In the last week so much has happened, so many things I really want to write about. But first, I want to pay homage to the small and large victories that lie within these family driven holidays.
A small soapbox moment, two thing things: family is who/what you make it and holidays don’t have to be celebrated traditionally (despite the Hallmark pressure).
The week before Christmas I was a little grinch-y. I recall giving my Mom so much sass when she wanted to talk about Christmas presents for the kids. I was not nice. I turned down a gift, a thoughtful gift because I was in the trenches. Really, all I could think about was getting through the day, buying diapers and milk, and making sure everyone was fed and bathed. We are talking bottom level Hierarchy of Needs stuff. I cried on that phone call after I snapped at her. I knew Christmas was coming and there was no stopping it, ready or not. And people, my Mom especially wanted to make Christmas special for the kids.
I was conflicted. I hope people will relate. I struggle balancing two thoughts. 1. Our house being DISNEYLAND to these kids, but what a let down when they leave. And 2. There life is so tough right now, they deserve to be SPOILED (in the least, loved more than ever). I don’t know which side wins out, I generally play devil’s advocate to whatever thought is winning at the moment.
This debate ended when I received a message from a college friend. We were both athletes (I don’t want to identify her, in case she wishes to remain anonymous…I never asked), we didn’t play together but when you are an athlete at Campbell University (stoplight town) you are in a very special sorority of athletes and you are all friends. Can I get an Amen? Anyway, haven’t talked in years but the blessed Facebook can really help people keep in touch. I got a message saying she wanted to buy a Christmas gift; specifically the kitchen (no strings attached, just wanted to do it if I was cool with it–she said “your call”….which speaks to my need to control). I did what I call a brave thing and I said yes. I threw pride out the window weeks ago. To make this Christmas magic happen we were gonna need some help. Then some other wonderful friends made a big offer to be Santa for the kids. We had found a letter K wrote to Santa (she is 8, she wanted a pink Lamborgini…me too chickadee…actually I want a minivan….but same diff), she included a request for a tablet. In that moment, I realized these kids were gonna get the things they wanted. And it wouldn’t be because of me. With a strong need to fix things and make it all perfect, I am humbled when God uses others and lets me sit down.
H is 2, Santa could of brought him a box and he would of been in heaven. However, the workbench was a hit. He hammered everything–
A L L D A Y
Then there was stuff shipped from our families and friends. Clothes, books, toys galore (which is good because we were super limited on the toy front–refer to the Hierarchy of Needs). Then we went to Costco on 12/22 and bought one of everything else. Our playroom (which was our living room) is #blessed.
We did Christmas Eve service where the kids outnumbered the adults followed by a fabulous Chili dinner at MB’s. Her kids have made it into the circle of trust. K, M, and H love them and demand all of their attention (which they give…so sweet).
Christmas morning was magical. There are so many mental pictures I wish I could share, just know I cried a lot of Happy Tears. K exclaimed it was the best Christmas of her entire life (heartstring conflict). For a little while, I think they forgot the chaos they were in the midst of, what a gift.
All day, Meg and I would lock eyes beaming. It was magical. They even napped. Bless it all.
I already posted this on Facebook but Megan and I found a letter left on the desk written on construction paper. Its hard to read but it says, “Thank you for all you have done. I love you so much. From the stars, the moon and the sun back to earth. Love, K, M, and H”
I didn’t need anything else. What a beautiful thing, I had no wants or needs. I didn’t unwrap single present that day and It was the most full my heart had felt.
We had a fabulous weekend including the Georgia Aquarium, riding Marta, and a trip to our framily’s house in Augusta for a few days (more on that in another post). We partied on New Years and made it to bed before 8pm.
There were still low parts during theses 2 weeks (I even asked Meg how many more days until school) but such is life. This post is meant to celebrate the victories and the people who have loved these kids (and us).
We pray this New Year that we will be blessed so we can bless others (which has always been my hope and prayer) and that people in our life feel supported and loved by us. Amen.
Here are a few permissible photos for your imagination to ponder on.