Well, the cold weather left as fast as it came. It’s close to 70 degrees today. I guess we won’t see a white Christmas here (which is just jolly with me :)! But the rest of the house would probably love to see some of the white stuff. I think the boys may make their way west towards the mountains before the week’s end to play. If there is shopping or other indoor activities in the vacinity, the girls may go as well. Otherwise, we’ll stay here, and I’m sure we’ll find something to do.
The shopping is finished, the stockings are hung, the goodies are ready for Santa and his reindeer, and the kids are outside playing off the excitement and sugar rush. My youngest told me at breakfast that he just wants to skip today. I’m enjoying the day, sitting and talking and enjoying the calmness…before the storm of tomorrow.
We plan to go on a drive about in an hour to look at the Christmas lights around town. Then we’ll head over to a neighbor’s Christmas Eve get-together for a little holiday cheer and caroling. Afterwards, I hope that the kids can get to sleep at a decent time so that Santa can arrive and do his thing, then return home to get to bed at a decent hour as well.
It’s finally our Friday before Christmas break. The kids get out about lunch time. My youngest’s class had a holiday brunch to which the parents were invited (along with their baked goods) for an hour this morning. I was asked to bring a cake and/or bread, so I decided to make a loaf of my kids’ favorite (banana bread) and a loaf of my favorite (strawberry bread).
My mil arrives this evening and will stay for Christmas and a few days after. I’ve always looked forward to visits from my in-laws. They have always been wonderful to the kids and me. I have fond memories of my fil and miss him very much. We have visited Florida for many Christmases, and they have visited us when we’ve been overseas as well. But this year we decided to wake up in our own beds since we travelled south less than two months ago.
I am sure by the time the kids get home today, even only having been at school for a few hours, all three will be high not only on the thoughts of 12 days off from school, but on lots of candy and cookies. I hope the weather is good this afternoon so that I can send them outside to run off those sugary calories and energy.
We woke up to…cold once again. No snow this time, but it’s feeling like Christmas this first day of winter. We often travel at this time of the year, usually to Florida to see the rest of the family. I love sharing the time with all the cousins and in-laws, but this year we decided it would be nice to wake up in our own beds Christmas morning.
Today I have a little last minute shopping to do, stocking stuffers and groceries. I haven’t decided what to make for Christmas dinner yet. We usually end up eating candy and cookies for the better part of the day and are not hungry for a big meal, so I may make it a light meal this year. The kids have school today and half a day tomorrow, so I better make the best of the time I have today.
I Christmas shop all year long. When I see something I think someone would like, I get it and stash it in my closet. It doesn’t fail, however, that when December rolls around that I still have quite a bit of shopping to do. I have been running around all week from store to mall and am still stumped on a few people. I need to get packages in the mail this weekend, or I’m afraid our gifts will arrive after Chirstmas. That actually wouldn’t bother me too much. Receiving presents after the holiday or a birthday makes the occasion last longer.
I’m taking a break from the shopping right now but will be back at it in a little bit to hopefully wrap it all up. I’ve been reading some of my blog friends’ posts on my break. They are all so excited; it’s the Friday that begins Christmas break…in their worlds. It’s just another Friday night here at our house. Our “Friday” will be next Tuesday. We’ll have our regular activities this weekend, basketball practice, a swim meet, etc.
But for now, our Friday night activities are beginning. I’m off to drop off two of the kids to holiday parties. And then back to the shopping. Merry, merry.
Yesterday my kids all brought home their quarterly progress reports from school. The two youngest had straight A’s for the first time. They were so excited as they are usually disappointed because they’ve missed all A’s with one close B+. The oldest has made straight A’s several times, but this year seems to be challenging him a bit more. Honors English, French IV, calculus, swim team, and a girl friend will do that, I suppose. I am so proud of all of them, straight A’s or not. They all three strive for their best, and that’s all I can ask for.
So now they are motivating me a bit. With the new year coming, I am thinking of resolutions. I haven’t made any since I was a kid, but this year may be different. I haven’t been feeling the best for a little while, and I am hoping that all of that has passed. Now that I’m moving around more, I am hoping to get my energy back, plus a little more than before. I need to get back on the work-out wagon and take advantage of the family gym membership that we pay for each month. My goal is to get back on track with what I was doing in Guam. I was running 5-K’s, 10-K’s, or sprint triathlons at least once a month. I don’t think that I will find the variety of races here, but I will start by looking for one to use as a goal in a few months.
