Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

For me Christmas usually involves a ridiculous amount of planning and obsession regarding food, presents, decorating, etc.  But this year with the new job happening right after Thanksgiving, I found myself in the same situation as the typical male population- last minute shopping the week before Christmas and no meal planning whatsoever.  Normally I would have stressed myself into a bleeding ulcer in a situation like this, but my job is now occupying the part of my pea brain that would otherwise have caused me a stroke.  It was oddly relaxing this year to not have the time or energy to devote to the holidays like I have the past couple of years.  I found myself only getting the kids exactly what I planned to get them instead of buying a ridiculous amount of toys they don't want or need because I found a good deal or wanted to make things even or whatever asshole excuse I had in the past.  And because I didn't have time to plan an elaborate meal, we ended up having chili on Christmas Eve and breakfast casseroles Christmas morning. And I didn't have to cook either one.  The hubs loves proving that his chili is the world's best, and my sister took over breakfast duty, so I could help play Santa. The most amazing thing I noticed this year is that if I just chill the hell out for a minute, the hubs is more than willing to step up to the plate and help out.  He wrapped presents, went shopping, put things together, decorated, etc.  Not that he doesn't ordinarily do this stuff, but I usually don't give him the chance to do anything, and then I unload on him when my stress hits threat level midnight.  It was a very peaceful Christmas especially by our standards, and I really enjoyed it.  And now that it's over, I'm looking forward to our adults only trip to Tampa to watch my Gamecocks play in the Outback bowl.  Go Cocks!

Dinner with the Griswolds

"Making" cookies for Santa

By the time Grandma's presents were added, the room was filled.  

QC'ing the cookies

Putting cookies and milk out for Santa and water for the Reindeer

Final look at the gifts before bedtime

Excited to go to bed for once.

Santa was super nice this year.

Bike gang

Checking to see if the milk and cookies were gone.  Santa left a note, but it was really hard for him to sign his name in glitter, so you couldn't really tell it was from him.

What every 10yo needs- Family Guy merch.

So over the camera.

Never shies away from the camera

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thankful and Blessed

I kept my babies extra close this weekend, after the tragedy in Newtown, CT. We took them to McDonald's for dinner on Friday, and I slept with Sophie while Wesley slept with Vic.  I'm sure this event has shaken every parent to their core, since this was one of the safest places to raise children, and no one could have predicted such a horrific event. My heart goes out to the parents who lost little ones and those who will comfort the survivors. I am amazed at the heroic behavior displayed by the staff at the school, and it was clear that they did what they could to protect these babies.  Because that's what they were. Just little babies. The silver lining (and it's nearly impossible to find one) is that this event brought us all closer and reminded us how lucky we are to have one another.

This weekend I scheduled a Santa train ride for the kids.  I wish I had known before the ride how averse they would all be to meeting Ol' St. Nick. I knew Sophie would be clamoring for the exits, but I didn't anticipate Trevor closing up the hood of his jacket and pretending to be asleep while Victoria was begging to sit away from the aisle when the jolly fat man entered our car. When he approached, Sophie flung herself across my lap toward the window. Trevor and Victoria were concerned enough that their Christmas presents were on the line that they overcame their shyness long enough to make sure Santa knew what to bring them. I won't even discuss the podunkness of this operation, which at one point took us through the backside of a trailer park.  Overall, it was a cute idea, and the kids got to ride on a real train.

Then it was time for Trev's friend's birthday party.  He had it at a skating rink, so we decided to take the girls as well.  It was the 2nd time the big kids have gone skating and the first for Sophie, so it was an amazing feat that we escaped with no broken bones.  Sophie had a blast and apparently is a little daredevil as she repeatedly tried to skate across the rink instead of around it and kept trying to jump in her skates.  They were exhausted by the time we got home.

The entire weekend I was consumed with thoughts about the families in CT that did not get to wake up next to beautiful sleeping faces.  There is nothing to be said to rationalize an event like this.  There is no "everything happens for a reason" mentality to be had here.  All we can do is hold each other a little closer, love each other a little more, and cherish the time we have together, because regardless of when it's over, it's never long enough.