We were some of the first people to put up our Christmas lights (thank you, Curtis) and some of the last to do our tree (thank you, Amanda). A few days ago it was 80 degrees outside and there was such little motivation. I'm so glad we waited because a massive cold front hit us and it's in the 30's now. (Some of you reading this are probably iced in and just grateful to have electricity! Poor Dallas-Fort Worth.)
Yesterday after school we turned on the fire, put some Christmas music on, made hot chocolate from Annalee's famous mix, and finally got to work. The kids are an old 7 and 4 now and they were so helpful! The tree decorating went by really fast and, amazingly, no ornaments were broken in the process.
Our tree is pretty but I hate that it's fake. The only reason we have it is that it keeps me from getting miserably sick. I've had a horrible time with allergies this year. Over the summer I kept getting pink-eye (four times, I think) and I was finally diagnosed with a bad case of stress-induced allergic pink-eye. Um, what? Apparently stress can make your allergies worse, so awesome.
Let's talk about Christmas music. My wonderful husband has a record player and a few records to go along with it. He was excited to play them while we decorated the tree. I could only take it for so long. I am not a hipster, y'all. Not even close. The records were scratchy, not very loud and it wasn't exciting. And I'm super lame. I don't have a very open mind about Christmas music. I like my old favorites.
Well, I had six really good days after my last blog post. Thank you for all the love and kind words. I felt strong and good and then yesterday I spun out and crashed emotionally. I knew my sister was having a sleepover at my parents' house and Curtis was very generous to let me crash the party. He has a good sense of when I just need my mother.
When I walked in the door, my parents were setting up their Christmas tree. Are you kidding me? It was so perfect. I hadn't been there for decorating mom's tree for at least 6 years. Melissa and I snuggled on the couch like bums and let mom do most of the work. But after she shamed us enough we got to work. I had to make sure my "Baby's First Christmas" ornament was hung higher than my sister's because I'm older. Most of our kiddie ornaments are gone now but the precious few brought great joy.
Today we had an early Christmas celebration with my daddy's family. Since it wasn't actually Christmas, it was just easy and a little less pressure and so much fun. I have a beautiful young cousin named Hannah who is 13 and Annabeth is enthralled with her. Hannah's family gave her a ballerina costume and she danced for all of us to some Nutcracker music. I also loved getting to be with my cousin Joe's new bride, Chauntell. She is sweet and beautiful and has a great sense of humor.
The boys were given camo hats equipped with head lights.
The kids were really into this massive hourglass that my grandparents have had since I was a kid. They sat there forever staring at it.
My Papaw had all the grown-up grandkids gathered around the kitchen island, demonstrating his very detailed process for making egg nog.
Aunt Mary gave the girls these fun gloves that keep your hands warm but still let you use your smart phone. Aunt Tina gave everyone really pretty sparkly rings. Here are all the ladies sporting both.
Here's Annabeth being sweet.
It's nearing the midnight hour and I'd better wrap this up! The last time I blogged it was at midnight and I couldn't fall asleep until 3 AM. I'm hoping for a different outcome tonight.