Monday, January 13, 2020

Our Christmas and 2020 Resolutions


Happy 2020, friends! I hope your year is off to a great start, and that you’re not falling too hard into the typical January post-holiday hangover slump that I find myself fighting every year.  I’ve taken lots of time off from this space to fit in everything else that’s been going on around here, and it’s certainly been a lot, which makes for the weeks afterwards even harder once all of the anticipation and hype is all said and done. January is such a good time to sit back and reflect on the last month of magic that really got kicked into high gear for us on the 19th of December—my first day of vacation, and the first full day with my sister being home. Our time together is limited to only a few times a year, so as soon as it starts, we really make the most of it.

First, we went to Phipps Botanical Gardens to see their winter light show—a stroll through a winter wonderland that we try to squeeze in every year. I love looking back at the pictures of how the boys have grown, and how much more into the whole thing they are now that they’re a little bit older.



The next day, we traveled to Matt’s hometown, sister in tow, for some time with nana & papa and the boys’ aunt, uncle, and cousins, who are 6, 5, 4, and 3 in age. I swear it gets more fun every year to see them all together now that they’re full steam ahead, independent, and imagining up their own games that keeps them busy way past their bedtimes. The grown ups get a chance to eat, drink, and relax with minimal kid chasing these days; that is, of course until March, when baby sister comes along.



We then set home to host Christmas Eve, my most favorite day, at our house, which was kicked off with morning saunas, traditional rice porridge, bloody marys and appetizers as we all waited for Santa. August got his hands on a gift or two ahead of schedule, now that he can read his name (forgot about that), so the boys really spent the whole day slowly opening gifts after their breakfast. Santa came, the boys sang to him, hugged him, and sat on his lap for some pictures (August’s first moments of Santa acceptance), and opened their most wished for toys. Oskar wanted Darth Vadar’s LEGO castle, and August wanted (another set of) Batman walkie talkies, which were delivered to two little boys who were somehow, and apparently, on the nice list this year. We made dinner, ate too much, and watched Christmas movies until the boys fell asleep on the couch. Once they were carried to bed, we played board games as long as I could keep my pregnant eyes open, and finally went to bed ourselves, hearts full.


Christmas Day is always slow, with a few more little things found in stockings, morning mass, and lots and lots of left overs. The boys played with all of their new toys, and we tried our best to manage the explosion in our living room from the day before, while, at the same time, not really caring and letting it all just go.


The days that followed were filled with sister yoga, after Christmas shopping, and a Kennywood lights show on their closing night. We’ve never gone post-Christmas before, but tickets were super discounted, crowds were thinned out, and we lucked out with the best weather ever. We'll be doing it this way from here on out.




We then hosted NYE with the best neighbors and my mom and sister. The kids ran around and played while the adults chatted and made drinks, and once enough of said drinks were had by those of us not pregnant, a huge Nerf Gun battle erupted between the “grown ups” and kids. We’re still finding darts this many weeks later. 

Matt surprised me on New Years Day with a brunch and movie date—really, just a ploy to get me out of the house for my sister and mom to throw a surprise sprinkle shower for me. I came back to a house full of people that I love and got so many beautiful things for our baby girl, who previously had about 2 onesies. We’re going to renovate our upstairs at the end of this month, laying hardwood floors throughout, painting, and installing new white trim and crown molding, and once that’s all done, I’ll be working on her nursery and organizing all of the adorable and teeny tiny clothes that she’ll be wearing in just a few short months. No matter what anyone says, girl clothes are exponentially cuter.






A few days later, we went wedding dress shopping for my sister, who happened to find the perfect one. I still remember the day I got my dress (10 years ago now), and I loved being able to be together to find hers, too. Here’s to wedding season, 2021!

Finally, we hosted one last holiday hurrah—a Secret Santa for my friends and their kiddos, who have grown up along side of our boys since day 1. We’ve grown to 10 (almost 11) kids in 5.5 years, so Secret Santa was the perfect way to have them exchange small gifts between each other. I love a loud, crazy, busy house, and the days we’re all together never fail to disappoint. 

Now, it’s back to work and back to school, decorations are down, the days are gray, and my sister flew home until July. I always find myself getting uninspired, unmotivated, and in a huge funk this time of year. There’s always a big low after the December high, but I’m trying to think ahead and list out some 2020 resolutions. So far, they look like this:


1. Get outside every day, which I hope I can keep up after the baby gets here. Whenever I work from home, I take a lunch time walk that really is so good for me, physically and mentally.


2. I’d love to take the boys and baby on a family trip this summer, even though it will be smaller scale and less time than our usual European adventures.



3. I want to really focus on the present. This will be our last baby, and I’m lucky enough to be able to take a 6 month leave with her and our boys. I was in survival mode for a long time after August was born, and I feel like his first year is a total blur, each day spent simply making it to the next. Newborns are never easy, but doing my best to appreciate all of the milestones is what I'm really trying to focus on, so that I can hold on to those moments for years to come.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2020.  I can't wait to see what these twelve months have in store.

 

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