Sunday, January 5, 2014

How'd Your Holidays Go?

I have a pet peeve. Several actually, but lame things that are said really often are one of them. Maybe they weren't even lame to begin with, but the quantity of times you hear them is what does them in. Much like fashion trends that everyone catches onto. I currently take issue with the little porcelain end table/plant stands that appear in every other stylish room. Apparently, they're called garden stools. I'm talking about these guys. 

But back to the lame lines. Here's one: "I need a vacation from my vacation." So it's with great sheepishness that I admit, I was tempted to say that this week. Just in my mind. Very quietly. Because over Christmas vacation, I soaked up my people and ate my fill and traveled the country (or at least the Midwest). I expressed appreciation and prepared cookies and smiled so much my face hurt. 

And I'm pooped. So much people and so little home make for a very tired introvert. In hopes of bouncing back, I mostly stayed home and offline this weekend. It's been good. We seem to be getting our groove back. The kids chilled and went to bed on time. We took decorations down and found places to store our gifts. And while the traveling stretched us, it gave us a lot of memories to keep forever. Here's a few I'm tucking away.

Christmas morning with just "us." The kids were so excited when they opened their gifts, their hugs almost knocked me over! This is afterward, while we waited for Daddy to make something delicious for breakfast. Across from us was Chandler, putting together his Lone Ranger Lego set. I remember how he used to call it Lone Stranger...

That afternoon we decorated cookies with family. Here are a couple of their creations. 

Once we were in Minnesota, we headed to the kids' favorite places to go at the Mall of America: the American Girl Doll store and the Lego store. We went both places with the understanding that we'd just spent most of our money on presents and could only buy one small item at each place. This made sense to the kids. So much so, that Cadence explained it to the checkout lady. "We don't have a lot of money because we spent it on Christmas presents," she explained with a first-grader's, you-know-what-I-mean nod. She's so thrilled to be included in these conversations. The clerk raised her eyebrows for a moment and then smiled. "We're all in the same boat," she said. I felt embarrassed and then relieved. In a store where other shoppers seem to have limitless pocketbooks, my daughter was comfortable with our buying limits. Win!

Below, the kids are sharing the present we brought for Great Grandma. It was fun to watch them enjoy giving. 

And last of all, we took advantage of the solid ice in Minnesota to give the kids their second skating lesson. (I mostly cheered because I can barely skate myself.) If you ever wonder if kids appreciate you teaching them and rooting for them, listen to what my kids wrote in the snow on the ice at the end of the afternoon. "Daddy is the best ever," and "I love mom and dad."

It matters to them. Time we invest. Efforts we make. They see it all and soak it in. They may not say it often, and they may need just as much attention the next day, but every little bit of love we give builds them up. I hope you were built up a little this holiday and able to build someone near you up. That's the reason I pour a lot into the holidays. Even if it leaves me weary, I want to show love 'til I pass out. I'm not sure it's the wisest way to approach time off, but it's alright. The aftermath means we're all a little grumpy and tired and have to be patient with each other til we get our wits about us again. But I don't think that's all bad either. 

Whether you're grumpy or still sending your style of love letters to the world, I want to wish you a happy, happy new year. Thanks for reading through this year with me. It's been wonderful sharing my life with people as lovely as you and look forward to all the things we'll share in 2014!


  1. Nice photos. Sounds like a wonderful vacation, and "down time" when you got back. We all need that!

  2. I have a garden stool, haha!

    Love the photos of the ice skating! Warms this little Minnesota heart.

    1. oh that's true! Now that I think about it, they are NOT overdone in Nebraska, and I enjoy seeing yours. :)