A couple of weekends ago, we attended an annual tree-lighting ceremony. It was our first “real” outing with all 3 kids…not including doctors appointments and such. I forgot how much work it was loading up an infant and all the stuff they need and then 2 toddlers on top of that. I won’t complain though because everyone did really great. It was 61 degrees and Allison says, “Mommy? My feet are cold and my hands are freezing!” Oh girl, you have no idea how good you have it. Try growing up in ND winters (insert uphill, both ways, blinding snowstorms story).
It’s almost Christmas. Unreal. Seems like this year just flew by. The older I get, the faster it goes. Sometimes the days go slow, but the weeks go so fast. Does that make sense? I don’t like how late Turkey Day was this year either because it means that my tree won’t be up as long. I love Christmas. I love celebrating the birth of our Savior, the music, church ceremonies, shopping, gifting to others, all of it. Christmas music starts on the radio the second week of November down here and it’s 24/7…I absolutely love it. Puts me in a good mood and a smile on my face. I know that ABC Family has the 25 days of Christmas because I’ve seen it advertised online and in magazines and I used to watch it when we had cable 800 years ago. Sigh…I really do miss the cheesiness of those movies. The hubby just rolls his eyes at me, but I do the same when he watches Star Trek. We each have our own thing and I think that’s what makes us “work”. I don’t think it’s necessary for us to like all of the same things or convert to each others ways. Opposites attract, right?!
Speaking of differences, I really struggle with making sure everything turns out perfect during the Holidays. It’s a never-ending battle in my head. When I type it out, it seems so silly. I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I need to stop being so hard on myself. Since having kids, there is a new perfect that I must learn to accept. If someone spills his/her plate of food on the floor and I step on jell-o and mashed potatoes…who cares. If someone is bawling their head off during family photos because he/she doesn’t want to do it anymore…who cares. If there is wrapping paper laying all over the floor two days after Christmas…who cares. I’ve learned that if I continue to focus on these things, I will be missing the more important moments. Kids will be kids. I can tell you that when I hear or read about someone who is unable to have a child, lost a child or has an unhealthy child, my heart breaks. I stop and really, truly think about what I have and how I am so blessed. It’s sad that sometimes it takes those sad stories to help me stop and count my blessings, but I am only human. My baby #3 has been such an easy baby. I have no doubt that I’ve gotten to be a better, more laid-back parent, but also that he is such a calm and happy baby. He’s so different than my first two babies. No colic this time, no health issues, no sleepless nights (yet)…so thankful.
I always get “home” sick during the Holidays. We’ve lived in Arizona coming up on 8 years and I now consider this my home, but I also consider ND to be my home. It’s where I grew up and it’s where my roots are. My entire family lives there and it’s hard to live so far away at times, but we really enjoy living down here. It would be nice to have family around so the hubby and I could go out on date nights, our kids could have cousins to play with, we could have family brunch on Sundays, but it’s just not in the cards and I’m okay with that. We have made our own little family and are doing what is best for us. After we had our first child, I was seriously ready to pack up shop and head back to ND. I may have went overboard and had a touch of the baby blues. After my second child, I was almost the same way (not as severe). Now after this one, all I could think of was, “Oh my gosh, how how am I going to handle three of them?!” Not once did it cross my mind that I wanted to leave our home. My family is here. As long as the five of us are together, I am happy. I do wish that flights weren’t so expensive and that we could go back a couple of times (or even once) a year to visit. Maybe I’ll win the lottery? I think that only happens if you buy a ticket though ;-)
So, long story short, embrace family and friends, cherish the present and make each celebration your own. I have a feeling that 2014 will be a great year. My Baby #1 will turn 5 and start Kindergarten. I’m so ready to home school her just to keep her at home longer…I can dream, right? I hope this next year goes a lot slower than this year did. We were so busy with “stuff” that it’s all kind of a blur. I still look down and expect to see a baby belly. Speaking of, I’ve been running 3x a week and doing strength training/sit-ups in the wee morning hours or whenever I get a minute. Slowly but surely, I’m getting that pre-baby body back. It feels good! Hope you’re all getting into the Christmas spirit and are excited about spending time with family and friends. Anyone have any favorite recipes or traditions they’d like to share? I’d LOVE to hear them!