Real Life Christmas Letter

We don’t do Christmas cards.  I mean who has time for that?  But I really, really love getting them!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who take the time to write and send them to me.


If I were to send a Christmas card it would probably look something like this: 

Except I’d pick pictures where all of our eyes are open.  But I’m not sure we got any of those this year.

You want a glimpse into the real life of the Littletons this year?  Our card might look something like this if we were showing the real us:

Yes, my boys are a *little* dramatic and slightly manic.  I was caught off guard in that one picture, but that’s pretty close to the look of disgust that’s typically on my face.  And, yes, Randall always looks good. I really love my crazy family. It was a great year. I’m so glad it’s almost over. If I were to write an honest Christmas letter to send along with my real life Christmas card, it would go a little something like this:

It was a typical year.  There were good times and bad times.  We’re all a year older and a few pounds heavier.

Randall is still a pastor at The Crossing. He went on a looooong trip to a couple of different continents while the boys and I started school, and met all the teachers, and met my cousin’s new baby girl, and I can’t remember what else but he was gone while everything in our lives happened.  It was a good trip for him.  He used his Cipro to fight whatever bacterial nastiness he picked up from his first stop and he didn’t even puke once!

Isaac started middle school.  It was ROUGH.  But it’s getting better.  We just met with his team of teachers and we have a plan to help him turn his homework in on time and be a little more responsible.  If this year had a theme song it’d be this. Still, late work and all, he made the honor roll! He also started playing football for realsies. It was super fun. 

Asher is another year older, but he still hides every time someone walks in the door.  At what age do we need to pursue counseling for that? He has more energy than all the kids on the block combined. This year he started the process of getting braces because: 

But, come on, how cute is that kid?

Me? I count everyday that my kids survive a win.  I constantly pray for wisdom in parenting (that is, when I’m not yelling at my boys). My prayers often go like this, “Oh God, please give me patience, but no more reasons to practice my patience.” My days look a little different this year.  My boss sold his business and my job was changing so I quit in May.  Now I have all the time in the world to pursue my dreams (*cough* nap *cough*). Next year I promise to lose the weight and get my act together… Until then…

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

All our love,

The Littletons

Be Different!

My boys and I are working on their people skills.  I watched this video today and I loved it but it got me thinking about a few things I would say to my kids about this topic.

Two Boys:

Be different.  Be okay with not fitting in. I am an introvert in an extroverted world.  I hate pretending things are funny when they aren’t that funny to me.  I hate pretending things aren’t as funny as I think they really are, too.  Sometimes I just get the giggles.  I’m super interested in all sorts of things that other people easily lose interest in.  I hate small talk but “Hi, I’m Emily, tell me about your philosophy on life” is not a socially acceptable thing to say to someone you’re meeting for the first time. I often feel unique in this world.  Sometimes that’s a good thing.  Sometimes that’s a bad thing.

But let me give you a little tip I have learned through the years.  You don’t have to be like everyone else to fit in.  You can be the odd man out and think differently than anyone in the room, but you’ll fit right in if you love others well.

It’s okay to say, “You have an interesting point, but I disagree with you and here’s why…” But listen well and be okay if you are wrong or if they don’t change their opinion.

Think about others, not just yourself.  So you are creating an awesome parkour course in Minecraft with 17 varying levels of difficulty.  Not everyone is as interested in the amazing things that you are. Ask good questions and find out what they are interested in, too. Asking good questions is great way to show someone you care about them.

When I was growing up, the most popular kids in school weren’t the coolest kids on the block.  They were the nicest kids on the block.  They could fit in with the cool kids and the smart kids, the goth and the band geeks because they were just plain friendly people. They didn’t dress like the goth kids.  They didn’t play instruments or even necessarily care about music but they were kind.  They smiled at everyone in the hall and made a point to make others feel welcomed and important, sometimes just by saying “hello.”

I want you to be different from everyone you know!  I want you to stand against the crowd for what you believe in.  I want you to be proud of your God-given gifts and interests.  I love you just the way you are. You are special and unique and that’s the way it should be.  But you know what? So is everyone else.  Love them all well.