-- My daughters are adorable. And super excited for Christmas. Sometimes I think they won't be able to make it all the way to the 25th without bursting.

-- We're blessed in many, many ways. After delivering boxes of food to needy families at Thanksgiving, I have a fresh awareness of the blessing in normal things to me. Turning the heat up because we're chilly. Running to the store to buy some random thing that we've decided we "need." Healthy children. Really, I have nothing to complain about.

-- Believing in Jesus doesn't make us immune from trials and challenges. Even the really bad stuff. It does, however, give us the strength to believe we're going to make it through the bad times. I have a good friend going through some of those bad times. All I can do is pray for her. You can too, if you think of it.

-- Over the last few years, we've spent most of our Christmas days with just our little family. At first it was pretty hard for me. I wanted my house to be filled with people! But now, our quiet Christmas day is probably what I look forward to the most. We play with all the new toys, munch on cookies and snacks, just enjoying that we can be together. There will be times of people-filled celebrations in the weeks to come. But I am really looking forward to Christmas morning - watching the excitement and joy when my daughters see their gifts, opening packages and putting together new toys, Lauren really experiencing Christmas for the first time. It is going to be crazy fun.