That must be an oxymoron, no? I can’t EVEN tell you the happy dance I did at noon last Friday when the kids got out of school. No homework! No lunches to make! No schedule! The fun will wear off in a couple of weeks, but right now it’s pretty much awesome.
I have a love-hate relationship with Advent. I know, standing juuuuust a touch to the left for when the lightning strikes. But let’s be honest, y’all. The month of December is like drinking Dr Pepper with a side of Red Bull and a slice of jalapeno. You come in hot the entire month.
Even though we are purposely intentional about the activities our kids do and what we say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to, it is still so hard to slow that train down. We have six kids. They don’t even know what slow and stop mean.
I’m learning to just lean into the crazy (what else can you do?) and really enjoy the moments of peace that God slides our way.
The last few weeks have been filled with Christmas concerts, parties, programs, shopping, wrapping, cookie decorating, journaling, house decorating and just about all the other holiday traditions you can squeeze in there. We’ve also found time to buy groceries, sleep and wash kids and dishes. Miraculous, but it’s happened.
Oh, and I did find time to make this. Because oh my Lord. And, the Mr. and I have enjoyed a few date nights and movie watching with homemade popcorn. <– that may be my most favorite part
Rather than bore you with 8 million photos, I’ll just share a few with a wee bit of commentary to go along. Mostly, because I’m pretty sure you’re trying to squeeze in your own holiday traditions while reading this on your quick social media break 😉
At our house, we get to see jolly St. Nicholas twice: once on the eve of his feast day (Dec. 6) and again on Christmas Eve. It’s quite spectacular. We usually stop by the mall just before Thanksgiving to tell him hi in person. Crazy, but no lines. Not a rookie mom anymore. Mostly, they love it. Gianna? She’s so over St. Nick. No photos of the actual visit to the house. Kids got up too early! They got some Christmas pjs and some gold coins, along with *the* cutest peg doll nativity thanks to this gal.
I love how Luke’s all, “Um, Santa and I need to visit first.”
Not sure why I love this one so much, but I think it has to do with the teenager’s willingness to share his list with the big man. Proof that we’re all a kid at heart.
Christmas Concerts, take 1 and 2
Will is in beginning percussion. His band geek days are short-lived however, as this is just fulfilling his fine arts credit. I’ll take it. The concert the high school gave was just fantastic. Nevermind the fact we had a very busy 2yo who was enamored by the gym bleachers and all the cell phones. I’m still not sure how many different people now have a selfie of Gianna on their phone. #nocellphoneleftbehind
Anna-Laura is a legit band geek and took up the flute this year. She practices diligently and was off-the-wall excited for her concert. Gianna had a bit more room to run and the concert was a bit more relaxed than the high school. Fortunately, we have the same director for both and we just adore him. At the rate we’re sitting on bleachers, I think it’s time to get one of those seat cushions. Ha!
Not to leave out the littlest, Gianna had her preschool Christmas program. I really went to see her sit on the steps of the altar and just stare at the other kids. This is why I sit on the back row and use my zoom lens. In my 14 consecutive years of attending these, I’ve found kids can be grouped into three categories: 1) the I don’t care PKer, 2) the crier and 3) the entertainer. I’ve had five #1s and one #3. You guess the kid. It might surprise you.
Aside from all the cute kid programs, the girls and I had a hankering for sugar so we let our stomachs lead us to the local bake shop supply’s cookie decorating class. It was fun to learn some new techniques and I’m not too proud to say the girls’ cookies looked way better than mine. Naturals!
Later this week we’ll head to the Nutcracker with Nana – a yearly tradition. And, if we can all get well, we plan to make some thank you cookies for our UPS and FedEx delivery guys. Stomach virus and pink eye have hit our house and it is just as fun as advertised.
If you happen to be on Instagram, I’m taking over the Blessed is She insta stories tomorrow sharing a few more of our Advent traditions. I’d love for you to pop over there and say howdy!