I think I’ll try something I haven’t done in years and put my resolutions on paper for 2009. Maybe if I post them somewhere and see them each day, I will remember what my goals are and be motivated to work towards them. It’s worth a try.
We could not live without our family calendar. It helps me keep all of our schedules together in one place so that we can adjust when activities overlap. I just added a couple more holiday parties and basketball practices and realized I will miss our oldests’ first swim meet Thursday. Our daughter has a choral concert the same night, and I missed her last one because of my surgery. So my husband will watch him splash his way up and down the pool while I listen to Christmas carols and take pictures for the school’s chorus’ scrapbook.
The kids, of course, are counting down the days (and probably the hours) until Christmas break begins. Here the schools don’t start the vacation until December 24, and it’ll last 12 days. A lot of the kids’ friends aren’t attending the 22nd and 23rd so that they can have that extra weekend before Christmas that we have always enjoyed with other schools. Because of their short break, my husband didn’t take too many days off from work this year. He’ll end up with 5 or 6 days coinciding with theirs. I know he’ll want to see snow (more than the flurries we may get here), so a few of those days may be spent in colder regions.
It’s been five weeks since my surgery, and I am feeling much better but know that I’ve lost some muscle. I went Christmas shopping this weekend, and my legs felt like I’d run a 10-K afterward. I need to start walking some this next week and then maybe I can start running again by the new year. I’m hoping to start a new workout routine and get back to the pace I was on in Guam a few years ago.
As I look at the calendar for next year, I know that we are going to be busy, with some of the same things and, at the same time, some new things as we prepare to move. I hope that we can all hold it together, especially me. I have been feeling the stress of the coming June since we got here last summer. I try to use occasions like the holidays and birthdays as distractions, so that we are not constantly talking about what, when, how, and where. I have dreamed of the day that we finally move back to Florida, but now I am letting the uncertain things like jobs and houses squelch the excitement I wanted to feel. I’ve got to think more about all the positives: the family that is going to envelope us when we get there, living closer to some of my relatives, the warmer weather, and just a 4 1/2-hour drive to Pensacola.
For now, I want to enjoy the last 6 months in Virginia. As much as we cannot wait until we get to Florida, we still have swim meets and basketball practices and Girl Scout meetings. And 8 days and 12 hours until Christmas!
My husband came home yesterday with a big packet of paper to fill out and said we needed to sit down with a calendar to plan out the next 6 months. It’s all for his retirement June 1. Ackkk! I’m here trying to figure out where to put the Christmas tree, and he needs to tell the Navy when and where and what and how much. I know the day will be here before we know it, and it’s a bit daunting. Even though the military life is not the most desirable at times, it does have its securities.
I will miss living next door to another military family who is going through the same life as we are. I will miss my children being quickly accepted at the school because we have lived in mainly military-saturated towns. I will miss being stationed overseas and the travelling associated with it. I will miss being able to be home when my children get out of school. I will miss our family’s tightness because of how often we’ve had to move.
I won’t miss the deployments. I won’t miss my husband being gone for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, summers, etc. I won’t miss moving every 6 months to 2 years. I won’t miss having 1/4 of our belongings in storage because military housing is sometimes quite small. I won’t miss having things stolen or lost with each move. I won’t miss worrying about where we’re going next and not enjoying the now.
I’m afraid that is what is happening here, at our last official duty station. We know we are leaving in June. We are gearing up to move for the last time with the military. We are thinking about the schools our children will attend next year, the jobs we need to find, the house we want to buy or build … everything about the next place. At times I feel as if we have been going through the motions to get through the 22 months we are here (with just 6 now remaining). My husband is not flying at this command, so he is a little antsy each day working at a desk. I am not volunteering in any of my children’s classrooms as they are all past elementary school starting this year. Thankfully the kids are just as busy as ever with their activities which is one norm that we all cling to. We love to watch them perform in the band or chorus or a sport. So that is how I am enjoying the now. I hope with the busy-ness and confusion over the next few months, we can enjoy more in our last little bit of time left in the military life.