But before this month, and this year, really, start to get away from me, I have something I want to tell you. You, the family who are friends and friends who are family. You, the friends I've known long before I became a wife then momma. You, the friends I gained because us mommas need each other. You, the online friends who have become real friends. You, the friends I've yet to meet in person but still matter in my real life.
I want to tell you to remember.
Remember where you are and who you're with. Remember that people matter.
Remember why you made the choices you did. Remember that we need to move forward but that there is always grace.
Remember why your calendar looks the way it does. Remember to live intentionally.
Remember the traditions you want to hold on to and the dreams you want to chase. Remember that yours won't look like anyone else's.
Remember this moment right here, right now won't last for long. Remember that seasons matter.
So, now, in taking some of my own advice, I want to remember Christmas before it escapes me and becomes covered with tomorrow's memories.
We spread out the Christmas gatherings, starting with Greg's siblings while we were in Branson for Thanksgiving. Even so, we were blessed with packed days in a few different locations over Christmas break celebrating with so many people we love.
First up was hanging out with some of my family and childhood friends in Louisville.
I want to remember the way Bekah and Katie I pick up right where we left off. For the second time this year, we gathered ourselves and our families together. I want to remember how refreshing for my soul this time is, even when life sometimes try to interrupt and complicate plans.
I want to remember how my kids adore their cousins. I want to remember how this Christmas was different but how it was simple and good.
I want to remember how I'm proud of my little brother who my son adores.
I want to remember how Jaclyn and I both yearned for a family. We didn't have babies in our own scripted time, but God gave us five in five years together. They don't know life without each other, and I'll always remember to line them up and snap a picture. I want to remember that like people who share a last name, our two families have traditions that are an important part of my life.
I want to remember how on Christmas Eve is a sweet, simple time for our family of four. I wanted to serve a meal at a soup kitchen, but kids weren't allowed at the one that was open. Perhaps next year I need to remember to plan something not on the actual holiday. I want to remember how we took our next-door neighbor grandparents out to dinner. I want to remember how the kids were excited for the holiday, like the eve was a holiday all its own.
I want to remember Christmas morning here at home. Just us. We read the Christmas story. We exchanged a few gifts and ate pancakes. We were us. And I want to remember how Greg surprised me with a brand new Kindle. If you know us, you know it's a miracle we waited until Christmas morning to give each other gifts and keeping one a true surprise was meaningful to me.
I want to remember how we gathered with so many other Taylors for lunch at one house and then gifts and dessert at another. Traditions are changing, but I want to remember what matters is the people.
I want to remember the anticipation I had about meeting my new nephew. I have other niece and nephews, but, admittedly, there is something special about when your own sister finally gets to be a momma after some difficulty getting there. I understand where she's been and am so happy for her to be where she is.
I want to remember how 4-year-old Ben didn't sleep until the last 53 miles of a 619-mile trip from Kentucky to Texas. I want to remember the bittersweet surprise of traveling with two kids who don't necessarily require naps. But I want to remember that vacation can be exhausting and naps for both kids happened another day while riding in the mini van.
I want to remember how excited the kids were to hold Baby Lochlan.
I want to remember all the good food we ate. Texas sure does know how to season and serve shrimp tacos and brisket tacos.
I want to remember how my favorite day was the one where Mom and I cooked for Cassie and then we played Catan Junior, Wits and Wagers, Spades and Hearts around the table.
I want to remember that location doesn't define friendships and how my husband didn't think I was crazy for wanting to drive 98 miles to hang out with a family we'd never met in person.
I want to remember these days from Christmas Break. Throughout this new year, I want to remember to remember so all the coming days don't escape me.
I'm linking this post with Holley Gerth's new weekly series called Coffee for Your Heart, which gives us people a chance to use words to love on one another. Come join us. I'm also joining Beth Stiff for Three Word Wednesday.
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