Thursday, January 2, 2014

All the Best Intentions

Why do the holidays always seem to fly by on a plane fueled with stress and loaded with unfulfilled plans?

It starts with Halloween. This year I was actually prepared. Ok, I'll admit I was only prepared because my mom gave Little Dude a Civil War costume for his birthday. But it worked. He made a handsome Union soldier. Even won the costume contest at our church's Fall festival. Little Dude was the North (the winning side, of course) and his cousin was the South (he can do a great rebel yell).

North vs. South

But when it came time to wear his costume to school, he opted for a ninja getup as he reasoned, "I don't want to get my costume dirty." And yet again I was (surprisingly) prepared.

I think he looks more like a mini Chuck Norris!

I had also planned to have the house decorated, the candy purchased and the pumpkins carved by Halloween night. Well, at least we had the candy purchased. My hubby ended up carving the pumpkins at the last minute because we were busy with Little Dude's soccer games and fixing my car after a truck slightly rearranged my trunk.

But it all worked out.

Trick or Treating happened. Candy was pillaged. And we got to meet a few more of our new neighbors.

Big Dude's handiwork.

Even Furry Dude gets in on the action!

Thanksgiving was next. A little different this time around as Big Dude's mom and my parents all left town for the holiday. Given my aversion to turkey, I tried to convince my hubby that the pilgrims could have eaten chicken tacos.

He didn't quite hold to the same creative historical interpretation, so turkey stayed on the menu. The only time in my life I've ever cooked the turkey was 7 years ago when I was cooking a little bird of my own. The morning sickness meant I spent more time leaning over the commode than the stove. So I wasn't prepared to cook the bird this year.

But it all worked out.

Luckily my sister-in-law offered to cook the turkey. My niece made the pumpkin pie. Hubby made he mashed potatoes. He asked his mom to make her awesome stuffing before she left town. I made the sweet potatoes and corn. And Little Dude set the table.

Then the race to Christmas began.

Why do I always feel like I lose the race?

I had the best intentions -- get Christmas cards out early so people would have our new address (I actually ordered the cards in October!), make family gifts, make Christmas cookies, decorate the house, put up Christmas lights, get all the presents wrapped right away and stowed under the tree, have a snow day, take Little Dude to see Santa, solve world hunger and give peace a chance. Um, well, you see...

Yeah, only a few of those things happened.

But it all worked out.

Little Dude did get to see Santa and play in the snow. It was the most magical Santa-filled weekend ever! And it snowed during our visit to the "North Pole" so he got to go sledding and have a snowball fight.

Top Row: L) Snowball fight! R) Holding his silver bell from Santa on the Polar Express!
Bottom Row: L) He helped the elves make the toys and then he tested the toys! R) One-on-one time with Santa. 

Other than decorate our tree, we didn't decorate much. And the Christmas cookies I planned became New Year cookies and then sometime-in-January cookies. I hurried up and wrapped all the gifts just a few days before Christmas. And we (Big Dude, Little Dude and me) all worked together to create at least one sentimental homemade gift.

But on the plus side the whole family worked together on the Children's Christmas program at church (Big Dude did sound, I helped direct the choir, Little Dude had a little solo, and even our niece helped with the choreography).

And although we had the best intentions, and our plans either didn't happen or were just seriously delayed (I blame the virus we kept sharing with each other), we still had a wonderful Christmas. We still kept an eye on what was important. And plans didn't get in the way of having some fun family time together.

Hope you had wonderful holidays and wishing you a wonderful 2014!