This Christmas was our second without our daughter, Haven and our first with her brother, Jethro. This holiday season was a memorable and beautiful one and was also one filled with redemption, restoration, and healing. Despite all of this there still remains an absence in my heart and a place meant for Haven in all of our family photos. Through all the tremendous amounts of laughter and love that we have felt and received ever since Jet's birth, a strong longing and wonder for what life would have been like if she were here with us consumes Paul and I. As I did my best to prepare and ready my heart for what this Christmas was going to mean to me this year - I found myself pondering between my "new mom" and angel mom life - how to parent and to be present for both my children, one here with me and the other in heaven and if I'd be good at either. 

I promised myself I would do and give my best to both everyday, continue to embrace this delicate balance of mine and that this was always a part of my calling in becoming a Mother. The gift of Jethro's healthy and beautiful life reminds me to shift my gaze on the true promise of This season - the redeeming love and hope that Jesus' life gives to us. The promise that one day we will get to celebrate and be with Haven again is the greatest gift and truth to cling onto. And not just for Christmas season but for everyday until then.

Naturally, Paul and I sought out our friend, Elsie to photograph our first Christmas as a family of four. (You can find the maternity photos she took of us here). The theme of the morning we got our photos taken was - RESTFUL + SLOW-, a theme that I'd like for my little family and I to work towards in the upcoming new year. We started our first Christmas family tradition by wearing matching pajamas (we purchased ours here), followed Jet's cues, sipped on coffee, diffused our favorite holiday essential oils, and had Jet's Christmas baby lullabies playing in the background. This day was wonderful and this season will be ones I'll want to look back on and remember for always. 

I hope you enjoy some of our favorites below and see that our Haven was very much with us in them also. 

From our family to you and yours, we pray that you had a bright and joyous 2017 Christmas! 

Our love, 

Paul, Myra, Haven and Jethro