I said in the last post that I was going to hop on the Christmas train down a red, gold, and green rainbow.
You know what? Not only did I get on the train but I rode up front with the conductor. That’s how much I’m embracing Christmas right now.
2 things contributed to this:
1. I had to have a serious pep talk with myself. I had it before I hit publish on the last post but I guess now is the appropriate time to elaborate on said talk with myself. I told myself that just because I’m going to let go of things and move on with the season didn’t mean that the things and/or people that were holding me back were going to disappear. I was smart in telling myself this because none of it disappeared. It pretty much goes on what I said in the last post- you CHOOSE happiness therefore you CHOOSE to let those people or things, whether they’re annoying you or you miss them and can’t be with them this time of year, be. Let it be. 3 simple words. VERY hard to do. The things that were bugging me a few days ago? Still bug me. I’m just choosing to not let them ruin my day anymore. The people I missed 3 days ago? I still miss them so much it hurts. I just can’t let that keep me from moving on with my life. It’s okay to be annoyed. It’s okay to miss people. It’s not okay to stand in the shower crying for 20 minutes while your family waits on you for the bed time routine. (Guilty as charged). Will I be annoyed tomorrow by people? Probably. Will I miss the people I miss tomorrow? Definitely. Am I going to let it wreck my day? No way in hell.
2. It’s cold. I know I complained that it was too warm for December. It’s like Mother Nature heard my bitching because on Monday she blew in with the hand of God behind her. The temperature dropped from mid 80s to mid 50s. We said we were going to wait until it got cold to see Christmas lights because it just wasn’t the same sipping on hot chocolate when it’s 75 and breezy. So Monday, while the temps were well on their way to the mid 30s for a low we went to see the lights. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited in my life to wear a scarf and sip on hot chocolate with gloves on.
The bigger kids were loving it. Livie? Not so much. She had Daddy hold her most the time and said she was cold a few times. I’m definitely raising Texas babies.
So here’s the thing: we plan to do this together as a family every year. The Man and I pack up the kids, but so do his cousins and his mom and step dad go. It’s a big to do. I realize that the kids don’t see the big picture like I do and that’s okay. They don’t have to because I see it all the time. Tradition is a big deal in every family and this is one for us. The kids may bicker along the walk. Noses run. Cocoa gets spilled. The bigger picture? We’re all together and it’s Christmas.
My Christmas is back to being holly and jolly. Mission accomplished.
I just edited a few pictures from my phone (I decided it’s Instagram’s fault for my lack of real camera photos) with Christmas music playing in the background. Every year I look forward to Christmas time…the decorating..the music…the overall joy and cheer.
This past week kind of sucked the everything out of all of that for me. I did decorate on Friday but I just wasn’t feeling it. Even as I hit play on my Christmas playlist there wasn’t an excitement like previous years. I’m usually the girl who ONLY listens to Christmas music from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day. I usually have my gift list done by now and know what I’m getting for who. None of that is going on this year. I guess I can’t blame it ALL on this past week…I think this whole month in general has been just, I don’t know, meh to me. I’ve been in a funk and I looked forward to the week off work for me and school for the girls last week. I REALLY looked forward to a weekend alone with The Man for our anniversary. Neither went well for me and so I found myself in even more of a funk this weekend.
We were able to get out for dinner while my MIL watched the girls for a couple hours. It’s amazing what a couple hours out of an otherwise dubbed sick zone house will do for you. I was happy to just be out of my yoga pants and have make up on after days of finding new spots to cuddle sick babies every couple hours just to change up the day a little.
I joked with The Man that ya gotta be 11 years in a marriage and best friends to handle over a week of sick kids and being couped up with said sick kids. Alone.
But then Sunday? A ray of light. An inkling of a light at the end of the tunnel.
The girls felt well enough to sit outside for a little bit of fresh air and sunshine. The Man grilled burgers. The girls played with their toys a little. It was nice and NORMAL. I’ve been missing normal. And sure, they both passed out at 7pm because that wore them out after days of fever and no appetite. But today? Hannah is better. She’s been fever free and will probably go to school tomorrow. Livie is still running a fever when her Motrin wears off but in between she does get up to play and eat. The light at the end is getting closer and closer.
