Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Typing my way into the New Year!

Christmas Eve 2013
Asleep on the neighbor's couch
11:00 p.m. 
She almost made it!

2014 is fast approaching; in fact, it may arrive well before I publish this post. While my younger two children sleep peacefully in their beds, Eliza and Henry managed to appeal to a somewhat reckless and irresponsible side of their parents as they are still at a neighbor's house for their annual New Year's Eve party. Having attended these past three years, Andrew and I have our own routine down. With treats in hand, our entire family arrives at 7:00 p.m. We snack and visit as best we can as we juggle a tired, yet super cute, baby. Finally Andrew offers to take him home for bed.

"How about you take Lottie as well?" I suggest. Being the super hero Dad that he is, he agrees. Meanwhile, Mom and Eliza settle in for games with the neighbors. Two more hours pass and I return home to switch Andrew places so he can return and socialize. Again, as I take in the late hour, I am having a hard time understanding how Eliza and Henry weaseled their way out of a decent bedtime! I am going to be kicking myself tomorrow for my lack of resolve.

Andrew and I will reunite close to midnight outside for what will be a stellar firework show. The best part is it happens right outside my front door. Andrew will forget to kiss me at midnight as he'll be caught up in the hustle and bustle of lighting fireworks (I used to TRUMP that level of excitement, what the heck?!) as I huddle with my friends underneath our stellar gas lamp patio heater to stay warm. On average, we use our patio heater once a year on New Years Eve.

(*Editor's note: The kiss happened! He totally remembered!)

And 2014 will begin.

Health, Love and Safety... these three wishes, these continued blessings, are the things I hope surrounds my family in the New Year. Well, a little prosperity sprinkled in wouldn't hurt either. ;) Seriously though, life has its ups and downs but when it all comes down to it I hope for more of the same.

Forrest was our great big BRIGHT blessing this year. He arrived safe and in good health to a family who LOVES him very much. We are so thankful to be Eliza's, Henry's, Lottie's and Forrest's parents. This year I want to savor our little ones and make the most of the teaching moments while they still listen to us! And, I suppose I should add, listen more to what they are saying and doing. Truth be told, they are better (little) people than I am. Andrew's car accident was a low point. His back pain continues to plague him despite rounds of therapy and two painful steroid shots. However, it's been an experience that has brought us closer to each other and to our Father in Heaven; but man I sure hope we steer clear (ha, get it?) of more accidents like that one.

Also, I resolve to build a huge stock pile of toilet paper as it seems we are always on the verge of running out. Before I get lost in additional resolutions, I need to catch up on our Christmas post. Better late than never...

Christmas morning finally arrived. And there it is.
As they take in the happy scene that awaits them, a magical suspense builds. It's weird when plans involving children actually work out. Forrest cried out at 7:20 that morning. Retrieving him from his room, he and I returned to my bed to nurse. Ten minutes later, Eliza, Henry and Lottie appeared... right on schedule.

Except, do you know what? There shouldn't be a schedule on Christmas morning. Time should stand still as you watch your little ones bounce down the stairs. As feelings of impatience reaches each of their expressive faces, it's okay to sit back and see if they will explode with anticipation. It's kind of awesome. I took my time as I put the casserole in the oven to bake.

"Extend this moment" I told myself as I slowed my pace a little. When I returned to my bedroom to join my family, I realized I had waited a few minutes too long.

Andrew had turned on a clip from the movie, A Christmas Story; which showed a fussy Randy crying over the fact that he was so thoroughly bundled in snow clothing. Something about this scene upset Eliza as she herself was in tears.

"Dad's making me watch a horrible show!" she reported.

"Turn that off babe! It's Christmas!" Cuddle with those kids and enjoy the wait!
 A few obligatory Christmas stairs pictures later, they were finally allowed into the Christmas room. Stockings, new underwear, presents and walnuts (just for you, Lottie) awaited them.

These photos were taken Christmas Eve, after Santa came.
 Eliza's note to Santa:
Dear Santa,
The carrots are for your reindeer. 
I wish you a merry xmas. 
Best wishes, 
Eliza Grace Flegal
p.s. I've been good :) 
p.s. the other stockings are in the living room

And what do you know...
He left her a note in return.

Dear Eliza,
Thank you for the treats and the Christmas wishes.
I agree, you have been a very good girl this year. 
I hope that you enjoy your gifts. 
Please remember Jesus today. 
Merry Christmas, 
p.s. I also left a gift in  your room.
 (here she is reading it)

Here are a few action shots:

Forrest received a grand total of ONE Christmas present. That's all you "need" especially when it provides so much joy DAILY. It occupied him the entire time the kids unwrapped their gifts. It was awesome and he is so darn cute when he bounces.
 And then there was Eliza,
 Oh my gosh! She got her own alarm clock! Can you believe it?!? She was thrilled.
Ninjago books are great, but he's had more fun with his new rc truck, legos and razor scooter.

Lottie didn't quite know what to think about all her presents. She would be excited after opening one toy but  suddenly she'd be forced to open something else?! Can we say sensory overload? However, to this day, she keeps asking if Santa is coming back again tomorrow. She is a huge fan of opening presents. Her klip klop stable and tea party set are among her favorites.
Thinking she was done opening gifts, Eliza returned to her bedroom to find a new zebra print bean bag chair and new bedding. She was pretty excited about that.
As for Andrew, Santa brought him lift kit for the Sequoia (here we go) and delivered Mom her first ever smart phone a few weeks before Christmas.

The final preparations on breakfast were being made as our first friend, and special guest, Peggy came over. We shared a delicious breakfast and the kids gave her a sweet little gift. It wasn't long after that our other friend Patti arrived. We had a nice visit as she too had breakfast. After having our fill, she showered our kids in gifts that were truly so thoughtful.
 Having them over added extra happiness into our home that morning.

Our afternoon began in Salt Lake where we met with my family to open gifts and enjoy a delicious lunch. I failed on the photo front but did find this cute photo of Forrest and my Mom.
My amazing Mom sifted through hours of home videos and had them organized and converted into DVDs for our families. The afternoon was spent watching hours of this footage; laughing, marveling and in some cases cringing as we watched our former selves in action. Hearing and seeing my Grandparents, for example, was an emotional experience. Needless to say, it was the surge I needed to recommit to my blogging effort. I hope, hope, hope these lines and photos bring a slice of that feeling to my kids down the road.

Christmas night was with the Flegals... where more amazing food happened. Nanna and Bubba gifted us with a super awesome blender. I'm pretty excited to explore all of its cool features. It was a Merry Christmas indeed. Here's to a bright new year to you and yours.


*Jess* said...

now that is a great Christmas :)

Vause Family said...

I LOVE that you had Peggy over! Happy new year to the flegals! We sure miss you!