Happy 2020! A new year, a fresh decade, a world of possibility. I am a fan of the energy January brings with it and am looking forward to an exciting year ahead!
But before I get into all that, I wanted to share a look into our 2019 Christmas. December was such a crazy month, despite slowing things down on the homeschool work load front. If I’m being honest with myself, I overbooked us. I love a good Christmas-themed activity, but we almost did ourselves in with parties and plays. However, it really was a whirlwind of fun, so let’s back it up to mid-December when we hosted our adult Christmas cocktail party and our Poetry Tea Time group. We were so glad we were able to make both events happen despite battling a nasty stomach bug that tried to overtake our house in between them (Kaitlyn and I held strong, though I continued to take activated charcoal for a solid week).
The weekend before Christmas we hit the breaks on all commitments and it was really nice to spend a few days at our leisure, filling them with our own Christmas traditions. The girls took money from their “give” jars and we used it to go shopping for a list of needs from our local soup kitchen. We got to hand deliver the goods and it was powerful to let the girls see their giving in action.
David and I went on our traditional Christmas date night to have a nice dinner and snag a few last minute gifts. The next afternoon we split into teams (David and Kaitlyn, Hailey and me) and went to Walmart with a $40 budget to buy gifts for the members of the opposing team. It’s Hailey’s absolute favorite tradition, and she’s a wiz at thinking of great gifts for other people. The size of her heart is unmatched. We had a wonderful visit with Mema and Grandpa, did a town tour of neighborhood Christmas lights, baked chocolate chip cookies for Santa (his favorite, did you know?), went to Christmas Eve church service, tracked Santa on NORAD, ate a delicious seafood gumbo for dinner, and tied up Christmas eve like always, by reading The Night Before Christmas snuggled on the couch.
On Christmas morning we were all excited to see that Santa had paid us a visit! The first morning look of the Christmas tree, lit up in all its glory, with presents tucked under it and the sun starting to peek through the window always fills me with the warmest feelings of gratitude. David and I had time to get coffee and tea, respectively, before the girls burst out of their doors at 7:30 AM on the dot. Kaitlyn looked over the balcony first, saw her vanity, and hit a pitch of a squeal I had never heard before! Santa success.
Santa doesn’t wrap presents at our house so we watched the girls oogle the goodies that were under the tree and eventually moved on to unwrapping gifts from family. We do this one at a time to stretch it out, and I popped the breakfast casserole in the oven for us to eat once all the presents were opened. It was a beautiful morning, just the four of us. The favorite gifts for each of us were as follows: Kaitlyn’s vanity, Hailey’s walkie talkie set with three walkie talkies, my new yoga mat, and a new pillow for David.
After some clean up, we hit the road around noon to drive to Georgia. Four hours later we were walking through the doors of my mom and dad’s house, being greeted by Kris, Cara, Kyla, Lacey, and Grandma Betty, too! Mom had all our traditional snacks out and ready for snacking (Grandma’s cream cheese dip, a large Swiss cheese, sausage), and Dad made a round of martinis for us all. The evening unfolded with a lot of laughter, story telling, kid wrangling, a delicious tenderloin dinner, followed by gathering in the living room to open presents. Are we lucky, or what.
Though the 60 degree weather in the days that followed didn’t feel like a classic Christmas, it was the perfect temperature for four kids to spend a lot of time outside playing. In the days after Christmas we played a lot of Ticket to Ride, did a few family workout sessions, had some great dockside conversations, and celebrated my mom, as she is now officially retired after a fabulous career- first in nursing, and then in real estate. She is from whom Hailey gets her big heart from and it felt really good to be able to shine the spotlight on her and highlight all the lives she’s touched through her work.
We arrived back home the Saturday after Christmas. The college football playoff games were on and served as the perfect background while we took down Christmas. As much I love Christmas decor, I think I equally love the cleansing of the house once we take it all down, too. I packed away the village while David chopped off branches of our tree and Kaitlyn dragged them outside. It was a solid team effort but it feels really good to have it all done!
Limbo week was a great one. We laid low, got back to normal eating and exercising, and worked our tails off on some projects for 2020- first and foremost The State of the Family reboot! It will be launching VERY soon. Click here to read more about it and sign up with your email if you want to be the first to know when it is launched and to receive a discount code.
And that’s a wrap! December, you were good to us. In fact, 2019, you were good to us, too. We made a lot of wonderful memories and appreciated the moments we had with family and friends. 2020, we are ready for you!