So in an attempt to get out of my November funk I decided on 2 things:
1. Stare at the Christmas tree a little bit more. A lot of our lights were burned out so I added a string of lights to make it brighter. Next year I’ll have to remember to add the extra lights BEFORE I decorate it.
2. Let go of things that have held me back this month. I’ve been sucked into The Avett Brothers lately and if you’ve not heard of them, look them up. There’s a song called Through My Prayers and it has been my anthem the past few weeks. It’s partly to blame for my late addiction to Christmas music this year. It’s always hard when the holidays come to think of people who have passed away or just simply left from your life. I’m telling myself it’s okay to think of them and miss them but still have a good, happy Christmas season.
So, with Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas playing I end this post with a quote I read on Kelle Hampton’s Instagram. I love it.
“No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are already standing on it. The treasure we seek requires no lenthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are.” Barbara Brown Taylor
I suppose sometimes it’s good in life to have to dig for things to be thankful for because when you start that process you’ll almost always realize that you don’t have to dig very far.
In fact, you don’t have to dig at all.
Hannah has been so sick all week long. What started as a slight fever on Sunday turned into a higher fever on Monday. By Tuesday we were at the doctor’s office and by Wednesday she was throwing up and nauseous. It’s Friday and she’s still sick with a fever and nausea which is due to some ridiculous stomach bug going around that lasts 7 to 10 days. Today is day 6 so we are all hoping she’s coming around to the end of it. Livie however began a fever yesterday so it begins again.
I woke up this morning frustrated. I was annoyed that Hannah was so excited to have a week off school and she spent it all in bed. I kept trying to tell myself that at least she didn’t have to miss a week of school because that would have been hard to make up but still. Even when I told myself that and believed it, I was still angry. I found myself thinking “This isn’t fair to her. It’s not fair to us.” Because in my mind, it’s never fair when kids are sick and it’s not fair to the parents that have to watch their babies suffer. Usually within a few hours of sulking I remind myself of all that we DO have and I remember how many people have things a lot worse.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t sulk a few times today when I thought about how our 11 year anniversary is tomorrow and our weekend plans of a nice dinner and a hotel are gone and replaced with a weekend of nursing sick babies back to health. I’m grateful that we CAN nurse our babies back to health and that all they have is a virus, yes. But I won’t lie and say that I’m still super disappointed at the way this week and weekend have turned out to be.
But with all of this going on, I decided I was going to decorate today for Christmas. Christmas cheer is what we all needed to feel better, I decided at 8 am today. By 9:30 I was in the attic pulling down boxes and by 11 our tree was up and my house’s halls were decked. I waited to put the ornaments on the tree, hoping that the girls would feel up to decorating it later on but they weren’t. Livie put a few ornaments on. Hannah slept through it.
Gotta get back to soothing upset tummies with broth and crackers but before I go, a few pictures from our week off. And believe it or not, Hannah felt ok for about 2 hours on Wednesday…long enough to squeeze in our family’s annual Christmas pictures. This year we opted to do them outside instead of in front of the Christmas tree. I have to admit, I wasn’t thrilled about loading all of the kids up and taking these photos outside. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a shoot outside. Once I finished editing them? I was so glad we did it. These are some of the best pictures of the kids and my girls ever. They are heart healing, to say the least.
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.
We started our week by baking cookies at Nana’s house.
Followed by Thanksgiving at The Man’s step mom’s house. Her table always looks so perfect. I love it. And? My very first pumpkin pie which came out perfect by the way!
The girls’ elves made their first appearance this morning. Hannah was happy to see hers even though she felt so sick.
And then? We decorated. Silver lining to our otherwise crappy day.
But like I said, this happened this week. The light in the stomach virus darkness.
The Christmas theme is up. Boom.
Two posts from me in a week?
