Tuesday, December 27, 2011

redeeming a ho hum Christmas

The Grand Build Up

For the entire month of December, we've been soaking up every ounce of Christmas spirit like it's going out of style. We carried on our traditions: movies, books, decorations, baking, ugly sweater party, baking cranberry bread for our neighbors, and the advent calendar.

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And just like every other year, those traditions are the stepping blocks leading to the grand finale of Christmas. We have always celebrated on Christmas Eve on my side of the family. I'm told it is a Scandinavian tradition. You may think it is just a ploy to open presents one day earlier, but I promises it is the real deal.

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Christmas Eve

We drove to the beach town of San Clemente to hang with my family. We ate a ham dinner, attended church, and opened presents at my sister's house.

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The craziness of 7 kids was actually contained until Jack lost it towards the end. The melt down began and we quickly wrapped up the evening.

We stopped by my parents to pick up our dog. As soon as we parked, their neighbor came out and with our dog howling and barking in the background, informed us that he had been doing that the entire time we were gone. Kevin profusely apolgized, but she would not let up and made it clear that we had ruined her Christmas Eve.

My Fa La La's were drained.

Once we got home, I started to feel withdrawal symptoms from decreasing my prednisone which I've been on for 9 years for my lupus. We put the boys to bed at 10 p.m. and I crashed. My sweet husband had to do Santa duty all by himself this year. Well, Rascal helped too. He's good like that.

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Christmas Day

The next morning the boys enthusiastically opened their stockings. It is always my favorite part as they exclaim, "this is what I always wanted!" for each gift. Yes, even socks.

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We let them play for a few hours. We've learned to take Christmas morning slow. It is good for all of us.

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Later in the day, we headed to Kevin's parent's house. I was so sick, but I didn't want my lupus to interfere with the celebration of the day. I was desperate to get my Fa La La's back and perhaps a few ho, ho, ho's too.

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The kids were going on 48 hours of limited sleep and overstimulation. Everyone started to fall apart. I wanted to scream, "This is Christmas! Be good and stop fighting!" However, I didn't think my in-laws or their guests would appreciate it.

Again, we got home and I crashed. I felt guilty that I didn't get to spend any time with Kevin. I know he must have been disappointed, but he is a trooper. He's had to deal with the effects of my lupus for 17 years, but it has never impacted Christmas. He never says a word, though. I love that guy.

I have to admit (and I know this goes against the blogger's creed of all things lovely and perfect), but I was feeling down about Christmas. The ho, ho, ho's I was seeking were more like ho hum, hums.

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Redemption

But the next day offered redemption.

The kids spent the morning playing with their new toys without fighting.

Although, I was still feeling like poo (yes I said poo. Crap? Poo?...poo) , but we decide we should head to our favorite hiking spot.

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Just the 5 of us.

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The day could not have been more perfect.

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There is something about being outside together that refuels us.

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It brings us together again.

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While we headed home, I could not help but to be reminded of true Christmas redemption and the fact that our Christmas--stressful or not, is not classified as good or bad based on feeling well or children behaving.

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Much love,
Katie

11 comments:

Lesley @ the floyd boys said...

I can totally relate, but I'm so glad you had a better day outside together. Sometimes it feels like my kids are the worst on days that should be the most fun for them. Your right though, Christmas is good no matter what!

Kelly said...

merry christmas katie.
xxO

Mamasita said...

so glad you had a wonderful (yet exhausting) Christmas holiday!!! we are still recovering at our home! :-)
all of my pic's are on my camera several miles away, so my Christmas pic's will be coming soon!
Hope you are feeling better after the prednisone decrease... sounds tough!
Hang in there mama!
:-) Maggie

Sara @ Seeing Purple Stars said...

i totaly felt this way this year! like bah hum bug! haha! ;) glad you had a great day outside with just you and your boys! love the pictures!!

Rebecca @ heartland farmhouse said...

Hope you are feeling better!
We do much the same thing on Christmas Eve...church, supper & presents with my side.
Praying your week is blessed with better health & increased energy.

Melissa said...

Merry Christmas to you guys! I'm sorry you lost a little mojo during Christmas...but I can totally relate. That nose picking picture is cracking me up! So real life:)

Erin said...

Love the pic with the boys boots on a log! So sorry you have to continually battle being sick and tired. You are such a positive person through all of it...hang in there!

carissa at lowercase letters said...

i want to go hiking now!!! awesome! thanks for sharing your heart... i always love it when us gals are real rather than pretty perfect! : ) santa's helper, aka your sleeping dog, cracked me up! i hope you are feeling better. oh, and my mom's fam is 100% Scandinavian... we've always done the gift thing on Christmas Eve, too!

Susan said...

I'm so sorry you were feeling like shit (there, I said it for you)...my husband's cousin suffers from lupus at it can be so tough.
Your pictures throughout this post are so great!
Happy New Year 2012! xo

likeschocolate said...

Sorry you didn't feel so well. Glad Monday turned out better.

Insomniac Mom said...

I love the pic of the boys in their rubber boots. I LIVED in mine from 4-11 then resurrected them now that they make pretty ones!

Check me at www.insomniacmom13.blogspot.com