For any of you who know me well or have been following for at least a year, know of my open dislike for Christmas. I have spent the last 7-8 years whining about how annoying Christmas is. We all spend too much money, stress ourselves out, and gain weight. Don't get me wrong I love the Christmas spirit, just not all the worldly Christmas hullabaloo. This year as the season approached I listened to my children express excitement to one another about the upcoming events, I knew I only had a few short years with them and I had to change. It was probably mid November when I decided to quit being the Grinch and allow my heart to grow. I quickly got to thinking of how I could help myself enjoy the things about the season that I couldn't change. I decided that the more organized I was, the less stressed I would be. I had my Christmas cards printed and in hand a few days before Thanksgiving, (check that stressor off my list) Truthfully Christmas cards is my very most favorite part of the season.
Next I made a list of all the gifts I needed to buy or make and really tried to stick to it. I made our neighbor gifts and delivered them nearly the first week of December. I did almost all my shopping online, and scaled back from years past. I had teachers gifts and other small things completed ahead of time. I put the tree upstairs so that the kids could enjoy it and I wouldn't get so annoyed by the "mess" of it. I even let the kids decorate it completely by themselves and left it the way they did it. I only put up about half of my decor so that I wouldn't be so overwhelmed putting it up and taking it down later. I played Christmas music throughout the house incessantly for weeks, and spent my few minutes before I crashed at night studying the birth of our Savior in the bible. For family home evenings we watched the church videos of the first Christmas and I even read a few Christmas stories to the kids before bed. I really put forth every effort to enjoy the season, and for the most part I did. There were a few stressful days with sick kids and self inflicted worry about whether or not the kids were getting "enough" for Christmas.
When Christmas Eve arrived Weston and the kids helped me clean the house and Wes even went to the grocery store for me (a story in and of itself:)) Christmas Eve was delightful and Christmas Day was perfect. Kallie came downstairs around 4 am and was upset because Cole wouldn't wake up. I tried to get her to cuddle me and go back to sleep. No doing, she finally watched T.V. until about 6 when I heard her crying. We got up and it took all of us to wake up Cole! Both kids were full of excitement and that doubled when Hagen woke up. The kids were way more excited about what they gave then what they got. I was so proud of them. My mom and dad came for about an hour that morning and we were thrilled to have them. Church was awesome, the spirit there was so strong and I felt so content. We had Christmas breakfast at G&G Crapo's house and then went to my mom and dad's to skype with Elder Angell in South Carolina. What a great gift to get to see his face and know that he is okay. I miss him like crazy and can't wait for him to return!
Around five we headed to Island Park to stay with Braxton at the condo. The very best part of Christmas for me was this; Kallie got a journal and in it she wrote, "I love Christmas, do you want to know why? Because it is Jesus's birthday!" All the pre-Christmas preparation helped me to enjoy the holidays, but the private thoughts of a six year old taught Debbie Downer the true meaning of Christmas!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Christmas Eve was hosted by the Jensen's, it was fabulous as always. They are the best hostess's ever. We were surprised when right before the prayer over dinner was about to be said, some extremely loud hip hop music started blaring over the surround sound and all the grandkids came strolling out from all different rooms doing a mob dance. They were pretty good too and had it choreographed really cute. It was pretty impressive. After dinner each family was required to perform some sort of musical performance. Weston rocked an awesome solo accompanied by none other than Kallie Jo and Cole accented with the symbols! After the movie of the first Christmas and a family sing a long of Silent Night; Grandma busted out the gifts. Each kid opened their pajamas and quickly put them on. (Some a little more modestly than others) We snapped a few pix and did a little cleaning up and then headed home to bed so the big guy could come.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
We cruised down Friday morning and met up with some friends for lunch and then we were off to Temple Square. It was gorgeous as always, and the giant nativity really caught the kids attention. They have really scaled back on the lights, there just doesn't seem to be as many as there used to be but they are still breathtaking. It was pretty much freezing cold so we didn't spend too much time there. Back at the hotel I was mom of the year and swam with my kiddos! Hagen loved it and Kallie and Cole were regular little fishies!
**As for Hagen's eye appointment, it actually got cancelled. The receptionist that called said the doctor had a medical emergency and would be out until the end of January. I really hope everything is okay. I was a little disappointed not to have Hagen's eyes looked at. I am really curious what they are going to tell us. He is doing really well and I think he seems to see actually quite good. Truth is though a post-Christmas shopping trip the end of January might be pretty fun!:)