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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The rain is gone!

It wasn't raining this morning and I got to run!

Brene Brown - wholehearted parenting manifesto

I read Daring Greatly a couple of years ago and want to read parts of it again in the new year.  I love how this manifesto reminds us about the important stuff of parenting. It's just too easy to get bombarded by all the noise and forget about the beauty in the people we are raising.  I've noticed over the last week how much my kids are growing up.  They are such caring, strong, brilliant people.  They are humble and brave and so funny, too.  They are patient in ways they have not always been, they are understanding of the faults in others and have empathy.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas in progress

Lucy's gift to our family.  A portrait with "I love when my family plays board games together.".

Christmas has been beautiful this year!  We've spent lots of time with people we love and have had equal amounts of down time to veg out and relax.  In fact, it's after 11am and Emma and Eleanor are still in bed.  I'm looking forward to Eleanor's birthday on Thursday and JANUARY!  I love January!  Eleanor asked me the other, what month don't you love?  I love them all for their own reasons but just for the record, April is my least favorite month, followed by March.

I will now get back to the laundry and dishes and bills but I'm still in my pajamas and still drinking coffee and still listening to Christmas music so I'm happy!

Monday, December 21, 2015

It's Christmas Week- Balance!

I've come to believe and accept that we celebrate two distinct Christmas' in our house.  There is the real Christmas, the whole reason for the holiday and the one that brings the Baby Jesus.   This is the one that calms my soul and makes me giddy with excitement for the day to arrive.  The one that every single year I feel like I get a little closer to actually capturing.   

Then there is the one with the cookies and the tree and all of the stuff and I love it, too.  Not in the same deep way but in a very real way.   The balance for me is to to not let this loud, flashy Christmas overrun the real thing and make us so exhausted that when the Baby Jesus shows up, we're just too worn our to even notice. 

 Christmas week is here and we're enjoying the cookies, and tree, and stuff but I still feel the true spirit in my house this morning. 

   The kids are finished with school and I get them all to myself today!  I will let them sleep as late as they want and pajamas will be the look of the day.  My 5:30 run was sidelined by a thunderstorm so I've been happily reading and puttering for the last couple of hours.  My shopping is complete, menus are planned and shopped for, outfits have been chosen, cards are nearly finished----I just relaxed and prayed and read this morning.  This is always my hope, that I will have a few days without "preparations" to just enjoy the season.  It doesn't usually work out.  This year, after lots of lessons learned, it did.  

Plus, these girls!  They are like having my own elves.  They helped with Christmas cards, wrapping, cleaning, you name it!  Tweens can be a challenge but they can also be the best help!

Not our actual tree.
Every year I'm certain we've found our best tree yet.  Not this year.  It's super pokey,  thin, short and crooked.  We loved it on the lot.  I blame the fact that it was so warm the Eleanor wore shorts to the tree lot.  We weren't in our right minds.

We replaced our yearly visit to Tilles Park with the Zoo lights.  Great change!  Last year, about 2 minutes into our trip to Tilles, we all wondered why we keep going.  A couple of times is fine but we'd worn that place out.  

A tradition we've not yet worn out is Christmas painting in Columbia.  We celebrated Christmas this past weekend in Columbia and
had a wonderful time together.

Emma-clarinet, Eleanor- violin, Sonia- flute, Lucy- clarinet
The girls put on a Christmas concert last week with one of Emma's friends.  Yesterday, they did a production of the Nutcracker.  These are some of my favorite times!  I suspect today will result in a few shows!

Here's to a Christmas week full of celebrating and keeping in mind what all this celebrating is about!

Monday, December 7, 2015

I'm still standing

but my feet are blistered and I don't ever want to run another marathon. 

This photo was taken moments after finishing.  I was so happy not to be moving.  The race was HARD.  Much harder for me than my first marathon.  I won't bore you with all of my thoughts on what made it harder I'll just say it was hard.  I finished in 4 hours and 17 minutes.  Guess what?  I finished my first marathon in 4 hours and 17 minutes.  Weird.

Running this marathon was the brainchild of my mom.  This is my her 60th year and to celebrate she wanted to run one more marathon.  We (all of those pictured above, plus one more) wanted to join in the celebrating and run with her so we signed up!  Except injury hit and our plus one had to back out.  Then, a huge injury hit my mom.  So severe that she has been walking with a brace for over a month and will have surgery next week.  We were all broken hearted when she told us there was no way she could run.  It seemed cruel that the person who really wanted to run in the first place was sidelined.  As is typical of my mom, she didn't spend any time feeling sorry for herself  Instead she became our number one cheerleader for the remainder of our training.  Then when race weekend arrived she made us a carb loading dinner, gave us a pep talk when none of use was too peppy and dropped us off right at the race start.

And then, along with these amazing people she followed us around Memphis, yelling and cheering and helping us to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  

None of us had a stellar race, but it was still a very, very good day!  We had a great meal at Rendezvous, and then had a wonderful evening of laying around watching movies together.  

The girls were with my dad and Kyra all weekend so of course they were as happy as could be, which only added to Kevin and I having a really great weekend...we could relax! 

So glad to have this accomplishment behind me!