Our (Not So) Perfect Christmas

We made it through the Christmas holiday -- phew! I hope you all enjoyed a few days to relax, eat good food and catch up with family and friends. Me? I learned a lot this year and was humbled to realize that some of my holiday plans and expectations had to be adjusted with two toddlers running around.

My helpers at the grocery.
Let's start with the weekend before Christmas when we visited my husband's family. I can sum it up like this:
  • Delicious food
  • Babies crawling on table during dinner (no high chairs)
  • Six hour drive = baby sleep schedule way off
  • Generous gifts that the girls had a blast opening.
  • I came down with the worst 24 hour bug, maybe ever.
  • Abrupt exit in the middle of the next to go to the ER for IV fluids and meds.
Nice, right? Thankfully I started feeling better a day or so later. I haven't been that sick since having the girls and felt horrible that I couldn't lift them or comfort them when they got tired of being in the car. My husband was a superstar and entertained them for several hours while we were at the hospital.

Hurry up, dad. We need to play with this.
So fast forward to Christmas Eve  and here's how it went:
  • I lost one of our only cloth napkins, so we ended up a bit mismatched at dinner. I don't do tablescapes well. No one minded but me.
  • We didn't put up a big, festive tree this year (safety hazard) so the gifts got stuffed in a corner.
  • I baked refrigerated cookie dough for our Santa cookies because I didn't want to mess with the whole process of baking from scratch. 
  • Maddie threw up on our way to Christmas Eve mass so we were late and smelled like puke.
  • During church the girls wanted to run around, have a snack, and clap for the music, so we watched on the screen in the church gym. SO glad people think they're cute!
  • Our littles threw most of their dinner on the floor in favor of yogurt puffs and graham crackers. This is what I imagine they were saying "No mom, we don't want the ham or casserole you cooked. Also, the veggies are gross. Sorry, but not sorry."
  • Didn't get any good pictures of Molly & Maddie because they were too busy running around and climbing on the presents. 
So ready to tear into those gifts!
Christmas Day was laid back and cozy. We stayed in our PJs all day and didn't leave the house. We enjoyed family time and finally took a long nap. I had some time to reflect on our holiday and realized something. We had such a special Christmas that I'll remember for a long time, not because I made the perfect dinner or set our dining room table with our "special plates" that never get used. We were together -- healthy, happy, and so fortunate. I honestly felt a little guilty for getting so worked up about making sure everything was just right. 

Christmas morning -- kitchen set has been a huge hit!
I feel that way about most things in life, and that is something I continue to work on. I get this picture in my mind of what everything is supposed to look like and when it doesn't turn out that way, I feel disappointed and often blame myself. I don't want to do that anymore. Instead, I want to try to embrace that chaotic, messy, sweet time that we are in right now. Friends, it's a daily struggle. Even now as I write this, I am thinking about all the things I should be organizing or cleaning while the girls nap. I'll get to it. 

In the meantime, I'm going to go snack those store-bought Christmas cookies that actually turned out pretty good. 

Best Christmas nap ever.

Feeling the Nudge

Good grief it's been way too long since I've visited this little blogging space. I have thought of it often and wished to make the time to get back to it, but I have just not had the time. Between two high-energy toddlers, working, and trying to keep the house semi-clean, mama has not had a minute!

PRETENDING to ride on Thanksgiving.
I've decided to make an adjustment in my work life that will hopefully give me a little more time to pursue writing (tackling some paid writing gigs!) and build something for myself. I turned 30 in July and have just felt this nudge within myself to go after what I really want. I've spent the past few years running marketing campaigns for other people, helping them grow their businesses, and I am finally ready to build and do something for myself.
Molly & Maddie's first birthday party in May.
I have always loved writing and actually taught it for several years before our girls were born. Writing is the only thing in my life that allows me to tune out everything else. At any given time I have about 30 different thoughts running through my mind at a time, but when I get into a writing groove, I am able to be present and focus in a way that feels really refreshing and productive.

At the beach, our happy place!
I'm not sure yet where this blogging venture will lead. The only thing I know is that I want this space to be a place where I can share with all of you, gain a few friends and make some connections, and learn how to navigate this parenting journey. I have found motherhood to be a bit lonely at times. I spent 2 months on bedrest before the girls were born (more on that some other time) and have been home with them the majority of the time since. That was a really hard adjustment to make after working full-time since I graduated from college. I can't wait to make some "mom friends" to chat with and trade notes with, so if you have a topic you'd like to talk about -- let me know!

Molly Hayden -- laidback and sweet like her dad.
Like me, this blog will be a work in progress, but I promise you I will try every day to make it better and better. This space will always be honest, real, and good-humored. My pictures might not be as professional and well-edited as the beautiful images on many blogs, but I hope they make you laugh and capture my family just as we are!

Madeline Grace -- our little monkey and mom's shadow!

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me. Cheers to pursuing dreams & mommyhood!