Well, I went back to work yesterday so I feel like the Christmas holiday is officially over and I’m ready to share some of our fun. I know it’s not over for my girls – they still get to take a fun trip to their grandparents’ house before they go back to school, but we have plenty of fun to share now.
We all enjoyed spreading out Christmas fun over 4 days, especially since it meant the girls got to open gifts every day without even begging me to open some of their presents from us.
First up, my parents arrived on Saturday, followed shortly by my brothers’ families and my brother- and sisters-in-law. It was a fun crowd. My parents surprised me by getting me an awesome new camera that I couldn’t be more excited about! They brought it in for us to open right away so that I could start charging the battery.
Jenny was very happy to get her Nook from Grandpa and Boo-boo! She told me she was going to ask for one for next Christmas because she really didn’t think she’d get one this year. Now she never has to stop reading.
On Sunday we exchanged gifts with Lee’s family while my family was off watching the Steelers game. We got two awesome photo albums full of old pictures from Charlotte – we both love that sort of thing so much, so it was perfect. And another perfect gift from Justin and Nicole!
We followed up that fun with a delicious dinner at the Japanese steakhouse, followed by Brinky’s birthday cake (finally).
He was really focused on eating that cake.
On Monday we said goodbye to my parents and Justin and Nicole as they headed out for their next holiday destinations. And we had a fun Google hangout with Lee’s brother Marcus and his wife Jodi Ann since they couldn’t be here. I made the girls wait to open their gifts from them while they were watching. It was a fun way to spend time together even though they weren’t physically here.
We enjoyed a delicious Christmas Eve meal including plenty of food for vegans and non-vegans and then broke out the one Christmas Eve gift I give – Christmas jammies!
Finally, Christmas day!
Once they came down, they went straight to work opening their Santa gifts and gifts from us, along with gifts from Uncle Mario and Aunt Nicole who were still here celebrating with us.
Jenny studied the gift certificate for books on her Nook that Santa brought her.
Jenny got dressed so she could wear her new boots. She’s still going strong with that vest my mom gave her that she loves. I tried to say that she may not want to wear it every day, but she disagreed.
We also squeezed in a couple more fun family movies like Step Up Revolution and Inception. Perfect for the holidays, right? We packed a lot of fun into four days.
I’m following up my Christmas roundup with this week’s Celebrity Roundup at It’s Blogworthy tomorrow! Don’t forget to check it out (I’ll probably remind you.)Read More
Really where I’ll be today is at work, but that’s not as exciting as the fact that I’m guest posting over at KludgyMom today. A few weeks ago I read a post from Gigi’s Around the Bonfire series, “I Wish I Had Married My High School Sweetheart,” that really stuck with me because I did marry my high school sweetheart. So I contacted Gigi about writing a response to that initial post, and she agreed. Today it’s posted on her site, so go read it here!
And if you’re here visiting me from KludgyMom, thanks! If you’d like to read the story of how my husband and I met and started dating, it’s right here.
As I’ve mentioned, Jenny started middle school on Monday. I was worried about how this school year would start for her because middle school is such a huge change, and it’s, well, a huge school. She has six classes every day, including four core classes and two encore classes. The schedule for her encore classes is an alternating one, so she has to remember which days she has French and Art or PE and Computer Applications. She has so many supplies to carry around that it’s ridiculous. She’s gone from a 5th grade of around 100 kids to a 6th grade with 400 kids. And on top of all of that, middle school starts so early that she has to wake up at 5:30 to leave the house at 6:20. All of this is a major adjustment for her and us!
Jenny is a kid with such a great attitude though. She always has a positive outlook. And I’m very happy to say that she came home from the first couple days happy and excited about middle school. She’s told me about every new friend she’s made. She’s excited about her first project assignment. She cracks us up by telling us about how they “usually” do things even though she’s only been going to school there for a couple days. I feel like some kids come out of the first day of middle school already feeling like they hate it. But that’s not my girl, and I’m glad.
However, last night she couldn’t sleep and came in our room to talk to me at about 10:00. She was in a panic, almost hyperventilating, because she left her planner at school yesterday. She’s pretty sure she left it in her art class. And she was just so worried. I calmed her down, explained that she couldn’t do anything about it last night and gave her ideas about how to approach it when she gets to school this morning. It seemed to help some. And then she told me about more of her worries. One of her best friends hurt her feelings yesterday by making her feel like she was her second choice when deciding where to sit on the bus. Another best friend doesn’t have any classes with her and she feels like they’re losing touch with each other. She’s not sure how to handle a friend she’s not really very close to who acts like she’s her best friend. We talked about the fact that a lot of jealousy is due to the fact that she has four friends she says are her best friends and then when they say they have other best friends it bothers her.
None of this stuff meant she’s not doing well with middle school. To me these were all normal worries.
My one good thing this week? The fact that she came and talked to me. She sat on the side of my bed for 45 minutes while I patted her back and played with her hair and just listened to her and reassured her that these are normal issues, and everything’s going to be fine. I hope that she’ll keep talking to me like this. And I told her that as I told her one last time that she really needed to head to bed and get to sleep. I said, “I’m glad you talked to me about your worries. I’m proud of you. You know you can always talk to me.” And I hope it helped.
(I know this is far from a good picture, but it’s my girl smiling and laughing and being silly, and it makes me smile.)Read More
Brinky’s been having trouble going to sleep at his regular bedtime lately. So sometimes we have some late evening fun. He was being so cute Jenny grabbed the camera and asked me to take some pictures.
Isn’t he so pretty?
Look at his little curls.
I didn’t even care that he was supposed to be asleep.
This girl was playing with him, too. And trying to avoid the camera that she brought into the room.
I love this picture. It just makes me smile. So does this next one.
Do you like his attempt at smiling for the camera?
I’m having fun with Essence of Now again this week!
Yesterday we celebrated an anniversary. Not my blog anniversary (though that happened a couple weeks ago without me even realizing it), but our wedding anniversary. We really don’t make a big deal out of anniversaries, especially our wedding anniversary. If I’m being honest (I try to be), I’ll admit there has been at least one year we both completely forgot our anniversary. Like completely – and randomly realized it two months later. I’ve told the story before of how we met and started dating, way back in high school. So by the time we got married, several years later, we didn’t really feel like it changed our relationship. But sometimes it’s fun to celebrate! Especially because the girls enjoy it.
So we celebrated a little bit yesterday. But we celebrated the way we most like to celebrate. By spending time together. And I got some bonus time because my boss, who is generally awesome, was even more awesome yesterday. We were talking after lunch and I mentioned that it was my anniversary, and he sent me home early! He wanted me to have extra time with my family. Who would turn that down? So I headed home and had some bonus time with Brinkley while Lee worked on his book and the girls were at art camp. The extra time Lee had to work meant that he was available in the evening for fun family time, which involved picking up dinner from one of our favorite restaurants and watching the Olympics. It may not seem like much of a celebration, but it’s our kind of celebration.
Reagan took a picture of us. Doesn’t that look like thirteen (married) years of happiness?
Linking up with Julie and Greta for #iPPP: