Our Holiday was...
...a surprisingly peaceful Solstice celebration and kickoff to the long weekend, and a perfectly cooked pork tenderloin, if I do say so myself.
...some last-minute secret making.
...the chance to get out into the long grass and play.
...a Christmas Eve-Eve meal of comfort foods with family.
...a brisk evening stroll through a park of magical sparkling Christmas lights.
...excitement and anticipation, opening stockings early, and the first of a few late bedtimes.
...the first of two very long nights with a sick Bubba wheezing on my chest.
...joy and gratitude from thoughtful gifts, some homemades even making the favorites list.
...Little Brother sleeping through said service on Mama's shoulder (sleep deprived from coughing all night long, no doubt).
...play with cousins and patient family members, the fastest (latest) bath there ever was, and bed in separate rooms.
...a second night of co-sleeping with a still-sick, congested, worn out Bubba.
...a stormy night and rainy Christmas morning.
...a flurry of gift giving, some beautiful surprises, and so much gratitude.
...a late morning and a hasty retreat back home under heavy gray skies.
...a quiet moment- finally back home- with a cup of fresh coffee, children and hubs sleeping, washing machine washing, fire crackling, family on their way, and the first snow in two years starting to fall.
...greeting family and friends for a big German dinner complete with pork chops, spaetzle, roasted beets and potatoes, fresh homemade applesauce, and a gingerbread cake from an heirloom family recipe accompanied by a glass of hot mulled wine.
...kiddos tucked into bed on time for the first time in three nights.
...sharp, cold winds and the dog sleeping on a cushion by the fireplace.
...apple strudel, coffee, one more round of opening stockings, and rediscovering the new treasures piled here and there.
...play with the family that spent the night, a quick stint with the sled on the shaded hills that retained their snow, and a lunch of re-purposed leftovers and hot chocolate.
...hot showers, long naps, and the slow recovery of our little guy following a restful, quiet night.
Our holiday was so much more than I had anticipated- more trying, more full, more peaceful, more satisfying, more appreciated, more balanced, more chilly, and more beautiful than any before... I think it might have something to do with how much more tuned in my kiddos were, this year more than any other. It was especially precious to me to watch that sparkle grow in my four-year-old's eyes as the holiday festivities commenced. The only blemish on the marathon was the terrible cough that settled on Henry Friday night and stuck with him, along with a low but constant fever, all the way through Christmas Eve night. However, he seems to be on the upswing, and aside from how hard it was for him to sleep, he never lost his sweetness or his happy smile.
I sit here this afternoon in warm sunshine, surrounded by piles and artifacts from our holiday travels and projects, savoring the feeling of being so tired but in such a good way. There are no plans, there is no pressure, there is just the four of us, a crackling fire, a bit of ice here and there, and lots of good leftovers.
It's a good place to be.
Wishing all a peaceful ramping down from all the festivities, and a happy winter.