Our boys make lots of handmade gifts leading up to Christmas and we do some baking, but there is still hustle and bustle. Christmas Eve is when we fully unplug and soak up the magic as a family. We gather round the table with candles lit, linger over dinner and then take turns reading books by the tree, eating dessert, reading more books and singing carols before the kids climb upstairs to bed by candle light, waiting for Christmas morning… I’m sharing this unplugged time as part of the Childhood Unplugged project, and I’m honored and grateful to be joining this group of photographers committed to spending time experiencing life with their children, documenting and sharing these moments. Head over to Childhood Unplugged to see more adventures and quiet moments away from screens and technology…

Christmas_Eve_01Christmas_Eve_02Christmas_Eve_03Christmas_Eve_04Christmas_Eve_05Christmas_Eve_06Christmas_Eve_07Christmas_Eve_08Christmas_Eve_09Christmas_Eve_10Christmas_Eve_11Christmas_Eve_12Christmas_Eve_13Christmas_Eve_14Christmas_Eve_15Christmas_Eve_16Christmas_Eve_17Christmas_Eve_18Christmas_Eve_19Christmas_Eve_20Christmas_Eve_21Christmas_Eve_22Christmas_Eve_23Christmas_Eve_24Christmas_Eve_25Christmas_Eve_26Christmas_Eve_27Christmas_Eve_28Christmas_Eve_29Christmas_Eve_30Christmas_Eve_31Christmas_Eve_32Christmas_Eve_33Christmas_Eve_34Christmas_Eve_35Christmas_Eve_36Christmas_Eve_3712-24-2014 . photos of me were taken by my husband Jesse


every year I dread making sugar cookies because I’m terrible at it… but every year when the kids decorate the cookies, I’m so happy that I baked them

CookiesW2_01CookiesW2_02CookiesW2_03CookiesW2_04CookiesW2_05CookiesW2_06CookiesW2_08CookiesW2_09CookiesW2_10CookiesW2_11CookiesW2_12CookiesW2_13CookiesW2_14CookiesW2_16CookiesW2_15CookiesW2_17CookiesW2_1812-24-2014 . pictures of me were taken by Jesse


thank goodness for Trader Joes… this holiday we did everything fun, but nothing that we didn’t want to do. so the gingerbread was store bought, but the creations were all handmade little boy goodness



Every year we get a tree for free, a bedraggled, lonely Charlie Brown tree. And every year it’s perfect and well loved by our family


It has been another year living this life where losing a child is reality. There was a time when I didn’t know this

What I have I done with this gift of life? How have I survived this cage of time? another year here while my child runs eternity

I have brushed my teeth, cried in the middle of the night, tried and failed and tried again, hugged my boys a million times, hid in the bathroom for a moment’s peace, lost another precious child, bought groceries countless times, cooked dinners, burned dinners, beat paths back and forth to everywhere we go in a day, slid into bed beside my man, woken up to sunrise after sunrise, written words stumbling after what I feel, captured split seconds of all this time through my camera’s lens, cursed and complained, screamed at God in the shower, heard words from a friend a lifeline, laughed silly, eaten ice cream, put one foot in front of another, tried to walk through the emptiness with my hands full.

This is what I have done in another year. And my Joshua is beyond all this time. My son and me, we are in Jesus and so we are not as far apart as I feel.

But what words do I have this year? I want miracle. I want all to be new and nothing to be lost. I want to see more than I want faith.

The loss has grown into a chain of losing, that I know will grow ever longer. This year is too heavy, I can not breath beneath it. The only choice I have is to sink, quiet. Then I see like the light fading as the wave presses down – I see a brilliant blur of miracle. Ever washing water, His grace is holding me.

  • Rog - There are so many McKeemans you’ve blessed the world with. Everyone who knows you and your family is better because of your examples of life and living and your endurance of pain. The Ellsworths love you. We will always love and welcome whomever is part of your family in this life or the next. See you Sunday :)ReplyCancel