find most help in trying to look on all the interruptions and hindrances to work that one has planned out for oneself as discipline, trials sent by God to help one against getting selfish over one's work... After such a hindrance, do not rush after the planned work; trust that the time to finish it will be given sometime, and keep a quiet heart about it."