Thursday, January 12, 2012

Twelve on Twelve.

Twelve snippets of my life right now.  Because I think that's about all I can handle.
  1. December was crazy busy, joyful, at times heartbreaking, and full.  We celebrated my dad's birthday with a fabulous surprise party, had a very successful retail season on the farm (weekends were nuts!), learned how to adjust to life with two Wee Skis during the holidays, and spent a ton of time together as a family. Jonathan even took a rare, full day off (the day after Christmas) which we loved having together. 
  2. My Uncle Tom (married to my mom's only sister, Darcy) passed away suddenly a few days before Christmas.  Mom, John Paul and I were able to find airline tickets to get us back to Iowa for the visitation, funeral and home early Christmas Eve.  A whirlwind trip in 55 hours with four flights, and more than 400 miles on the road.  My cousins and aunt have been on my heart nonstop, and am so grateful that they have years of great memories to fall back on as they adjust to a new normal.  I had the privilege of being able to lector at his funeral Mass, which meant the world to me. 
  3. I am so glad that I kept January's calendar relatively quiet, because it holds the 'overflowing' part of 2011 in it. Thomas has been fighting a fever the past few days, and his nightmares at night have returned. Thanks to the great power of Facebook, my friends gave me a ton of ideas on how to overcome we started by blessing his room with holy water (I read the blessing, he sprinkled everything in sight), gave him a special Cars blanket that protects him from monsters at night ("Lightning gets them") and a small flashlight to look for monsters, and talked a lot about how Jesus, the Holy Spirit and his guardian angel are always with him. I know it's awful to say, but it's a sweet change from his 100 MPH insanity when he doesn't feel well. "Mommy, will you cuddle?  I scared of cia-tees (coyotes) and monstas (monsters) are in my rooomer (room)."  His fever dropped today under 100.
  4. There hasn't been a spare moment anywhere.  Thomas has not wanted to sleep (see monsters above), so most days he's refused an afternoon nap.  The morning he was most sick, I turned around in my office at 5:10 am to find him standing there, wide awake. "Papa and John Paul sleeeeeping. You want hot chocolate coffee?"  Most of my normal 'work times' have been set aside to comfort him.  I wouldn't trade that for anything in the I'm working on dissolving my "mommy guilt" as I work late at night.  It actually hit me that I am not so much a 'stay at home mom' as a 'work at home mom' -- which both shocked me and made brilliant sense at the same time.
  5. The Mommy Police.  I struggled a bit with this last month.  I had a rare anonymous comment from someone in Everett who chastised me for "lying to my kids about Santa and his minion, the Elf on the Shelf".  At first, I thought it was a joke, and then I realized that this person truly thought that I was selling out Jesus for the commercial side of Christmas.  And then I was equal parts amused and annoyed. [Sidenote -- when offering "advice", have the courage to sign your name.  If you don't, you seem like a snarky holier-than-thou person who doesn't truly have the courage behind their conviction.  Which I'm sure you're not, because I am giving you the benefit of the doubt.]  I do appreciate that Anonymous was concerned for the boys and their eternal salvation, but seriously, these boys go to Daily Mass with me, love Jesus (as best you can as an infant and toddler) and LIVE ON A CHRISTMAS TREE FARM.  If I had it my way, I'd celebrate Christmas year round.  I relish the fact that I can say "Merry Christmas" to each one of our Sprouffske Trees customers and feel warm and fuzzy knowing that something we grew is helping thousands of families celebrate Christ's birth.  Santa originated from St. Nick (a little fist pump for our Catholic saints), so yes, my anonymous friend, we do talk about Santa. 
    /off my soapbox
  6. Where's the freaking snow?  We have been waiting and waiting and waiting, and it's not here yet.  We found a sweet snowsuit, hat and mitten for Wee Ski 2.0 at Animal Crackers, brand new from LL Bean -- for $9!  So of course, Thomas found it and put it on for one of our walks.  Welcome to my life.  Good thing John Paul is still fitting into his blue bunting ($8 at the Creme Brulee consignment sale!) and it keeps him cozy.  Perhaps I'm addicted to blue snow clothes with the boys' blue eyes.  I don't know.  All I know is that I CANNOT WAIT TO SHOOT MY KIDS IN THE SNOW TOGETHER.  Finally, the temperatures are dropping and it may come in a few days!  Right now, I'm settling for calling the frost on the farm "snow". 
  7. Just in time.  I had the chimney swept, the heating vent under the house cleaned and our dryer vent scrubbed and cleaned yesterday.  Things are in tip top shape now and I'm ready to blaze some fires in our wood stove.  And just like that, the temperatures dropped down last night into the 20s.  Just in time.
  8. December Daily.  I have enough to finish my album, I just need to find the time to do it.  I have hardly taken a single photo since the clock rolled into 2012, but that's okay.  I LOVE capturing the days of December and I shot tons of things throughout the month.  Pages to come!!
  9. Finian Road.  Wound down in the final days of December with a newborn shoot (that I'll actually blog!).  Lots of design projects are in the works:  sweet spiritual adoption posters for St. Charles, projects for Relay (for our team and the upcoming Mega Event Experience at the end of the month in Seattle), Lenten goodies for our parish, and the normal workload that happens at the beginning of the year.  It's a love/hate relationship with being busy -- especially with the boys at home.  But each day, I feel so blessed to be able to spend my days with them AND use my creativity to my heart's desire!
  10. My iPad.  An awesome gift from Jonathan for Christmas.  Hilarious that Thomas is a whiz at running it, and can pull up PBS Kids and change my music from the spa station on Pandora to his Cars soundtrack on iTunes while I'm in the shower (ugh to that second one).  I'm slowly becoming a Mac convert (said while writing on my Dell).   My favorite apps?  AllRecipes, Pandora, and IMDB.  Totally predictable. 
  11. John Paul is a growing tiny human.  He's eating all kinds of steamed veggies and fruits, making incredible messes, and is crawling like a madman.  He's not yet pulling himself up, which is totally fine by me.  He's learning how to get on Thomas's nerves, which Jonathan and I find hilarious.  The other day as Mass was starting, Thomas burped.  After a sharp mommy glare, I hear "scuse me, Mommy."  Then John Paul burped (stay classy, Wee Skis!) and Thomas glared at him.  "Mommy, he burped.  Needs to scuse.  Scuse you, John Paul.  SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  He's not quiet, Mommy."  Oh, child, the irony. 
  12. And a few shots from the end of December.  Love these.  Thomas pushing John Paul in the stroller.  I had to hang back a bit when Maggie had to take a break from walking on her bum leg.  Thomas picked up the stroller and pushed him all the way home. 

And my absolute favorite, as I cherish not having to deal with year-ending tax sales in the market before 1 pm on 12/31 anymore.

I was making dinner and looked out to find Thomas sound asleep in front of the TV, watching the market reports from the day.  Ahhh, how times change


KCina said... are back!! ;-)

Continued prayers for your aunt's glad you, JP and your mom could go back there....

Blows me away when people don't have the courage to sign there name... ;-(

Hang in there you guys...I have a feeling you'll be seeing SNOW this weekend!!!

Big hugs...K, C & V

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Such a sweet little catch-up.... Love seeing the John Paul has grown!! And, what a perfectly delightful little smiling face he has.

So sorry about Thomas's nightmares. Even as an adult they give me the hee-bee jeebies.... Poor little guy. Praying that all your efforts to tame the dastardly things will work for him.

Sending big hugs dear're a JOY.


Link Within

Blog Widget by LinkWithin