Well, today is a special post that I’ve been waiting to write since my box of leaves from TWO friends showed up a few days ago. I grabbed the girls (Hannah was only partially interested this time around) and dumped out the massive amount of leaves and that’s when it hit me.
The smell of Fall. I haven’t smelled Fall in 11 years. I haven’t walked in crunchy leaves in that long either. My girls, until this year because I have amazing friends, have NEVER smelled or heard Fall.
I am so grateful for this.
Livie rolled around and ran through the leaves and threw them all over the place. I don’t even own a rake so clean up should be fun but I don’t care. I will never forget this and will never take for granted all things Fall (except raking lol) or wonderful friends who go out of their way to do things for me.
Thank you Jen and Randi. I needed this today more than you’ll ever know. And even moreso, my girls thank you.
I’ve stopped doing my Instagram blocks now that I’ve got a cute widget on my sidebar where you can see my pictures. You can always follow me @TheBecksB on Instagram too!
Every year Halloween is a huge production for us. It usually ends up with Livie crying, Hannah pouting, me yelling, and a handful of good pictures.
Well wouldn’t you know…it went pretty much the same this year except Hannah ended up crying and Livie was the one pouting. Oh, and I still yelled.
So happy Halloween to us!
As for the handful of pictures, here ya go.
And a side note: The Man complained about the time change happening earlier the past few years cause he thinks it’s lame to trick or treat in daylight. I disagree. The past few years have been awesome for pictures cause the light is PERFECT at that time of day. Whoever decided the time change needed to happen earlier in the Spring and later in the Fall? I love you.
I did think about all of my family and friends in Ohio and everywhere else up north who had terrible weather for trick or treating yesterday. Totally sucks and I’m sorry. I wish you could have all been with us last night
I got another box of leaves delivered this week. Stay tuned!
I’m not a writer. Sure, when I have a thought or intense feeling on something, most of the time I blog about it.
But I am not a writer.
I have friends who have written and published books. My favorite blogger has written and published a book. I will never write or publish a book. Why? Because I am not a writer.
I’m just me. A mom. A wife. A sister. A friend. Do I write? Yes. Am I a writer? I don’t feel like one. I guess in the same sense that just because I paint a room in my house it doesn’t mean I’m a painter. I might cook an awesome meal for dinner but I am not a chef. I consider myself more of a dabbler than anything else.
What I’m REALLY good at? Analyzing myself. I told a friend this morning that I’m awesome at “shrinking” myself. I pretty much know why I feel the way I feel on just about anything, even if I can’t figure out HOW to feel differently about it if I think I should.
Now how confused are you?
So today I was sitting at the kitchen table doing homework with Hannah thinking about my blog and I suddenly had an urge to write. No, I’m not a writer, but at that moment, I wanted to write. Except I didn’t know what I was going to write about so when we finished Hannah’s homework I told the girls “Okay. Let’s go outside. Y’all can play. I’m going to sit and think.” Today was a nice, Fall day. 85 degrees. No humidity. 1 lonely cloud in an otherwise perfectly clear sky.
The girls were SUPPOSED to be playing and I was SUPPOSED to be listening to them and taking pictures, attempting to muster up some sort of inspiration so I could write. Instead, they bickered and fought over the power wheels and I had to mediate between them. I even tweeted something like my inspiration was being smothered by fighting kids.
But then it dawned on me.
That was the inspiration I needed. Today I’m not writing about a perfect Monday. I’m not writing about a perfect weekend. I’m not writing about my perfect kids or my perfect life. Today I’m writing about reality. I’m writing about the fact that my girls fought for 10 minutes straight about anything they could and all I wanted to do was sneak inside and let them handle it themselves while I hid in my room. I’m writing about how I stayed up til 1 am and my alarm went off at 6:30 and I yawned pretty much all day while attempting to handle 7 one year olds with my mother in law all day. Today I’m writing about how I almost lost my shit after walking into Hannah’s room this weekend and realizing she and her cousin destroyed it.
I am not a writer but if I was I’d write a novel about the ridiculous things that have happened to me in my life. When I tell people they sometimes think I made things up or exaggerated.
