This year’s Christmas and holiday season was not quite what we had planned or had expected, but amidst some sorrow and pain, there was also joy and celebration. About 10 days before Christmas my grandfather, who we called Poppy, had an accident and was in the hospital. A few days after this, it became clear that we would soon be saying goodbye (for now) to our sweet Poppy, and He went to be with the Lord on December 27th. My grandfather’s hospital stay and death caused us to reflect differently upon Christmas this year. During the days that led up to Christmas, many of the “Christmas-y” traditions we typically do, simply did not happen. Our poor advent candles sat sad and unlit 3 out of the 4 Sundays! But in a unique way, I think Ben and I were able to reflect more upon the birth of our Savior because of our Poppy. I am grateful that my grandfather, while in the hospital, was in the hands of God. A God who loved him so much that he sent His son to be born a baby, frail and in a lowly manger. And when my grandfather passed away, I found (and still do find) peace in the fact that he is now with Jesus, who lived a sinless life and died upon the cross for those who trust in Him, as my Poppy did. So our holidays were colored by this event. And I suppose each Christmas to come will be as well. While there was much sadness and prayers and tears, there was also much joy–God has blessed us with so much. We were able to have a few sweet times with family while they were in town. And Ben’s parents kindly agreed to have Christmas morning at our house rather than in Harrisburg, so that I could be in town to visit my mom and aunt that day while they were at the hospital. And of course with our three little kiddos, its hard to have even a few minutes without their laughter or cuddles. We enjoyed watching them experience Christmas this year…and Selah had her very first Christmas! How grateful we are to have her with us! So, here are some pictures of our 2009 Christmas.