Friday, December 28, 2012
This Has Been December
It's coming to an end, can you believe it?
December is such a busy month for us leading up to Christmas, and once the 25th rolls around, afterwards I just want to chill. So, that's what we've done for the past several days. No Etsy, no blogging, no shopping, no changing out of my pj's till 5PM (when I just change into a different pair).
It's been a truly lovely feeling.
But, I have enjoyed our busy Christmas season this year, we've had lots of fun as a family. I was browsing through my photos, and came across some favorite memories this month...
-Florida Ice Skating.
Yeah, it's a bit of a different experience for us. As in, it's not really ice, but some kind of slippery plastic surface. And it's not really that cold. I don't know, but we'll take what we can get.
- Picking out our ugly sweaters for one of our best friend Trey's annual ugly sweater birthday celebration.
We had a hard time this year finding ugly Christmas sweaters at Goodwill, because it's apparently become a trend to throw ugly sweater parties (which we started doing about 5 years ago, ahem). That, and the high school seniors find it fun to wear them to school. For real.
Anyway, we expanded ours into ugly Christmas attire, with a plaid dress, reindeer scrub top, and Christmas tree turtle neck. Then, the three of us squeezed into the Goodwill dressing room to snap a quick yet scary, pic.
- Trying to find which of the 75 million strands of lights on the tree made half of the lights go out.
Ok, not necessarily a fun time here. About a week after we decorated the tree, and of course the night after the husband went out of town for the weekend, half of our lights went out of the tree. Sooo, in order to figure out which strand it was, I had to literally undo all of my lights, lay them out on the floor to find the rouge strand, and then put them back. All around the ornaments already hung. Note, if this ever happens to you, the kids are NOT helpful in this endeavor, they think it's funny.
- Band and Choral Performances
Between our seventh grader percussionist and a sophomore chorus singer, I might've lost count, but I believe we attended three middle school band and two high school chorus performances this month. They've become part of Christmas for us though, and all performances were very beautiful.
- A weekend in Atlanta full of friends and cookies.
I took a weekend to visit my friend Trey and his beautiful family in Atlanta. This was the first time I've seen him since he left Florida for treatment at Shepherd's for his spinal injury this past fall. It was so great to see him doing so well! Then, his wife and I went to the home of another friend of ours for an annual cookie exchange party (where I brought my PB & Nutella cookies). The weekend ended with a piano recital in the mall, and a reminder why I should believe in Santa.
- Our 13th Anniversary
For our anniversary the following weekend, Dave and I flew back to Atlanta to say hey to our buddy again, and then drove to Chattanooga, Tennessee. It rained for the first day and a half we were there, so we got 75% of our Christmas shopping finished. By our last night there we were able to make it up to Rock City and enjoy the Christmas light display.
I personally LOVED this because I haven't been to Rock City since I was in elementary school, and never at night to the lights, so that was a special treat for me.
- Preschool Christmas Play
Did I ever mention I made 16 sets of animal ears and spots for the 4 year olds preschool class? Yep, for the 2 minutes they were on the stage to sing a song about the animals in the manger, they needed costumes. I personally thought they were adorable. Isaac was a red and white cow. I'm still not sure why the cow was those colors, but he sure made a cute one.
- My kids fall asleep in the strangest ways.
Especially the two early risers who get cranky at night.
- Christmas Eve with the parentals
It's become our tradition to go to my parents house that's about a quarter of a mile away, order pizza, and exchange gifts with my parents and sister (and brother if he's in town) on Christmas Eve. It's always fun and a little quirky, with lots of laughs.
This year, Dad wrote all of our names backwards on our classy red solo cups and with all the amazing and thoughtful gifts exchanged, the one that the the boys have talked about most are the edible crickets my brother got them. Good times.
- Christmas Day
There is nothing like celebrating the birth of Jesus. It's always felt like such a sweet special day, and this one was no different.
The kids were very blessed this year with new bikes, a Kindle, video games, board games, a popcorn maker, clothes, and on and on. The Elf of the Shelf, Ringo Bells, left a goodbye letter, and Santa wrote an extra special one to the kids reminding them how special they all were and not to forget that Jesus is the true meaning of Christmas. We celebrated the day with the kids, and friends and family who came by the house, and enjoyed it thoroughly.
- Playground time for the restless natives
Yes, after days and days spent in my pajamas, curled up on the couch reading my new books, I got dressed, and made myself get out of the house. First, I went to four different stores to return and exchange things, waited in endless lines, and then decided I'd take the kids to run off some energy and try to gain some myself. Like much of the rest of the nation, our weather has been unpredictable, wet, rainy, and alternating between cold and warm since the kids got out of school. So, now a few days after Christmas, and in between rain storms, I was able to take the littles out to the park.
Whew, I think I'm tired just reading all that again. I'm not sure how we pulled everything off, but we did. I'm guessing some other families are even more busy than mine around Christmastime.
With the sadness surrounding the events at Sandy Hook this December, I couldn't help but hold my little ones closer this year, and say a prayer for the families who couldn't do that. It's been a strange mix of emotions to be so thankful and happy to have my family, yet heartbroken for the families of the victims.
However, with a peace that passes all understanding that only God can give, we celebrated Christmas day with the kids, and friends and family who came by the house with thankful and happy heart. It was a beautiful day for sure.
I hope and pray that each of you can say the same. That the craziness of the holiday season didn't stress you out too much, and that you were able to keep the important things important and shake the small stuff. I think as parents, we should all have a different perspective this year and in the year to come.
Be busy, but not too busy that your family isn't the focus.
With Jesus' help we can keep the main thing the main thing, and that will be where I start 2013, with that as my goal.
Blessings to you all.