Today is our first day back in the”real world” after two and a half weeks of vacation. I obviously took a vacation from blogging, so there is lots to share. Let’s start with Christmas plans.
Jeremy and I were talking about Christmas and how we’re glad that’s more than one day for our family. It keeps the whole season festive. There is always a bit of a Christmas letdown once all the gatherings are behind us, but the blessing of celebrating over a couple of weeks is that the journey is more fun then the actual destination. Getting to Christmas is just as special as Christmas itself. As a part of our Christmas gift to the boys, we went to Enchant in Seattle. Enchant was an amazing lighted Christmas maze. 9 reindeer were hidden through out the maze and you set off to find them. The maze was beautiful. Graham especially exclaimed at each reindeer we found and then gave them a hug. Owen got to go ice skating for the first time. And we had a chance to see Santa again and put in another request for a train. Jeremy and I have been looking for more ways to give experiences instead of “stuff” and Enchant was the perfect way to do something special as a family. Then we moved in to what I call the 5 days of Christmas. We did a Christmas gathering with my immediate family, a gathering with Jeremy’s extended family on Christmas Eve after attending the candlelight gathering at our downtown campus, Christmas day at GG’s house, day after Christmas shopping trip in Portland and last but not least, a Christmas gathering with the Scott clan. We had so much fun celebrating Christmas with so many loved ones. The moments we spend together as a family are what make Christmas truly special. We wrapped up our vacation and 2018 with a head colds. We did feel well enough to go to a birthday lunch with my sister and then celebrate with birthday dessert at our house for her and her husband. New Year’s Eve is always a celebration of April. We had a quiet evening around the house with the boys, put the kids to bed, watched the HGTV Dream House special and then went to bed before 9:30pm. That might be a record early bedtime for NYE.
As I reflect on 2018, I am amazed how each year can be so different. Looking back to 2015 & 2016, those were hard years. I blogged about those years saying I never wanted to repeat them. 2017 was a sad year for me. The longing for our own home and constantly being “in process but never there” took it’s toll on my heart. And now 2018… this is where things really started to pick up with the house. We got insulation and dry wall and taping and texturing and then painting and finishes all put into our house between January and March. It was busy and productive and each step made the house feel like a home. And then we moved in on March 31st. April through December has been a dream come true. Living in our own home and setting down roots has been so life giving. In May, we had an unexpected vacation to Bend, OR that felt like such a gift. That trip kicked off one of the best summer’s of my life in which my goal was to have as much fun with my kids as possible. Moving into the fall season, we celebrated the boys’ birthday and got to do so many of our favorite autumn traditions – I mean who doesn’t like to go to the pumpkin patch 3 times? And then our first Christmas season in our home! 2018 felt like a reprieve from a lot of hard and sad years. I don’t expect every year to be like 2018, but I am thankful for the blessings and many happy memories we made this year. I grew so much through the hard years – they were worth it. But after walking through what I have, it has made this year that much sweeter. 2018 has been a year of deep gratitude and contentment. Praise the Lord!!!
And on to 2019! I’m happy to announce that I am starting 2019 with a fully potty trained three year old. Something clicked and we’ve been accident free for weeks. I was super nervous that when we went to Enchant that Graham would get distracted and have an accident. Not only did he not have an accident, but he did all his business at the stadium. Never before have I viewed pooping in a public restroom to be a Christmas miracle, but that is totally what it was. The biggest bonus is Graham doesn’t like to use training toilets or toddler seats, so my bathrooms have no potty training paraphernalia in them. It’s a miracle!
Okay, now for 2019 resolutions. I’m not really one for resolutions because I’m a believer in if something needs to change, don’t wait till January, do it now. However, I do have some thoughts about 2019. My biggest goal is to go into Walmart less. I don’t plan on ceasing to shop there. I plan on using their grocery pick up this year. Our local Walmart doesn’t offer grocery pick up, but the Walmart up north next to Costco does. I plan to be more efficient and schedule grocery pick ups for the same time we plan to shop at Costco. This way we hit two major stores in one outing, but only have to go into one store. Since my kiddos are usually around for big outings like this, I am hoping to save sanity by going into less stores with them. For the boys, we plan on starting a basic chore chart this month. Since today was our first day back to routine, I tested things out with Graham. He helped me take the garbage out, dust and make my class snack for church tonight. When he wasn’t helping me, he was playing with toys, practicing his letters with a new sticker book and working on coloring sheets. Part of my desire in stepping back from Usborne was to give Graham more focused and structured attention before he starts preschool this fall. We rocked day one! When Owen got home from school, both boys assisted me in unloading the dishwasher. Today definitely feels like a win!
I have more thoughts on 2019, but I will save them for next time. This is what happens when I don’t blog for two and a half weeks. I have too much to say. Until next time…