Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas- in town

This Christmas we stayed put and enjoyed celebrating at home.
meaning here, in Dubai.
while we missed many things
like our families
and the traditions we grew up with
(ok and John misses the cold, I miss a few more things too)
we enjoyed so many things as well.
and it was fun to see our family start and continue traditions on our own.
(and it was nice not to fly for 30 hours or pay for 4 plane tickets or struggle through a weeks worth of days and nights adjusting to jet lag).

It was a Christmas morning of Legos, play kitchen and cookware, tennis rackets, Glee music, new bike, chocolate, root beer, cameras and skype conversations with both families.
and gorgeous weather

then it was off to church (remember, our Sabbath is Friday).
It was a really special meeting that became a highlight of this Christmas season for both John and myself. The meeting was filled with musical numbers, worshiping with friends from all over the world, visitors from both US and British military ships in port and the realization that I really am living a unique experience.
It was a reminder of what Christmas is about and of the things that make Christmas particularly special to me.

Becoming a mother at Christmastime 5 years ago magnified the Spirit I feel reading, hearing and reflecting on the first Christmas so many years ago.
Experiencing home far away from home and feeling family far away from family will be things that will make Christmas 2009 a special one to reflect on and remember many years from now. I just know it.

I love Christmas- and this year was another good one.


  1. So many comments as I read your post! First, love your hair. Second, love Ivy's hair, and so glad she got your curls. 3rd, love how big Asher is and that in that picture he is gripping Ivy around the neck, we have many of the same poses! :) Then Canyon's belly in that first picture, delicious. And him standing and looking over, looks just like Link. Then finally, the last picture of all of you, same ages and genders of kids, and our 2 friends who we WISH we were just like! It made me feel like I would move oceans to be your nieghbor again! Too bad that is literally waht it would take :( You guys are so wonderful. We miss you! Glad you had a good Christmas so far away.

  2. Hey, its doing something wierd where I can't post as myself. That was Christine :)

  3. What a beautiful post! And that first picture is priceless!

  4. Darling family and I love your hair--I just went dark myself and mine doesn't look nearly as good.

    I love that you celebrated Christmas with just your little family. Even though being away from family is hard--you have such a good attitude about it and it is fun to be able to just focus on your kids and less chaos of extended family.

    I also love your stockings--where did you get them?

  5. for some reason reading your Christmas post made me emotional... it reminded me of Christmas as a missionary and feeling that same feeling of home but in a different place without my family and realizing what Christmas is all about.

    love you, toria. you look beautiful, by the way. and those invites for asher's party are adorable.

  6. Looks like a great Christmas in Dubai! And I'm loving your blog header, who did it?

  7. Adorable. I also love the darker hair. I'm sure Brooke is crazy, and her hair looks fab, too.

    What a great holiday--your kids are adorable! But like you needed anyone to tell you that. ;)

  8. You all look wonderful and Christmas looks like it was great. You got to go to church on Christmas and I'm jealous. That is the only think I miss from growing up catholic--going to church on Christmas Eve. It's so spiritual it's almost magical.

    I took Grandma to the doctor today and she is healing well and things are good--but she is slipping as far as her memory goes. She loves where she lives and is enjoying herself. We went to the eye doctor yesterday and unfortunately, she has glaucoma. She is on eye drops for that. She went hoping to find a way to improve her eyesight and was hit with that news. She took it in stride. She's grateful for each day now and told me today that she thinks about her life and feels grateful, because she got to go live with her grandma and it changed everything for her.

    Take care.

  9. Too cute Toria. It sounds like it was a special Christmas and I agree with the no traveling during the holidays. That's what Spring time is for!

  10. Please email the picture of the kid by the tree, we think it will make great wallpaper for our computer, Ivy's eyes & Canyon's tummy are a riot.
    If you didn't get the message I bought a tree 7' slim from Penneys, $49, in the box, mult-colored lights.

  11. Hi Toria, it's Jill (Frandsen). I see your comments on Brooke's blog and I finally decided to pop over to yours and say hello. Hello. :) What amazing experiences you are having! It's been fun to catch up a little on your life.

  12. Happy New Year! Wonderful photos. I like the dark hair on you :) Kids look great. (And I love GLEE too!)