* You sleep through the alarm/music for over an hour.
* You only put up Christmas decorations that you can set out in less than 10 minutes.
* You go to Target & only get what's on your list
* You pay for your purchase, grab your bag, but leave the cart in the check out line.
* It takes three hours for you to remember to turn off the van that you let run so the battery that was dead when you tried to take the kids to school will recharge.
* You forget to eat breakfast and don't remember until you realize you forgot lunch too.
* You have to constantly be nibbling on something to keep yourself awake
* You realize it"s been 2 days since you slept in your own bed and not on the floor in the baby's room or in a chair between downloading 4,000 photographs
* Your 17 month old who rarely sleeps more than 2-3 hours at a time actually sleeps through the night and so do you.
I'm sure there are more, but I'm too tired to remember them!
Thankfully life is about to get back to normal for us. No more working every.free.second.during.the.day and much of the night too. With PapaBear and I both working and no childcare for Elsa, November was hard. Due to my laptop crashing the day after Thanksgiving and each of us coming down with the stomach flu, the first week in December was hard as well. So hard. But at midnight last night I hit "order book" on the biggest blog book I've ever done. 2,161 photographs in 440 pages on the heels of one of the hardest books I've ever had to design felt similar to when I hiked the entire Inca Trail in college.
But I gotta tell you, the view is amazing!
I did it. I finished my 2012 projects and have the rest of the year to be the mom, wife, friend, sister, & daughter I should be. So what in the world am I doing on the computer? Well I almost didn't sit down here in the same chair I've been camped out in with my desktop propped up next to me, the keyboard on my lap, and the mouse positioned on a book so I can do what I set out to do with this blog almost 6 years ago....record some memories!!! I make books for so many other people and even though I've yet to make one for myself, I knew that at least I had the memories preserved until I found the time to make the books, but that's not the case lately. I'm not writing anything down! And based on the list above, I'm way too tired to remember anything if I don't! So I'm here with AliCat curled up at my feet to write about our Advent season so far....
Saturday, December 1st we went to the ArliDazzle in Arlington, MN. It was the perfect way to start the Christmas season! We will definitely go back next year with the proper attire to stay for the 1 1/2 hour lighted parade down main street. The 2nd we went to the Dino Exhibition at the Convention Center. Elsa wasn't a big fan but the older two loved it! They also loved the skyways. Go figure.
I was still working every spare moment but wanted to make things as memorable for the kids in the meantime and that meant it was time to get our Christmas tree! There is a place that sells Wild Balsams from Moose Lake, MN close by and we have been getting our tree there for years. As much as I love the experience of going to a tree farm, this is much easier, the people are super nice, & the trees are much cheaper. This year our 10 foot tree cost $40. (Last year the same tree was $55 - just depends who's working that day!) When we got home Monday afternoon there was a package from the North Pole by the front door. Inside was a book about the Elf on the Shelf explaining that we would have a visitor in the morning. That night we went to our local ECFE's gingerbread party as a family where we spent an hour and a half doing crafts and playing together. It was good to get out of the house!!!
That night Santa delivered an elf & a letter explaining what the Elf's job was. I was so thankful to have found a website that ties the true meaning of Christmas into the Elf on the Shelf concept. The kids were amazed to find the elf in the morning and decided to name him Red Fred Elf. Tuesday night we set up the tree and our nativity set. I have been incorporating the book called The Crippled Lamb into the process of setting up the nativity and like always, I get so choked up at the end of the book. Later that night we randomly watched Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. As I was pondering what to do with the elf that night the conversation I had with PapaBear's cousin, Marla, popped into my head. Their family woke up with red noses that morning compliments of their elf. I also got to thinking how the Crippled Lamb, Joshua tied into the story of Rudolf and so to make sure the kids got the message as well, Santa delivered another note to the kids the next morning ensuring them that God had a plan for them too!!!!
Wednesday's advent activity didn't go as well because Sam was super tired and the cinnamon tree ornaments were hard to construct. They did like the movie The Three Trees from Tommy Nelson that you can see on Youtube though.
Thursday was St. Nicolas day so we hung our stockings by the fireplace and got out my holiday rubber stamps to decorate paper stockings. We watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation after Elsa went to bed and I don't think I've heard Sam laugh that hard in a long time. I had to be on the ball so I could have them cover their ears quite often, but those giggles made it worth it!!
I'm making up our daily activities as we go so who knows what the rest of the Advent season will bring but when we lay our heads down on Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa's house it warms my heart to know that we will have spent this time together celebrating the gift of a savior.
Do you have an advent traditions in your family? I'd love to hear them!