Happy Monday! “Happy” right? I mean some of you are probably still riding the vacation train this week, while there’s a few of us in Southern Maryland that had to set the alarms last night. This morning’s wakeup call came pretty early and when I saw the peaceful version of my two year old nestled beside me, I just wanted to stay under the covers a little longer today. Like every year, all the Christmas prepping, decorating, shopping, and baking came and went all too fast. I know you can relate. This year, I’m happy that we focused on what is most important by creating memories that we can all cherish as well as adding in few new Christmas traditions. In no particular order, here’s the highlight and blooper reel from Christmas:
It’s Better to Give, Than to Receive
Some of you may remember my sappy post from Thanksgiving and how emotional and thankful I was for all our blessings. If you didn’t get a chance to read that post, you can check it out here. Anyway, writing a blog to say you’re thankful doesn’t quite cut it. What’s that saying? Actions speak louder than words. I knew I couldn’t do this on my own. So, I posted on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in adopting a family this Christmas and seven other family members, friends and photographers eagerly said “yes”. Everyone’s generosity was so overwhelming that the back of my SUV was completely filled with Legos, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, cars, board games, arts and crafts, clothing and gift cards! Giving back is going to be on the top of our priority list throughout the year. Thank you to those who helped make this family’s Christmas. There’s no way I could have done this alone and you all opened your hearts and wallets so generously.
Deck the Halls…with Updated Portraits, That Is!
We have these beautiful and super functional shelves (that my husband built, of course) for displaying large framed photographs in our hallway. Our children are growing up too fast and their expressions and looks change almost daily. So, for the holidays, I gifted myself some new wall art and canvases from our most recent family portraits. Don’t you worry, there’s a blog coming soon about our own family photo session, and what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera.
Our First Gingerbread House
Of course like all of our great ideas, a new tradition for us came about while perusing our favorite store…Target. I don’t know what it is about that store, but we just cannot go in and leave with exactly what is on our list. So, as we walked through the holiday aisles, my husband spotted the Gingerbread House Kit and got all nostalgic about his childhood and their tradition to decorate one as a family. At this point, I’m looking at him perplexed that in our 10 years of being together, this is the first I have ever heard about this. Did he make this up? Did this happen ONE time and now he’s getting all sentimental on me? I don’t know, but at this point, I’ve got a 7 year old happily and LOUDLY cheering to put this Gingerbread House in our cart.
Of course, we were all eager and excited until the icing didn’t quite hold the roof on. My teammates (Justin and Jordan) abandoned the mission, and the house and all its messy glory sat out on our kitchen island, two days too long, still half decorated. If you know my husband, you know that he is slightly OCD and the kitchen island is the absolute one place that must be spotless or he will go bananas. So, I surprised them both with a clean house (and kitchen island) and a finished Gingerbread House. One point for Mom!
It May Have Been an Exorcism
Every Christmas Eve, my husband, our children and I attend mass with my in laws. When no one is around or the pressure is off, Tristan is one of the sweetest, cutest, little blue-eyed, wide grinned, little two year old boys you’ll ever meet. However, just as we are walking out the door or into another door, or someone looks at him the wrong way or maybe the right way…HE LOSES IT! So, here we are in church on Christmas eve, with our kids quietly tucked away in the toy area, when out comes Tristan pushing a baby doll stroller in the front of service! A few people couldn’t help but chuckle, as I made the walk of shame to collect our son and whisk him and his stroller away. It wasn’t but a few minutes later out he walks again but this time with one finger over his mouth to tell his PopPop and Nanny to “shhhh”. So, I take his little hand and escort him outside the side door to put him in timeout. This is when he proceeds to yell at the top of his lungs “MY DADDYYYYY! MY DADDY!” again and again and again. Eventually, he calmed down, apologized with the cutest little “I’m sowry” and took my hand to walk back in with better manners. That would last all of 5 minutes and out we would go to the timeout wall where the screaming for “My Daddy” would commence. For anyone who’s thinking it’s a parenting issue, I will stop you right there. 🙂 I too, used to see parents of crazy, wild children and think, “Wow, they really have no control over their kids. Our kids will NEVER behave that way.”. Ohhh, how I stand corrected. This little boy will give any parent an absolute run for their money. We have rules. We are consistent and we have patience, but this little one is here to melt our hearts and crush our souls all in the same breath. (Maybe that was a little dramatic. haha) Anyway, so probably after the 5th trip to timeout, I decided it was best to stay outside for the remainder of church. As things wrapped up, the priest walked out through the door closest to Tristan and he gently pet Tristan’s head as he passed by. It wasn’t two seconds later that Tristan begins to scream as loud as he could “HE HIT MY HEAD! MY HEAD! HE HIT MY HEAD!”. Thankfully, we all laughed it off that it may have been an exorcism.
And that folks is how the Lutz family enjoyed the holidays this year!