The Best First Christmas Ever!

Today we opened one of the most precious gifts ever – a set of Christmas ornaments from some of our dearest friends and families. They each sent us an ornament that will help us think of them each time we see it on our tree. It was such an epic gift we thought it deserved its own blog post!

You guys ready to see how amazing our friends are?!

McCrary - JL

From Josh, Lindsey & Riley McCrary – Right now Riley (a sweet little girl) LOVES cats! She also loves her mama a lot (which I can’t blame her for), so we got a cute mama and baby cat ornament from them.

From Ben Venable - My brother LOVES New Orleans, so an ornament of Cafe du Monde was a perfect fit for him!

From Ben Venable – My brother LOVES New Orleans, so an ornament of Cafe du Monde was a perfect fit for him!

From Andrew & Janae Griffiths - Andrew and Adam both really love superheroes! Andrew's favorite is by far Superman!

From Andrew & Janae Griffiths – Andrew and Adam both really love superheroes! Andrew’s favorite is by far Superman!

From Adam’s parents – Adam’s mom, Sherry, always decorates with snowmen for Christmas. Now we have our own snowman to remind us of her! She also sent us a beautiful angel to go along with some other angels she’s sent me and a cowboy snowman so no one will ever get confused about us being from Texas!

McCrary - KM

From Mokey & Kay McCrary (Yes…related to the other McCrarys) – Mokey and Kay are straight up cowboys. Right now Mokey leads a group of Believers in west Texas. They’ve been family friends of ours since I was a little girl. I knew immediately whose ornament this was!


From John & Patty Barry – This couple loves Adam & I incredibly well! Patty, specifically, loves hearts and has the ability to find hearts in everything…so naturally theirs needed to be a heart! They also wrote to us saying how this cross really is the Hope.


From Sherita Hagberg – This woman has held up my family through many years, moves, disappointments, successes and trials. It’s only appropriate we would have an ornament of what she spends so much of her time doing for others!

Sissy & Didder

From my [Emily’s] Sissy and Didder (mom’s parents) – We made many trips with them while growing up to Red River, NM. Many of my ornaments throughout the years came from that town. Now I have another beautiful one to add to the collection!


From my dad – If you know my dad, you know how perfect of a representation this ornament is of him! He loves to hike and always is talking about tying knots and doing things with ropes!

StrebeckFrom Ryan, Amber, Morgan, Athan & Reese Strebeck – This family recently uprooted their lives to live on a ranch (or maybe farm…I know there’s a huge difference!!) This ornament not only reminds me of what their life generally consists of these days, but also is a reminder that sometimes, even when your life seems to be going perfectly well, it’s the right and brave thing to do to pick up everything and try something new!


From my mama – No one panic that it’s not red. 🙂 One evening when I was young we were in the car driving from Canyon to Ceta Canyon. That road is rather bare and flat (something I find beautiful). It was around sunset which is notably the most beautiful time of day in west Texas. In my childlike innocence I looked up at my mama and said, “Mom, every time I see a sunset I check the other side of the world.” It stuck and she now says it often to me as a reminder that she’s always loving me no matter where I live in the world.

(Anyone crying yet? I lost it a long time ago!)

From Wayne & Sterle Coker – It was when we opened this one that I realized that we were opening ornaments from some of our dearest friends (so I’m obviously posting them out of order…oh well!) I’m always a sucker for a good globe, but did you notice anything special? They put a pin at Houston, Texas where they live and one in southern India where they live. And it’s a heart. Cokers, we feel your love for us all the way over here!

GeislerFrom Matt, Agnes & Elizabeth Geisler – And this one, y’all, made me cry…a lot! I’ve talked about Agnes often on this blog, so most of you already know that we’re good friends who met on an overseas trip in 2004. My mom came up with the phrase “long haul love” to describe friendships that transcend (more like work and trudge through) time, distance and difficulty. My friendship with Agnes (and now our families) have experienced and continue to experience this long haul love. And we often text each other #longhaullove

not pictured From Micah, Jenny, Abigail, Eli & Isaiah Stewart – They just barely missed getting their ornament to my mom in time. It was a cute elf and a Lion & Lamb ornament. My mom didn’t open the card they sent us so we could at a later date. But thank you, Stewarts, for sending us beautiful ornaments that remind us of your incredible children and the love of the Father.

Needless to say, Adam and I feel overwhelmingly loved and known. Thank you to everyone who sent my mom an ornament. And thank you mama – thank you for knowing that a piece of home wouldn’t complete if it wasn’t comprised of something from all these people. We love you all!

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