My favorite present is at the end of the day when I get to download the pictures from the day. While I was exhausted from a cold and pregnancy and whatever else, I still relish days like today. This Christmas we stayed home for the entire day, which was such a treat. The kids did not lack for toys or adults to play with them-they did not stop all day. It was a Merry Christmas.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Hell done froze over. My mom and I could not believe our eyes when Daniel walked in with his gifts. They were wrapped like they were straight out of a magazine. Granted, Daniel stopped by yesterday to borrow ribbon, tape, scissors, and twine (he asked for it by name). To top it off, he stuck a fern branch in Fern's present. It's better than anything I've seen on Pinterest. I'm so proud.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Our cards have been mailed and hopefully delivered just in time for Christmas. Every year I like to include a letter. Sometimes it's simple and lame, sometimes I make stuff up (to keep people guessing), but I always try to keep it a little bit silly. This year's letter basically described us as the typical American family with nothing new or special to report. I included Burl's description of each of us because he hit the nail on the head:
Mama is cute and good at cooking and washing dishes.
Daddy is awesome and strong and good at fixing things.
Burl is good at inventing things.
Fern is good at drawing.
While this year has not been anything special, it's been one of our best years as a family.
We've had so much fun along the way and hope you have too.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Burl's asked me a few times when we're going to put up the Christmas decorations. Things are not the same as years past. John tried to comfort me by saying, "They don't need grand decorations in every space every year," but that's not the problem. I haven't made anything. I haven't done anything new this year. No greenery tied. No paper banners crafted. Just two trees, stockings, manger scenes. It feels festive, but it doesn't feel like other years.
The issue is me. Pregnant me. I'm not able to keep the pace that I'm used to and I've lacked all inspiration. It's frustrating to not feel myself. Unfortunately this go around, I can always find something to complain about. I'm not upset that I'm not meeting my own expectations, I'm frustrated that I'm not able to enjoy decorating for the holidays like I usually do.
Pardon the complaining, but it seems to be a little to frequent these days. Again, it's not my normal self. Thankfully, Christmas is more than my decorations, my attitude, and my pregnancy. Can I get an Amen?
And despite what decorations I could do this year, our home still feels warm and festive.
Monday, December 22, 2014
John Burl 4 and John Burl 5 had to stop for six hugs while they played with hand-me-down toys. Thanks to my mil, Burl got two toy trucks that used to belong to his daddy. Made in England in 1976, these things are quality.
Everyone has two countdowns currently: countdown until Christmas and countdown until John gets to stay home from work. He's a great husband and father, and we all adore him.
My first design in my latte. I'm an official yuppy now.
There's this group of us that came together in the most irregular way-It all started with a girls' weekend trip four years ago and we've been a haphazard group ever since then-some of us being closer than others. We met for our women's Christmas party which was more like a last minute trip to the coffee shop. I brought my new lens, Jenny brought her baby, and we passed them around equally. An apology should be offered to all the people who were there as many seemed focused on a task and we kept erupting in laughter. While our text conversations are enough to make me laugh, I'm always glad to get together with girlfriends, especially the erupting laughter ones. (We were missing a few, and I never got that group shot that is always in the back of my mind.)
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Mama saved her pennies and bought herself a new lens. I took a few test shots tonight, but I can't wait to sit and give it a try for a while. Hopefully I'll get it down by Christmas!
Saturday, December 20, 2014
"Daddy, can we make an ax?" Burl asked John. Since John is an engineer for a metal forging plant, Burl has seen a few videos of the big hammers at work. Burl often talks about getting bigger and going to work with Daddy, but he will drive Daddy's truck because he'll be older. Naturally, the kids enjoyed this cool video on Prana's life page:
Friday, December 19, 2014
Thursday, December 18, 2014
I've been wondering why I like all this fun Christmas hype. I'm more of a traditional Christmas girl with the focus on the birth of Jesus (and I don't mind the extra family time), but in recent years I've enjoyed the festive activities. Parades, window displays, tacky Christmas lights, etc draw me in. I know a huge part of it is how much my children enjoy it. I think that I like it for another reason as well: the old fashioned community aspect of it all.
All the things that we've enjoyed have not been solitary isolated occasions at home. We're enjoying things that strangers created for others enjoyed. For example, tonight we did our downtown Christmas routine: Lupi's, bus ride, window display. While we were walking downtown the kids noticed a Christmas tree on top of a crane. Workers just put it up there for other people to see and enjoy. This time of year just breeds that type of festivity. Today at Walmart I asked a stranger to go one isle over and get two rubber ducks for the kids' stockings and sneak them into my buggy while I distracted Fern. Mom-mission-accomplished.
I enjoy Christmas-time like I do most everything in my life: with other people. With all the other people, Christmas window displays are becoming a favorite for me.
It's so retro and full and great. Aside from the other people, I like my little people the best. I can't get over their little toddler wonder. Just for the record, Fern said her favorite part was riding the bus. I think Burl loves it just as much too, especially because he can't get over the fact that they don't have seat belts. Maybe we should take more bus rides.
When I was setting up the whole self-timer trick, a family walked by and the mother offered her preteen son as a photographer. Christmas cheer right there. He guaranteed me that he was an "official real photographer" and he got us in focus, so bless him and his enthusiasm.
The whole night, this whole season is a treat for me.
There's PAC-MAN and Lupi's pizza on a weeknight, but it does not compare to the excitement of Uncle Nanul coming with us. The kids love some uncle attention almost as much as I love having one or both of my brothers join us. We're going to miss this guy once he moves to the other side of the country in a couple of weeks, but we're excited about his next chapter.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
This year the kids were more than thrilled to do most of the work. The ornaments are sporadic, a few were broken, and it's not "even." But who cares, because John and I just sat there and watched them have fun. It was so precious, AaaaaND I got to sit-SIT for most of the time.