Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Focus

In my best "Mom" years, I start planning all the birthday parties and holiday events in September, right after my own birthday and Labor Day weekend. This year, is not one of my "best Mom" years. We have done birthdays lightly, with simple family dinners and (unexpected but joyful) time visiting with Grandpa.

In missing the organization boat this year, I think we've actually managed, however inadvertently, 
to have a truly spirit-filled holiday (holy day) season.

Thanksgiving was spent with friends and we had a beautiful time. We had turkey for our meat-eaters, Tofurkey for the veggie-types (it's surprisingly good), cranberry sauce (canned and homemade), mashed potatoes... all standard fare I suppose, but each family does it their own way. Our mashed potatoes are heavy on the roasted garlic. We cut back on how many things we offer for dessert. We had three families who each brought something to share. It encapsulated the Season in one short day, but quite nicely. 

Christmas day, 2011.
Married to my Love for 13 years
Our anniversary almost went unnoticed. It wasn't on purpose, life just sort of got in the way. We've spent thirteen years married now; we've known one another for 17. That's a long time to let just slip by, one day at a time. But those days have been happy ones. He makes me laugh, has since before we were dating. At the last minute, he came home with roses for me and as he walked up the steps, I said, "Those are nice flowers. They'll look great in the vase on the dresser." 

Now, me, I'm thinking that it's a little out of season. We usually do cut flowers in the spring and summer and gourds in the fall. He just stood there grinning. Oh - newsflash. You've been married 13 years now. Happy Anniversary, Love. 

Another two birthdays rolled through. The now-seven year-old is still awaiting his party with his friends. If I can get it together, he'll have it before New Years day. I think I can manage that.
Bruiser's birthday

The 19th is Jeff's birthday. (If you've lost count, we're up to four birthdays, an anniversary and a holiday in four weeks.) What do I hope the next year will bring him? 

Helping with the Angel Tree group
Mmmm... happiness in the work he is doing with his hands as he learns woodworking and refinishes our basement den. That he has lots of time throwing a ball with his boys, putting together Legos, playing board games, and singing songs - that his children should see the makes-me-laugh side of him more often than the "stern Pop" side. So far, I'd say we're on a pretty good track for that. Serious movement towards our future goals, goals that will eventually lead us to success in the civilian world when he retires in a few years. Goals that will give us freedom to explore the world with our children before they leave home; goals that will allow us to do work that we love. In the meantime, we took the kids to see the new Muppet Movie. 

Christmas lights in our neighborhood
Divine Liturgy at the church we're attending now
Christmas was today. A week ago, I was not even close to ready. Hadn't made up a food list, bought gifts for anyone outside of the Angel Tree Ministries, or finished half of what I want to do with the kids. But I've sung LOTS of Christmas carols, I've had apple cider, we've seen Santa (the kids didn't have a CLUE what to do when we got there but that's okay.) I have a beautiful Christmas tree up, I've been to church a whole bunch, I've loved the time spent with my children - laughing, playing, singing, learning... loving. 

I set up time with a sitter for the kids so Jeff and I could go out shopping, just the two of us - that was somewhat of an anniversary/Christmas night out. It was sandwiched in among a very full week. A week of Muppet Movie Birthday fun, helping friends move furniture fellowship, Boy Scout Christmas party fun, tea time with my best gal pals, and an evening with the kids of Christmas lights and hot cocoa. The kids averaged three or four gifts each, mostly clothes, and after church, they spent the day racing remote control cars, playing board games together and watching a movie online. 

So in all this, I am feeling pretty blessed right now. 

There have been struggles this season, sure. 

My family in the Pacific Northwest has had trials that would knock you off your feet
- and so I am praying for them, and hope you will too. - 

In spite of their heartache, they are blessed, and continue to praise God for His blessings. 

They are such a huge inspiration to me. 
I don't think I've told them that, but they are.

It is a very full season of love, friends, and what Christmas is really all about. 

Merry Christmas, everyone!


  1. Very nice. Hope the next few months are a little less hectic, with only a couple birthdays to worry about!

  2. I'm enjoying the ride. And the birthdays thin out just in time for baseball to start. Our one big sport season of the year I guess :) Means lots of picnic dinners!


I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


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