I am not a writer but if I was I’d also write about how after my girls fought, Hannah pulled the sweet, big sister card and set up a make shift, not so safe but fun, slide for them to share.
I’d write about how Hannah does cartwheels and round offs all the time no matter where she is, outside OR inside.
I’d write about how The Man’s brother and his girlfriend surprised the family with a surprise wedding on Saturday. We were all gathered there for a cookout and I swear you could hear my screams of excitement in China after I realized why they told everyone to come inside for a minute.
I’d write about how The Man’s sister and I went and got tattoos last weekend in honor of our family trips to Vegas that mean SO much to me. We’re going again in 4 weeks!
I’d write about how much I still adore Instagram and that you should follow me there @TheBecksB if you don’t already.
But I’m not a writer.
Or maybe, sometimes, I am.
Remember reading those Choose Your Own Adventure books as kids? Even back then when I’d read them I’d always chose the path that seemed like it’d be easier. The ending was always happy because I gave up the thrill of picking the more challenging route but I was okay with that because a happy ending always trumped all else to me.
I’m still like this.
I haven’t blogged in 2 weeks about my life. I’ve been busy getting my classroom ready at my new job at our church’s Mother’s Day Out program. Hannah went back to school Monday. It’s been a hectic, really good, past 2 weeks and yet I found time to sit and think because I’m super good at that. I started thinking about where I’d be now if I had chose a different path in life. Usually when I think about that it leads me to think about NOT having The Man and NOT having my girls or his family and I stop right there because I can’t imagine my life without any of them. But this week I allowed myself to really go there…to think about what would be different. What if I had decided that I didn’t want to move to Texas with The Man? What if I wouldn’t have married him? What if I finished college?
My brain has the awesome ability to go off on these tangents and I’ll notice it’s been 30 minutes and I’m still sitting there picturing my life. Would my dad still be alive because maybe if I was up there seeing how bad off he was, I could have intervened somehow? Would my mom be as bad off as she is now because I’d be up there to help her more? Would I be happy being a nurse because that’s what I was majoring in in college? Would I still be in Ohio near my family and old friends or would I have moved elsewhere anyway just to get away? Would I have married my 10th grade boyfriend that I was so sure I was going to marry even after our sad break up? Would my senior year best friend still be my best friend? Everything in my life would be so very different. When you move away you change everything. All of the people that are in my life now here in Houston or online are because of the love I had for The Man and the very happy decision I made to move with him.
But what if I wouldn’t have made it? Where would I be now?
The blessing and the curse of those questions are that I have no idea. I’m not supposed to know.
When I read those books as a kid, after I finished, I’d cheat and go back and read the other path I could have taken just to see what would have happened. I sometimes wish I could do that now…not to ever go back and change the choices I made because I know that the choices I made brought me where I am today and I love where I am today…but I guess just to cheat a little, if you will, and see what might have been. I’m so grateful that at least I wonder that with pure curiosity and not disdain.
So there ya go. That’s what happens when I get lost in reading books and stay off Twitter. I end up thinking random things that end up all detailed when I didn’t mean them to be. Welcome to my brain.
So last week was our last week of summer break. We swam. We played outside. And Livie decided about 3 weeks ago that she wasn’t going to wear clothes anymore if she’s home.
And then school started and I couldn’t wait to hear about my 4th grader’s first day. She sent me a text from the bus saying “All most home!” and I smiled because it’s cute how she spelled that. So I became THAT mom who stands in her driveway waiting for her baby to round the corner.
So far she’s loving 4th grade and she loves her teacher. It’s a start, right? Livie starts Pre K 3 next week with me at my job. Dear time, please slow down. Thanks.
Friday (major catch up) Instagram:
I’m @TheBecksB if you want to follow me.
Who knows when I’ll have time or be inspired to blog again so in the meantime please follow me on Instagram or Twitter (you can find me on the side bar at each place!) and also? Read an Indie book. Or 5. Or 10. They’ll change your life. I’ve been sucked in but in a good way.