Let me catch my breath.
Ok. So, 2015 was a shit show.
Yes. I just swore for the first time ever on this sweet and horribly neglected family blog (hi mom). But you know something? There is no more appropriate way to describe this past year. It was fast, furious, overwhelming, exciting, intense, sad, rewarding, the biggest learning curve of my life, and an all around blurry hurricane.
Without sounding ungrateful, I'm very ready to be done with 2015. I love the start of a new year, mostly because of the lazy power-down period between Christmas and New Years, but also because it forces me to hit the reset button.
Well, most years.
To be honest, I'm still buried deep in the game of catch up in just about every area of life, so my clean slate isn't so clean this year. But I'm sure going to make the best of the chaos and maybe even make some time for goal setting before Monday morning, when real life stings with its rude awakening.
A few things I'm hoping to implement to help get my life back in control is to start waking up at 5 am, setting clear work boundaries (working from home with two little ones is far from the walk in the park it seems), letting go of my pride (and frugal ways) by pulling the trigger on hired help in various areas, and making more time for me. That last one is a must. This past week, I used a massage gift card from MOTHER'S DAY for Pete's sake, and the massage therapist told me it was like Fight Club with all the toxins and knots in my neck and back.
But the last two weeks have been so lovely. I completely unplugged for Christmas Eve and Day for the first time since January, and it was dreamy.
The holiday festivities were more fun and rewarding than they've ever been because, children. The joy is so contagious! Some of this year's favorites were cocoa and carriage rides at Bradley Fair, our annual watching a movie and "spending the night" by the Christmas tree, and hopping in The Green Fam Polar Express (aka Honda CRV) for a Christmas light tour around Wichita.
Lyla talked about "the dancing lights" for weeks.
The holidays were kicked off with Lyla's first preschool Christmas program, and I'm absolutely positive there is nothing cuter in the world than a bunch of 3 year old's singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain". We got off to a rough start though. Lyla walked in as the "line leader", waving and beaming - she was so proud and excited to see us. But, she lost her shoe in the shuffle and started crying while all the kids filed up on stage. She was so embarrassed.
Thank goodness for her sweet preschool director who told her another girl lost her shoe too. Lyla immediately stopped crying and proudly went up to the stage. Break my dang heart.
She also felt pretty special for her fancy date night with Mom and Dad to go see The Nutcracker. We were skeptical a three year old could sit through a ballet, but she loved it. She asked questions throughout the entire show - Who is that? The mouse king isn't scary? Where are their tap shoes?
Both girls loved the holiday carriage rides, despite the 2 hour wait in the FREEZING cold. Lyla felt pretty rad that she got her own special almond milk cocoa and was so excited to pet the horse. And Addie thought she was big stuff getting to stay up late to watch a movie in her big kid chair.
After three Christmases with children, I've finally caught on to PLAN AHEAD. Sort of. We're usually left scrambling at the last minute for gifts, tools, batteries, and butter. But this year, I *tried* to plan as much as possible. I still saved all my grocery shopping until the day before Christmas Eve - which left me with a bunch of baking substitutes and fat free cheese.
We went to our church's Christmas Eve service, and Lyla was so excited to hold the candle. I only had to intervene once. Then we went to GiGi and Bots for our tradition of shrimp, mushroom soup, and dessert by the fire.
And we actually had our Christmas brunch prepped and gifts assembled all before 11:00. Success!
Christmas morning is always my favorite - those brief moments we have together as a family of four before the continued holiday rush. The girls thought their new tee-pee from Santa was the bees knees, and they giggled and squealed as they went through their stockings.
Gabe and I decided to exchange stocking stuffers only this year because we're saving up for our big 10 year this year. 10 years - Holy moly.
And he did good. Because let me tell you, nothing screams sexy like an ergonomically correct keyboard. But it was my favorite gift, and my pre-arthritic hands are grateful.
So here's to a full-from-the-holidays heart and hope for a less-stress kind of a year!