(( joyful, all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies ))

Part of me wanted to write a long, heartfelt post about Christmas and what it means for us but then decided against it.

Because in a couple of hours I am heading over to Jared and Shamoo's to spend this holiday with a wayward gaggle of people I love. And aside from having a few more things that need some cookin', I want to just take it easy and dwell in the splendor of these holy nights. 

This is the first Christmas in my life I am not at home with my family. It is at once almost too weird to fathom but still exciting because I'm starting a whole new memory book, all new traditions for the new chapters of this story He's writing with me. 

So to my family, I miss you all deeply (and we will have to have a Christmas Redo when I'm home next month!) and wish there was a way to be in two places at once. But truly, thank you for understanding why it was so important for me to be here in Portland this year. 

Grace + Peace to everyone, no matter how you celebrate this season. 

And now - because who can say it better - the true meaning of Christmas.

Happy Christmas, friends.