pictured: christmas twenty fourteen

Lucy and Rowan, Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Lucy and Rowan

And Clara, on the move

Christmas Eve Clara, on the move

Christmas breakfast

Christmas breakfast

The fambly, all together

Family photo, more or less

Reading the Christmas story

Bookworm family

Lucy got a doll and she loves it.

Lucy's new doll

Rowan got Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.

Rowan got Cars and Trucks and Things That Go and he was THRILLED

Happy happy Clara

Clara is having fun

And now on to twenty fifteen!

christmas break

Hello friends. I’m taking a break for Christmas, but I’ll be back in January. Happy Solstice! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! I hope you enjoy the festivities you celebrate at the darkest time of the year.

Love,

Annemarie

deep breath out

Today was a giant relief on many levels. The biggest one is that at this moment, my living room is really quite clean and tidy and you would not believe how much easier I breathe when everything looks like it’s supposed to. It is astonishing just how difficult it is to do basic stuff like shower and clean and cook with the current assortment of small children – it’s probably at its most challenging. It won’t last – I expect that it will be considerably better in six months. I’m doing my best to hold on to the lovely things about the final moments of Clara’s baby time, and Rowan’s toddler time, and Lucy’s preschool time (kindergarten is basically preschool, let’s be real) because I know that I will blink and it will be gone, just like the entire last difficult, amazing, awful, wonderful year. But you guys, one day I will be able to have enough of a brain to read real books again, and clean my house on the regular, and maybe even have the energy to work out and eat properly. O glory and trumpets.

The other giant relief is that during my mama time off, I got my eyes checked and I was right. They’ve devolved since before Clara and I need glasses now. I picked some green ones from this company, and they’re totally flexible, like Lucy’s baby glasses were. The company makes children’s glasses too, so I’ll be getting some for Lucy next time hers need replacing. I went here, in case any local people want a good optometrist or children’s optician (in addition to Whitworth’s, downtown, which is also fantastic). You can hold your breath for a week until I get them and post a picture.

I am not quite yet relieved about tomorrow’s Advent narrative, as it’s not finished and I am in the wrong headspace to work on it. I keep looking at it and feeling annoyed, and I’ve written enough of these sorts of things to know that it will feel right at some point, but good grief I am nearly out of time. Being a works-best-under-pressure sort of person is great in terms of the efficiency with which I can crank out my writing when crunch time strikes, but I do feel like a pressure cooker getting up to pressure right now.

If you can believe it, I’m on top of my game for Christmas. The to-do list is ticking itself off merrily and the gifty knitting proceeds apace. I love the stuff I’m giving this year – I obviously am not going to spoil things for the grown-up literate people who read my blog, but the kids are getting Wedgits, this fire station, and bugs in a jar. I leave it to you to determine who is getting what. I have a plan for my baking, we have an itinerary for our road trip, and the Christmas cards should be ready to mail on Monday, provided I can find my return address labels. I feel that return address labels are a true sign of adulthood – I have learned to prioritize my time, and writing 100 return addresses is not a valuable use of time.

I have a post percolating about the dichotomy between Advent and the festive season and how I am working through that, particularly in relation to the small ones, but it is not ready to be written yet. Soon, I hope.

Happy second Advent!

merry christmas, mrs scrooge

This year, Christmas isn’t lighting my tree as it has in the past. Rowan mostly just tries to eat the lights on the tree and Lucy is convinced that Jesus is coming to celebrate Santa’s birthday (sort of – her interpretation changes every day). Sam is as low-key as ever. And despite our decorations, I keep forgetting that it’s one week till Christmas.

We had our annual party last week and it felt a bit flat to me. A lot of energy goes into hosting a party like that and I didn’t get much energy out of it at the end of the day – another anomaly. We’ve been in church for every Sunday of advent, but church with two kids isn’t a time of spiritual reflection, it’s a scramble of spilled Cheerios and whispered books during prayers and feeding offering envelopes to the baby in hopes that we can all get through the service. It’s a normal phase of life but it’s not a lot of fun.

Is this sounding whiny? I’m not particularly upset. I believe in seasons – the seasons of the calendar and liturgical years, obviously, and the seasons of the heart as well. Sometimes those seasons can change over the course of a day, and sometimes they change slowly over years. This might be part of my transition to being a card-carrying adult, or it might just be a blip in my usual modus operandi. It’s not worth it to fight how I feel and make Christmas into a giant deal. I’m doing yoga daily and I adore it. I’m playing Christmas music and I printed off a fun little nativity¬†for Lucy to play with. It’s just not a big deal around here this year, and it’s nice to just rest in the calm.

In a few years it will be more difficult to keep things low-key, as with every passing moment my children are more heavily influenced by forces outside the will of their parents. So I’m enjoying spending this season on my yoga mat, and to be honest it feels more advent-ful than previous years, for me. We’ll see if this has any bearing on the annual January doldrums that I dread with every fibre of my being.