Christmas Day Collage One, Click to Enlarge
Top Lists, in No Particular Order. . .
Top Five Gifts:
1. Horse Barn Play set
2. Automatic Tee-Ball Baseball Thing
3. Hot Wheels Cars and Racetrack
4. Cash Register
5. Wedgits Building Blocks
Top One Funniest Gift:
1. Little House on the Prairie Bonnet for Ava (pic above!)
Top Nine Not-So-Great Things about the Day:
1. Matt not feeling well
2. Laura missing family (terribly)
3. Burning the crap out of the homemade pizza we were going to have for dinner
4. Ava’s teeth hurting (I guess), resulting in a bit of a fussy princess
5. Not getting to see our friends and being a bit lonely
6. All the Chinese places in town closed for the night (argh–no takeout)
7. Emotionally eating way too many sugar cookies . . . and leftover chocolates . . .and cream cheese/pepper jelly crackers
8. Having at least 3 tearful breakdowns–to my friend Heather, my family on the phone, and my poor husband
Top Eleven Activities We Did with the Kids:
1. Played Horses and Store with Kelty
2. Played Racetrack with Cade
3. Went outside to play with the teeball thing, whacked a few, only lost one white ball in the white snow
4. Watched Ava put on and take off the santa hat, lots
5. Baked Sugar Cookies, then frosted them (Kelty got to create her own “recipe” for frosting–water, squirts of regular frosting, sprinkles -lots-, and seven heaping spoonfuls of sugar)
6. Watched Little House on the Prairie on tv
7. Drove around when it was dark to look at the Christmas lights and chose our favoritely-decorated house
9. Built towers with the Wedgit blocks
10. Tickled Ava
Top Three Surprising Facts about the Day:
1. We had “Christmas Mac-n-Cheese” for lunch (a.k.a. Kraft mac-n-cheese with green food coloring–which I thought was a creative stretch to make the lunch special and Cade refused to touch because he only likes the “yellow kind”.)
2. Matt was really not feeling well, and had to take medicines that made him sleepy. Poor guy.
3. Finding out that C batteries (a necessary item for new toys) are, like, $9 for one package of four. Holy Cow.
Top Five “Freezer Moments” for Me, as a Mom:
1. Cade getting “lost” very temporarily in the store, but finding him and being flooded with the knowledge of his importance in my life.
2. Ava laying on me on the couch and laughing and crawling all over me while I tickled her, for 30 minutes of a movie.
3. Listening to Kelty and Cade playing “store” at the kitchen table for 45 minutes–buying, selling, taking turns, creatively engaging.
4. Driving around right before bedtime looking at the lights and listening to their little voices in the backseat discussing their favorite yard decorations
5. Hearing myself tell them as I tucked them in tonight that they were my biggest gifts of Christmas this year
The beautiful and the Divine intertwined with the struggle and the mundane–that’s reality isn’t it? Postcard holidays aren’t real life, and neither are my expectations oftentimes. Nothing’s perfect–no event, no family gathering, no day. And, yet, I think its in the tasting of the bitter that I can appreciate the richness of the sweet. Its that bitter taste that serves to highlight the goodness of the pleasant one. My problem is that I zero-in on what didn’t “go right,” what I “missed”, how I didn’t “measure up,” what wasn’t “perfect, according to my master plan,” instead of just accepting the ugly because it showcases the beautiful.