Where In The World Have I Been? My Holiday Recap…

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It has been four whole days since I posted here, and it seems like an eternity.  But I also haven’t really wanted to post anything, so it’s also been a kind of sweet respite.   What have you all been up to?  Do you find it challenging to blog when there is tons of family around and the schedule is in disarray and the kids are home from school and your messy house is sucking your last nerve in the direction of a tantrum?

We did the whole Xmas thang and it was pretty relaxing overall.  Lots of family time (my husband and I both have the divorced/blended fam thing going on…), lots of presents (even though we said we were going to go really small this year because the finances are slight. . .  ), and lots of QT with the little ones.

I got some very thoughtful and fun gifts, including a new winter coat and a tablet from my husband.  I wasn’t expecting or wanting the tablet at all, but if I ever get around to reading again, I think this gadget might be one of the loves of my life.  I got some nice black boots, an ice cream maker, and cool sweaters from parents.  I got to watch the looks of pleasure on my children’s faces as they unwrapped things from others and as others unwrapped things from them.

What was the best gift I gave, I wonder?  Well, I gave my husband a heated back wrap for his perpetually sore lower back, and I also gave him the first season of Game of Thrones (which was mutually beneficial!).  And I had a really fun time this year playing Santa, filling my children and husband’s stockings, and setting up Jack’s karate gear and the high chair for Emily’s baby doll.

There were a few moments on Christmas Day when I thought I was going to take a nutty amongst the complete and total chaos, but I managed.  I went into my room (which is always messy but was untouched by holiday madness) and curled up on the bed until I felt like I could tolerate a few more piles of fake baby paraphernalia and legos.  In the end, I told myself that there will come a day when our children will be big, but will only want things in little parcels, so I should treasure this mess.

Actually, for the most part, I was able to be really mindful of my feelings during gatherings at home and at family, and was aware of those moments when I was tempted to slip back into old patterns, habits, or anxieties that no longer need to be.  I was able to breathe and enjoy myself.  I was even able to crack a couple jokes here and there–  something I used to do all the time but almost never seem to do anymore aside from sarcasm.

I am off work until after the New Year, and it is really good for me to get a break from the social work sweat shop.  I know my limits are really close when I start to fear everything and everyone and have dread thoughts every other moment.  Since I’ve kind of been at that point over the past few weeks, it is a really good time for me to catch a break, spend time being goofy and permissive with my children and husband, and maybe catch a few moments just to be alone.

Maybe I’ll get a meditation session or two in… who knows!?

All in all, I’m feeling pretty fortunate, relaxed, and grateful.  These feelings are such blessings.  I’ve been sleeping well and eating cookies, cake, pie, and chex mix along with my healthy fair.  I’ve been enjoying holiday specials with the children, red wine after the kids are in bed, and the lights on the tree all day every day.

Today I went to the mall and got a few things on sale.  I bought two black dresses in a size smaller than I was wearing last year, and felt kind of awesome about that.  Did I mention I’m into dresses lately?  Yeah, I’ve felt like such a frump over the past six years since having kids, and I don’t know if it is those nutty hormones and impending menopause, but I’m determined to bring sexy back- holla!  I also bought a couple pairs of shoes with a gift card and felt simply decadent.

So that’s basically my recap.  I kind of want to tell you about how a Christian right wing  beloved relative called me radical on Facebook for defending animal rights after I posted about the movie Blackfish (have you seen it??  OMG go watch it on Netflix RIGHT NOW and tell me what you think!!!  I plan to post on it at some point later if I can collect my thoughts.).  I also kind of want to tell you how I almost offered to breast feed a crying newborn in Old Navy today who was clearly ravenous and being completely ignored by her adults.  I also kind of want to wax poetic about the year in review and resolutions for 2014 (wait, what?  I don’t make resolutions!)  But for now, I will just say, it’s good to be back and I missed you.

What was the best gift you gave this year?  How were your holidays?  

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8 responses »

  1. What a lovely holiday! A tablet is definitively a great gift as for material things, time alone and time to reflect for spiritual ones! Lots of love and enjoy the last days of 2013!

    • Well, I haven’t exactly had much time alone yet… may get some later next week when the kids go back to school… I hope. Hope the holidays in France are treating you well! I wonder what traditions you have there that we don’t do here… I am fascinated at having you for a French friend, so pardon my silly questions! I do that with my friends from Australia too, except all i ask them about is all the stuff in Australia that could kill me… anyhoo, if you do anything special that you want to share, I’m all ears! xoxoxo!

      • Holidays are not so good with me: so much work to do but I manage! My little one is making a lot of progress these days, doing new things and beginning to “speak” especially “no no no” (at 16 months?! I thought it was meant to be at 2 years!) She reassures herself by nursing a lot and so I have my quiet time, reading on my tablet! I am not in a part time of France with strong Christmas traditions but in Germany and Switzerland they begin 4 sundays before Christmas decorating, crafting, baking christmas cookies and lighting candles (1 the 1st sunday, 2 the 2nd and so on, with 4 the 4th sunday til Christmas). I wanted to do it this year but let me be overwhelmed by work. My only resolution for 2014 is not to let that happen again and I’m looking forward to next november and we’ll craft and bake with my daughter… The one Swiss tradition I won’t do is putting real candles on the tree: the families of my swiss-german boyfriends did that and I always had the sensation of being in a fire hazard! And I don’t do Chrismas Carols either but I am adamant that we listen to them on CD’s (the one time of the year we listen to music on cd’s: they were still there from last year!!!)…
        Have a beautiful last day of 2013 and a wonderful start of 2014 (in less than 12 hours here!)
        xoxoxo

  2. Holidays are always so busy! My favorite time this year, and all years, is the day after Christmas, when the pressure is off and everyone can just enjoy each other. Made lots of cookies this year, with the help of my kids and now we are looking forward to our annual New Year’s Eve buffet feast with shrimp and wings and everything inbetween!

    • Ohhh, your buffet feast sounds lovely! Shamefully, I didn’t make a single xmas cookie this year… but someone gave me some sugar cookie mix, so maybe I will do that with the kids this week. See that? You inspired me!

  3. I so totally got the hiding in your room. My room happens to be the messiest room in our house, but for me is the one place that I too can run and hide (until one of the kids comes looking for mommy). Christmas was good. The best gift I gave was the stuffed plush “my little pony” that I made for my children. The fact that my four year old daughter drags it around everywhere makes me feel good that I struggled with the patterns.

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