Anyone else sad to see the holiday season come to an end but, at the same time, happy to see life settle down a bit? That’s how I’m feeling right now. I LOVE the Christmas season. It’s my favorite by far. But, from October 1st – January 1st it seems like my world is going 10xs faster than usual.
Our Christmas Season
Every year I say I’m going to slow things down so I can enjoy the season more…and every year I feel like I kinda fail.
I did start a tradition in 2018 of getting together with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law at my home to bake cookies with the kids. We did that again this year and it was a lot of fun. We made these cool “Chewie” cookies with our gingerbread men that my Gideon was SO excited about!
I’m starting to realize that during this busy quarter of the year if I don’t get it scheduled and on the calendar, it just won’t happen.
We put up our tree 2 weeks later this year. In years past we have always taken it down within a few days of Christmas ending and almost always before New Year’s Eve, but this year I’ve left it up and have enjoyed it. Orin and I were also talking just yesterday about extending the Christmas season beyond Christmas day. Growing up in our families, after Christmas day that was basically it. Christmas was over, time to wait for next year.
But, upon joining a new church and denomination, we’ve become more aware of the traditional church calendar. I recently had a good Catholic friend tell me that they don’t even begin to sing Christmas hymns until AFTER Christmas. For Catholics and those following a more traditional church calendar, the Christmas season extends into January when it ends with Epiphany.
It’s a new concept for us and one we’ll be looking into further, but I’m loving the idea of using the time after Christmas to continue celebrating the birth of Christ. Seems like a no-brainer to me and a way to include some other great traditions with our family.
FYI – if you’re wondering why this photo only has 4 of my 5 kids — the toddler refused to stand for a picture. He was more interested in the new slide he received on Christmas morning. And, I can’t blame him. I would have been excited too!
I made sure to take a photo of just him later in the day playing with some of his new toys, but, toddler life, just about every photo is blurry because this boy never stops moving!
Somewhere during that busy season, I had an ultrasound to check on baby and find out the gender. It started with a huge fiasco at our local hospital where I was quoted one price on the phone when I booked the appointment, showed up, and they wanted to then charge me DOUBLE that price. Oh yeah, I also forgot to mention that the day before I found out they had booked an appointment an hour EARLIER than what we’d originally said on the phone and my husband now had to leave work early to be there.
It was such a frustrating experience with the hospital and just reminded me again one of the reasons I love the personal and much better service you get when having a home birth. We left without the ultrasound and my kids (and Orin and me) were pretty disappointed. Okay, a lot disappointed. But, when you’re talking about a few hundred dollars, it’s a big deal.
I came home and instead called one of those local places that offer ultrasounds to determine the gender and she got us in THAT NIGHT! She was the best and for anyone local, I highly recommend Belly Vision Ultarounds. It ended up costing us way less than what we would have paid at the hospital.
And we found out that we’re having a BOY! Our 4th boy! Yes, the girls were a little disappointed and the boys were elated, but the girls surprisingly seemed even less disappointed this time than last time. They are genuinely excited to just have another little baby to love on and snuggle. I think they also have just started thinking, oh well, better luck next time, ha ha.
Yeah, so those who have known our family for a while probably already know the answer to the name question. No, we do not have a name picked out yet. Boy names are much tougher for us than girl names. We’ve had a girl name picked out since our last girl, but really struggle when it comes to naming our sons. We have a few we are tossing around, but nothing concrete yet. Got any suggestions?
What’s to Come in 2020
You know, I don’t blog as much as I used to. It’s not because I don’t like to, because the opposite is true. I really enjoy the time writing, but it’s finding that time that is so hard to do these days. I’ve wanted to tell the news about baby’s gender for weeks and I am just NOW finding the time to sit down and write this post.
I miss writing about life though. I share a lot of recipes and cool products when I get the chance and that has infringed on my writing about life. I’d like to do better in 2020 about that though, so maybe this is a New Year’s Resolution? We shall see if I can find the time to stick with it!
I realize I have started posting fewer pictures because we live in this digital Instagram age where every picture has to be perfect. And I hate it. So in this post, I’m sharing my favorite photos from the last few weeks, even the ones that are not “Instagram worthy.”
I’m going to try to be better about sharing more photos this year, even the ones that aren’t “perfect.”
Liberty our not-so-little Saint Bernard puppy is growing. She’s huge really. Our backyard fence was just competed a few days ago and that has helped me tremendously. (Huge thanks to my amazing husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law who helped with building it.) No more walking her numerous times each day! The only bad thing is that it’s a mud pit back there right now so every time she comes in she needs to be wiped down. A lot. You win some, you lose some! At least I’m not out in the cold weather anymore!
Although there was debate about changing her name, looks like we are sticking with Liberty, although I like to call her Libby. She is fitting in well and everyone loves her.
Let’s Get Personal
If you want to see more about our personal life, make sure you follow me on Instagram. I’m trying to post more to my Instagram stories about everyday life. You can also join my Facebook group. I haven’t always been great about updating there but I’m going to try to do a better job in 2020. Facebook used to be a place I loved to go to talk with other moms and with the algorithm, it really changed that. I’m hoping the group will be a better place to have these conversations again!