Thursday, December 22, 2011

December Magic

I was driving home from my parent's house tonight, and oohing and aahing at the Christmas lights with my kids, and suddenly I thought, "Oh my Gosh, it's already December 22nd!", where has the holiday season gone?  The span of time from October to December is my absolute favorite of the entire year.  From Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas, the excitement just keeps coming, the weather is beautiful, and the kids find new fun around every corner.  I love it.  It's almost over, but truly, the best is yet to come - Christmas morning with kids!

But before I get ahead of myself, I should share some of the magic we've already experienced this holiday season.  The decorations inspired Ruthie's very first word, "Pretty", which I love!  She will wake up, all fuzzy and red-cheeked, wrapped up in her blanket, and we'll walk out into the living room, and she'll just point and wave to the lit wreath and tree, and say "Pretty" over and over.  It's about the sweetest thing I've ever seen.  She is relentlessly attracted to the Christmas tree, and I regularly find her wrapped up in a cord of lights or ribbon, or with an ornament in her mouth.  Little troublemaker!  While she loves the lights, she is NO fan of Santa.  Our two experiences were monumental fails.  Perhaps next year :)

Her complete awe at the simple things - the lights and decorations - is just a fraction of the magic the boys feel. What wonderful ages they are this year.  Everything is magical, and very real to them.  They are constantly concerned about whether they are on the "naughty" or "nice" list, and Hayden told Santa that he wanted a baby reindeer that he can feed with a bottle!  He told me again tonight that, "wow, that baby reindeer is going to be hard for me to care for!".  Yes...that should be interesting.  I have a feeling the reindeer "webkinz" I got him is not going to cut it, but here's hoping!

While the boys are always sweet to Ruthie, I think they've taken to being especially kind and caring with her, in hopes that they will move higher on the "nice" list.  The other day, Ruthie was crying in the living room while I was busy with a house chore.  I heard Hayden start to sing "You are my Sunshine" to her, and my heart warmed more than a little bit.  He ran into the kitchen to tell me the good news that his singing worked!  I told him he was just about the best brother I've ever seen, to which he happily replied, "I know mom, and now Santa is going to bring me LOTS of presents!".  Hmmm....regardless of the motive, it was cute.

One of the more special experiences this month was a vacation to Colorado to visit Nate's family and our friends.  It was something that we had really hoped to be able to pull off, however it's getting increasingly difficult to get home the more kids we have, and the more plane tickets we have to buy!  But I am so glad that we made it happen, and it's going to become a priority every year.  Seeing my kids with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, is just priceless.  The holidays are about family, and being home in Colorado is exactly where we need to be during the season.

Happy Holidays everyone!  May Peace and Joy fill your year to come.

Grateful - Rest of November (oops!) have I managed to neglect my blog this badly??  I was so determined to see through my Grateful posts in November, and I have a list of so many more things and people to recognize.  I think I will go ahead and finish off the list in a simple way, and then move on to the holiday festivities and travels.


Nov 18 - For wonderful cousins for my children to grow up with, making memories all along the way.

Nov 19 - For my health.  This year it's become abundantly clear to me that health isn't something you can take for granted, and I am blessed every day that my body and mind are sound.

Nov 20 - For an adventurous spirit, and the ability to provide travel experiences for my kids - so they can see new people, places, and cultures, and grow up with their eyes open to the world.

Nov 21 - For an amazing group of women that I can call my best friends.  They are women that I've known since I was in elementary school, that I danced with in high school, that I joined a sorority with in college, that I studied with in graduate school, and that I met as a mother.  You all have the ability to make me laugh, and you let me cry.  Love you all.

Nov 22 - For an equally amazing group of friends that my children have grown up with, literally, since the days they were born.  They are sweet, and kind, and smart, and I'm so thrilled to have such wonderful companions for my kids.  I imagine them being friends for life!

Nov 23 - For my education, and a job that allows me to help provide for my family, and which gives me a chance to assume an identity besides "mommy/wife/daughter", for at least a few hours every day.

Nov 24 - For all of my awesome in-laws.  I can't believe I got lucky enough to marry into a family where ALL 4 of my sister-in-laws are people I would probably be friends with even if they weren't family.  I respect them all and laugh with them until my cheeks hurt.  And my mother-in-law is someone that I look up to completely, and whom I love dearly.  And the guys aren't half bad either :)

Nov 25 - For football!  I love all of the nostalgia associated with the game, and the memories I have of growing up, and watching the Badgers and Packers.  There is no more perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon in the fall, than being gathered with family and friends, eating chicken wings and queso, and watching a great game of football.

Nov 26 - For Sonic Diet Dr. Pepper with cherry and lime.  Simple, but true!

Nov 27 - For a life that just keeps getting fuller and richer and happier (and busier) with every passing year.

Nov 28 - For my intelligent, ambitious, adventurous, witty, kind-hearted and generous brother, who always challenges me to be better and do more.

Nov 29 - For my children's TWO sets of great-grandparents.  How lucky are they to have relationships with so many generations of their family!

Nov 30 - For all of many many blessings.  I will never take this life I have for granted, and I will strive to be most thankful EVERY day.