Saturday, December 31, 2011


today as i thought about the passing of another year and what i wanted to say about it, i cried. yes, i'm exhausted from a very busy week, which always makes me more sensitive, but honestly, it's been a pretty tough year. not that any of our last seven have been praticularly "easy" years, but this one has been especially hard on me. tim's job keeps him away from our family a lot. our boys are exhausting. i don't know what the future holds for our family.

but i also know that these struggles are blessings. tim has a secure job that he likes. our boys are amazing. these challenges help me to grow and to trust.

and a lot of really great stuff has happened this year too. our friends and family have welcomed so many beautiful babies into this world. we've had many really great days together as a little family, finally learning how to treasure the precious time we have.

2011-you brought me to my knees many times. but you also taught me a lot. i'm tired but thankful. thank you Father.

holiday recap

yes, i know that it's still the Christmas season, but after new year's it doesn't really feel like it to me. i wish we had wonderful traditions with our little family, somehow highlighting the 12 days of Christmas, the Feast of the Holy Family, Epiphany, etc, but we don't. so to me, this is the end of the Christmas season, and i can officially say that we survived.

after my whiney post about santa, i decided i could either be a grinch about Christmas or i could just do my best and roll with it. tim insisted that he wanted to do the santa thing, even pretending to call santa on his phone when ben was having a meltdown on Christmas Eve. i really had to bite my tongue, but i did. in fact, when tim fell asleep on Christmas eve when he was supposed to be helping me get everything ready, i was the one who placed their santa present under the tree and disposed of the santa snack. the boys were excited in the morning, but they really didn't make a big deal out of it and really didn't have much time to linger thinking about it because we needed to get out the door to Mass.

our Christmas miracle was that we made it to Mass ON TIME and the boys were mostly good. it was a wonderful gift to me.

after spending a fun Christmas Eve with my big family, we spent a relaxing Christmas morning with Tim's family. the boys got some really cool, thoughtful presents and we had such a nice time being with his smaller family. Christmas night was spent at a big gathering of tim's extended family, which was also a really nice time to catch up with some of his cousins that i hadn't seen in awhile.

by the time we finally made it home we were exhausted, but also filled with gratitude to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. if we were responsible adults who made good decisions, we would have went to bed, but instead we welcomed one of tim's oldest friends out to our house. since we hadn't seen him in a while and he was only in town for a very short visit, we didn't want to miss out on catching up with him.

the 26th brought another very fun but very exhausting night as we hosted a gathering of friends late into the night.

the rest of this last week has been a whirlwind of more wonderful people and not so delightful mornings, being woken by the boys far earlier than i would prefer.

we are so, so blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. for tim and i, the struggle is in how to balance our desires to socialize with our responsibilities and with the needs of our family and our wimpy, sleep needing bodies. i think if i could sleep for a week straight, or maybe all of january, i would feel recovered.

blurg, blog

back in november my fantastically nerdy brother pointed out that i should try to make it to 40 blog posts for the year. in 2009 i had 30 posts, 2010 had 50 posts, so 40 posts would nestle right in the middle. at the time i think i had 7 to go. although my posting has been pretty few and far between, i figured i could do it. i had several projects i had never gotten around to posting and i knew i would have something to say about the holidays, so in my usual style i procrastinated.

well, it's now new year's eve and i'm only at 37. i've oscilated between being lame and doing several filler posts like last year or just leaving it at 37. this has been an odd year anyways, so why not leave the number that way. but i just can't do it. and it's my blog. and anyone who reads this is kind enough to put up with me anyways, so...onward to 40.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

santa santa santa

i am stranded in bed and i'm bored. if i lay still in bed, i don't feel sick. then i think maybe i'm feeling better and get up, then feel sick again. no, i'm not pregnant, just trying to fight off a bug. since i've exhausted apartment therapy and because it makes me want to get up and do projects (cue nausea) i figured i'd dust off some cobwebs over here.

for most of the month of december the boys have been talking about santa a lot, which reminded me of these posts i had written way back in the day about Christmastime. rereading them was funny. not so funny that it's pretty much the same stuff that i'm struggling with two years later.

before the holiday season rolled around, or maybe it was right after thanksgiving when some people were starting to put up decorations, ben declared one night while we were driving home that, "santa's not real, right mom?" i asked him a little bit why we thought that, but before we really got into it, we somehow got distracted. i kept meaning to revisit it with him and clear things up once and for all, but i'm a little paranoid that if i tell him the truth, he'll ruin it for some other kid. and with all the santa stuff swirling around now, he's back to thinking santa is real, mostly.

i've always been vague about santa. when he asks questions i ask him what he thinks. i talk about the santas we read about in stories or he sees in shows. now that max is older, him and ben have santa discussions-does santa have a car, does santa have kids,etc.

last year we were at the mall in december and he saw the santa that was there for picture ops, and although we didn't do pictures, because it was a tuesday morning and the mall was mostly empty, we had a really sweet experience with a very kind man. the other night as we were driving into my parents' neighborhood i saw a santa walking out of a house to his car and intentionally didn't point him out because i'm mean like that and didn't want to deal with the questions. but then ol maxey the hawk piped up from the back seat, "I JUST SAW SANTA!" ben chimed in that he saw santa too, but thought max was referencing the snow globe inflatable that we were driving by and then we were at grammie and poppa's. but as i unbuckled him from his seat, he said very definitively to himself, "i really saw santa."

so they've seen the guy (although even when we saw the mall guy, ben knew it was a guy dressed up as santa, but then goes back and forth in his belief) and santa is what every acquaintance talks to them about and what toys they're going to get from him. i want to make them wear shirts that say, "please don't ask me about what santa is going to bring me" because it totally reinforces the message that christmas is all about presents. i don't want them to be the brat that i was and only care about the stuff part and be disappointed when they don't get everything they want.

i just don't think i can make a convincing enough case for Jesus and "the reason for the season" when the competition is presents and the big guy in red.

i really just want to blurt out "SANTA'S NOT REAL!!! SANTA IS ***NOT*** REAL!!!" but oh man, i do not want the dirty looks from another parent when ben says matter of factly to their kid that santa's not real.

on my other "issues" i wrote about two years ago, we're still working on those as well. i just don't think there's any way around the Christmas eve/day chaos. my family has always celebrated Christmas eve with our immediate family. it got moved to new year's a couple years ago because my sister's family was sick and i tried to push that that become the new tradition, but it was not well received. i love the tradition and of course, the time with my family but it's just hard to then wake up early the next morning and catch Mass as we drive across town to make it to brunch with tim's family; something i also really enjoy and people i dearly love and want to spend time with, but just tiring. in tim's family, they then celebrate with cousins/aunts/unces at a big, big gathering on Christmas evening. this has always been the exhausting icing on the cake. i like his extended family, but we are just ragged by that point in the day. last year i put my foot down and declared in advance that we just couldn't do it. and we didn't, but i still felt badly about it. this year, since the boys are older and max isn't nap dependent, we're going to play it by ear. there are some members of his family that we would really like to spend time with and catch up with since it's been a couple years, but not if we're melting into tantrum puddles. (i'm not just talking about the boys!)

i suppose this all wouldn't be so stressful if tim had off more time from work, but he doesn't. he'll be back to work on the 26th and we're actually hosting a gathering of tim's old high school friends on the 26th with them possibly arriving before he's even home.

it's just sooo difficult. i genuinely like all these people and want to spend time with them. just not in the span of 48 hours!!!

(and this is where i feel like a totally ungrateful brat. some people have NO ONE to spend the holidays with.)