Merry Christmas! I’m using this blog post as an excuse to get away from the family and sit in my room with just a cat and the laptop. I’m overwhelmed. There are twelve of us here, my own family of nine plus Brittnee, Michael, and Seth’s friend John. The talking, food-eating, doors opening and shutting, sneezing, and mess have finally caused me to crack. Rich asked me if I was okay and I said, “No” and started to cry and then I felt bad because it made him worry unnecessarily, YES I AM OKAY, I just need to cry and type for a little while.
I did the cry part now I’m doing the type part.
Dear little children who will be reading this sometime in the future, I AM FINE and I LOVE YOU. Wasn’t Christmas lovely? Let’s look at some photos and remember it……..
Seth and Sarah opened our bedroom door at 6 am and walked briskly to my side of the bed and said “It’s 6:00 and time to get up, It’s Christmas!” Then, they left and the two of us dozed for half an hour longer, I was trying to keep my mouth shut. I was curious who would get us out of bed, me or my husband……finally I cracked (I see a theme here) and said, “Just so you know, I’m not saying anything because I’m waiting for you to say it’s time to get up.” So he said, “Get up”. I got up and made coffee while he continued to not come out of the bedroom!
Rich loves Christmas so much that he doesn’t want it to begin right away. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself………..
Okay, he just came back in the room (he dared)….he had a note to give to me, so I took the opportunity to ask him why it takes him so long to appear on Christmas morning and he said:
- “I know once I come out we will begin and then it will be all over.”
- “I can hear the excited voices chattering and I like to hear them.” (he started to cry here)
- “And third, I always write your card on Christmas morning.”
Obviously I have the best husband in the world……….
The note he gave me said, “Shanda Lynn, I understand my love, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, too. Please enjoy some nice deserved quiet time. I’m sure the noisy gym didn’t help your frame of mind. I love you so very much. P.S. We’re cleaning. 🙂 ~Me”
I sat in the living room with the eight children ranging in ages from 22 on down to 9 and we waited for Dad to appear……..and just as people were about to go back to bed, he did.
Brittnee gave him a handwritten, heartfelt letter that made him cry.
Caleb’s wildest Christmas dreams came true.
A PS4 for Caleb! He played it so much on Christmas day that his eyes turned pink. Now whenever I walk by him I say, “BLINK!”
Ethan and his dog (who could smell the Christmas stocking beef jerky that the boys always get).
The view from where I sat.
I gave the boys each a Harry Potter lego set.
Grace and her very very heavy book of art and wearing her new Christmas winter hat from her Dad. With a Harry Potter book by her side (she’s reading through the series for the first time!)
Brittnee had a girl from school embroider this for me. I love it!
Grace and I each gave one another themed gifts from this book (The Starless Sea) we recently read and enjoyed.
Sarah found herself a big present to open. (She did most of the gift-passing)
Seth and his Go-Pro
David and his new clothes. If he had his way, he would gather all his gifts and take them to a quiet room and open them in private.
Ethan loved his new Vans….
Harry Potter themed…….
Rich opening his GTO tshirt from me….he tends to pick out his own gifts but this one was a surprise. It was to me, too, because I wasn’t planning on buying it until I was in the Lucky store and saw it.
Sarah loved her unicorns but they were almost impossible for her to get them out of the packaging, I caught her with a sharp knife and saved us a trip to the ER. Jacob, Brittnee, and I opened them for her and she was thrilled that the Elven princesses had magnets on their seats to keep them from falling off their unicorns.
We started an all day fire in the fireplace with the Christmas wrap and boxes. I only had to pull plastic out of the flames once (my husband will burn anything).
I had gifts to open from Joanna which Grace had brought home with her. She painted me a mushroom ornament!
Soon each family member was all doing their own thing. Jacob and Brittnee painted pictures.
Caleb got his playstation set up.
Grace went back to reading.
Sarah went behind the Christmas tree and set up all her toys for herself.
Seth played games while wearing his new wrestling head gear.
Ethan started his lego set.
Rich and I made Seth and Sarah walk with us and they lagged behind the whole time, shoulder to shoulder, talking. (IT WAS SO CUTE)
I bought Sarah a “well-wishers” american girl doll and we discovered that they not only look alike, but they each have a mole on the same place on their face!!!!
Dinner was ham, scallopped potatoes, squash, vegetables, and corn bread.
Jacob and Brittnee had gone to her family’s house.
It took a while for Dad to carve the ham and they were so cute standing there waiting and watching.
I never have an appetite for holiday meals that I prepare myself. But here’s my plate of food.
I think I felt my heart break a little while I as reading that…because I know that feeling of being at the ‘cracking point’ well, and because of Rich’s response…and even in a note form. 🙂 Perfect.
I think your response was perfectly normal! Christmas can be so stressful…maybe not even in a bad way…but it’s busy, exhausting, and a big buildup for weeks. It’s a lot of time to be ‘on’…but it’s nothing a good cry and some writing/quiet time can’t cure, right? 🙂 I think a good cry is cleansing. Recharge, and then you are good again.
Thank you for sharing your Christmas. I so enjoy reading your blog and seeing the pics. (Your dinner looks delicious.)
I agree, a good cry can be just the thing!!! Love you
Love you, too, sweet friend!
It looks like a great time had by all. I understand the need for quiet. I hope you’re feeling better today. Your husband is so sweet to write the note….
Thankyou for sharing the glimpses! ❤
A beautiful Christmas, Shanda. The quiet recovery time is a must though, I agree.
I hope Grace enjoys Harry. Legos…always.
Sounds like a wonderful Christmas! And good you were able to have some quiet time..
Aylas comment : ” who wakes up at 6??”
HA HA!!! Seriously though I just loved reading every single word of this post. Why? Cause I can relate so much…to like everything! And the red hat looks good on you!
hi shanda…….i always look forward to your christmas re-cap 🙂 such nice gifts and special family time. and i totally get the “being overwhelmed”. it happens to me quite easily. but things always subside and your kids (and mine!) will surely remember the good. sending love and hugs 💛
Such a treat that you shared your Christmas morning with us! I loved reading every bit of it and enjoyed the photos! I hope you have a wonderful New Year! -Chris