Hellloooooo friends, how are you? Truly, it’s check in time. How are you? I hope now you’re beginning to relax on your must do and should do list and are beginning to breathe a little slower and deeper. Maybe that’s just a note to myself? 😉 But really, it’s here, we made it; we did it. It’s time to let go of whatever wasn’t done and enjoy what is!
Let’s start with a little life lately update…
A Very Merry December
Kaitlyn as an Evil Step Sister
Our December kicked off with Kaitlyn’s first ever musical theater performance. I was so nervous about keeping her feeling well for the whole week of rehearsals and shows and I’m so grateful she stayed well. She was INCREDIBLE on stage, you couldn’t tell if she was nervous and she just looked like she was having so much fun. I loved it for her. She had a lot of support in the audience, including Mema, Grandpa, Nana, friends, and us, of course. It was so special and she asked immediately afterwards when the next practices would begin. I think it’s safe to say she enjoys it.
Annual Christmas Party
For the past 10+ years (according to our photo archive), David and I have thrown a Christmas Party. The friend group has evolved over the years as closeness and life’s demands ebb and flow, but it’s always a nice time to spend time with friends and celebrate the season. This year we had about 30 people, the house was decorated and sparkling, and we almost had a solid game of Christmas charades going. Next year it will be mandatory. I’m in my game era and don’t care who knows it!
Feed NC Giving
The girls and I spent a day doing one of our favorite December traditions. The girls save their money to give/save/spend categories all year long and at the end of the year they take their give money and we go shopping. We consult the “most needed” list from Feed NC then go buy as much of it as we can to bring them. This year we collectively donated 239 lbs. I love that this provides them with a tangible, hands-on way to give back. Hailey truly rocked in this year, saving over $200 and filling her own cart. It’s always a special day for us where we talk deeply about what a blessing it is to be in a position to give back.
Christmas Cookie Baking
We had a day of cookie baking and whew, it truly took the whole day! We made my favorite cookies (doubled the recipe), gingerbread men, and sugar cookies. It was nice to have a whole day to do so because we made the dough then watched a movie while it chilled. Then baked them and played outside. Then decorated them and watched another movie. It made the experience really enjoyable.
I had a couple days of feeling rough with some kind of crud. My eyes and legs ached (weird sounding, huh?) and I just felt really run down. I went to town with all my natural health remedy favorites, especially the wellness pills (including the chewable for the kids, and homemade my oregano tincture. Knock on all the wood, but no one else seemed to catch it, thank goodness. But if you are dealing with germs right now, I feel you. It’s hard to feel fatigued during such a demanding time of year. I hope you stay well!
Family Shopping Tradition
Last night we partook in the kids’ favorite Christmas fmaily tradition- team shopping! This year Hailey and I were paired up (and David and Kaitlyn). We took off to the strip mall with a Target, TJ Maxx, Dick’s Sporting, and more with an hour time frame and a set budget to buy gifts for the other team. H and I feel like we knocked it out of the park! Afterwards we went out for sushi at Monsoon. It’s such a fun night and we all get excited about seeing the other team’s faces when they open their gifts Christmas morning.
Christmas Meal Planning
And that brings us to today, 4 days until Christmas! My family arrives tomorrow so today is full of grocery shopping and some food prep. I meant to write up a blog post with all the links to the recipes I’m using, but time got away from me. I wrote the source next to the recipe, but if you want a direct link, just let me know in the comments. I feel really good about the food line up for this Christmas. It has many of our traditional favorites and a few new items to try.
I’m ready to relax into some family time, slow down a bit, and end the year being present and grateful to be with the ones I love. I hope you also find time to breathe a little slower and enjoy some quality time with the people you love as we finish up the year. This is me signing off for 2023! I look forward to returning feeling rejuvenated and ready to step into 2024! It is going to be quite an exciting year for our family and I can’t wait to share it with you. Merry Christmas, my friend, and a very happy new year!