Excitement abounds here in the Long household as preparations are made for the arrival of Santa.
At 9- and 8-years old, the girls are at that prime age when Christmas is long anticipated and full of magic.
This morning snow fell lightly coating the ground in white after a week of rain.
These are the moments for which I am grateful.
As the girls grow, the excitement of Christmas will change.
But for me, it will be forever marked by the spirit of anticipation and hope these two little girls have always embodied.
Here they are at 3 and 2 in 2007: