Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

I've been away for a while now.  I had allowed myself to become overwhelmed with some issues at work, a project at home, and prepping for the holidays.  This past week has been a huge blessing, allowing me some time to step away from the work scene and get some perspective all while wrapping up some small tasks that have been haunting me and preventing the bigger project from getting done.

Our Christmas was very nice and enjoyable.  The kids loved all of their gifts, but we did miss having family visiting.  This was the first Christmas in 8 years that my family hasn't been here with us.  I missed them madly.

 We made the best of being by ourselves and had a very enjoyable holiday.  We went to Christmas Eve mass and then came home and tried to get a few pictures in front of our tree.  Stella did not cooperate!

After dinner, the kids get to open their traditional Christmas Eve gifts: pajamas and a book.  Pajamas are easier to find each year.  Like most families, we got  The Children's Place fleece snowman pajamas. 
This is an inexpensive route to go and right now, they are on sale for under $10 each.  If your children are young enough, you could buy them now and set them aside for next Christmas.

Every year, I get my kids a book and try to do something Christmas related.  It had been super easy to find Christmas themed books - and then they grew up and now it is getting harder and harder.  But, I love that they still love their "little kid" Christmas books and we have started the tradition of using them as an advent calendar of sorts.  I wrap all the books we have, and each night leading up to Christmas, we unwrap one of the books and sit on my daughter's bed and read it aloud.  This usually leads to trying to remember who got the book and on which Christmas Eve.  That leads to giggles and smiles as we remember various things that happened that year.

I love the wrapping paper I found this year!  I am kicking myself for not buying more and setting it aside.

Between Christmas and New Year's, we did close to nothing.  And it was great.  I am pretty certain my kids only got out of pajamas to shower and put on a fresh pair.  My husband and I puttered around and got small jobs that have been lurking done.  I started pulling out paperwork we would need for taxes and shredded a plethora of old credit card statements and utility bills that have been cluttering up a drawer in my secretary.  I sharpened all the broken pencils and went through the two junk drawers in a buffet we use as a catch all in the entry way.  I climbed on top of my washing machine and got all the hangers that have fallen off the rod that is above the washer and dryer.  I even went so far as to use the vacuum attachments and suck up the bits of lint that migrated back there.

We had planned to go to a friend's home for New Year's Eve, but after a day of sledding with the kids, they were exhausted and I wasn't feeling well, so we were all in bed by 9pm.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I should state that my husband and I have never seen the new year arrive.  We are always asleep before midnight.  We are not big party people and would much rather be well rested so we can spend our days doing this:

They had so much fun, and I'm happy to report we only had some minor bruising.

 Not quite the same as a photo of my toes in the sand.  But it is still early enough in snow season for it to be enjoyable.  I do highly recommend Sorel boots.  Normally, I would only be recommending LL Bean boots.  But this is one time in which another company does it even better when it comes to cold.  Bean boots are great looking and light weight and perfect for having on most of the time.  But if you are going to be ice fishing, snow shoeing or sitting in a big pile of snow taking pictures of your kids sledding down a hill, nothing comes close to keeping your toes as warm as a pair of Sorels! I've had this particular pair for 2 decades and they are awesome.

Stella is normally the best behaved dog.  But Stella + snow = crazy dog!

Everyone is sleeping now and hopefully well rested as we return to our normal school and work days tomorrow.  I hope you all had the chance to rest up, enjoy your family and are prepared to head back to your normal routine as well.

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