I didn’t take a single photo on Christmas Day. And you know what? I don’t regret it. No pictures meant no adjusting camera settings, no asking people to stop and smile, no creeping around taking candids. I was able to just soak in the day with my family.
It was a wonderful day and it was a horrible day. Wonderful because it was low key and relaxed with all of our favorite traditions. Horrible, because every year we have more family members missing. It broke my heart not to get to be with our Kiwi family this Christmas.
While I missed Adalia as soon as she moved out, it was easy to be happy for her. She and Ben were young and in love, off to start their new adventures together. I felt the exact same way about Tilly. How can you not be happy when they are so happy? But now that Percival has joined the ranks, it’s hard. I want so bad to be an involved, hands-on grandma…but I live thousands of miles away on a different continent.
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Kiwis.
Because if you do, this is how you will end up getting to know your grandchild.
Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled we have things like Skype and Facetime…but that only goes so far.
We are smack in the middle of Christmas break here. We are taking things slow, day by day. We have tackled a few big projects that suddenly don’t seem so big where there is no school.
The girls thoroughly cleaned and decluttered their room on my birthday (thank you!) and the boys did the same yesterday. Earlier this week I cleaned out our entryway, removing sandals and slides (why were they still in there in December?) and anything that didn’t actually fit anyone. To give you perspective on that job, check out this post.
Yesterday I spent three hours organizing Mordecai’s IEP binder. And just when I thought I was done, I found more IEP paperwork. But now that mountain has been climbed and tackled. I had been putting it off forever, but we have a big meeting coming up fast and I needed everything in order. I used this method from Understood.org. It walked me through every step and it feels so good to know where everything is now! I also printed off the printables to keep me organized in the future.
Here are photos from (one of) our cookie decorating parties. The tamest one of the three we had was with the seven and under crowd. Avi and Tucker (both in sixth grade) and friends over on the last day of school before Christmas break and it was utter pandemonium.
But that’s okay, we’re all acclimated to chaos over here.
Then Enoch and Kalina had their friends over. I lost count of how many teens and young adults were over. Every time I walked upstairs there were more people, most of whom I had never met before. I eventually had to go to bed, but rumor has it that last guests left at 2:15 am.
We also had our annual Christmas Movie Night…but this year I got smart and we had it at my parents’ house.
I made these bacon and cheese wrapped chicken tenders. Oh. My. Go make them now, please!
I’m pretty sure my mom’s cat, Sequoyah, was getting ready to eat my face off. But I live with five teenagers. Nothing scares me.
Speaking of teens, how did I ever get blessed with so many beautiful and brilliant ones?
So there you have it. A big, ole’ holiday wrap-up from our big, crazy family.
Remember Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Kiwis!