Around Here Fifty-Two: 12/23-12/31

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A last glimpse into what it is like to live in our home in 2017

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 523 hours (of 1000)
So, I'm calling it. 523 hours of 1000 for the year - over half way to my goal and beat last year's attempt by 13 hours. So, I'm moving in the right direction, but I know that I can do better and I'm still striving for that lofty goal of 1000 hours for the year. Shoot for the moon, right?

Reading and finishing my Christmas Santa's workshop gift from Greyson: Riding Freedom by Pam Munoz Ryan which brings me up to 11 new-to-me books this year read. I'm about 100 pages short of finishing my 100 small things goal of 12 books read! Hah, only a little bit more to finish in Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and I'm there, so I've been squeezing in quick stints for the past two days (among the incredible to do list I have) to try to cross that one off before we ring in the new year!

Doing all the celebrating possible in the past week...

Mimi's Christmas with all of her kids, grandkids, and greats! Everyone was able to make it to Mimi's this year and it was so nice to catch up and enjoy Mimi's great food and laugh and squeeze into a single photo frame! 

Christmas Eve mass and grandparent mini party at our house afterwards. The kids were so excited about Santa coming. We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus in our nativity set and said goodbye to Marco. We went back through all our straw kindness slips from Soft Enough for a King. We delivered cookies and cards to our neighbors, made it through Christmas Eve mass without too much disruption (ahem, Rusty) and Grey even wore real actual pants for his mother's Christmas wish. And then we had the grandparents over for a late dinner and excitement while the kids put out reindeer food and milk and cookies and asked Alexa fifteen million times where Santa was on his route. 

B and I stayed up until 2:30a finishing up and then barely fell asleep before Grey woke us up at 4a asking if it was time to get up yet. Um, no. Then again at 4:57a when I just told him to sleep with us and wait until 6a. Gemma woke the three of us up then at 7a and told us our stockings were in the hallway outside of our rooms. We got the babies up and opened up stocking gifts in our bed before heading downstairs to the shrieks and squeals of the kids' delight to gifts under the tree. 

Then it was Christmas at Gigi and Pappy's for lunch, gifts, and hoverboard riding; followed by Christmas at Aunt Dar & Uncle Mike's with our Adams family, then back to Gigi and Pappy's for a little napping, more eating, and singing Happy Birthday to baby Jesus; then finally to see our Tap Run Ski Club friends at the Siwy's house. In bed on Christmas day by midnight!  

The day after Christmas we had Adams cousin cookie baking at our house, one of my favorite traditions, complete with a toast of raw sugar cookie dough in honor of our Gram. Aunt Kitty had arrived all the way from Bermuda (!!) and we had cousin Morgan from Montana there, cousin Kara from Missouri there, and cousin Janell from York, PA there!  Uch and Kev brought pizza an d hot chocolate and while the girls rolled, cookie cut, and iced - the boys all played Madden on Grey's new xbox to his delight. After we hugged our cousins goodbye, the kids and I took a two and a half hour (much needed) nap before spending the evening at Uncle Sam's Christmas party with our Uzelac family.

Wednesday was a day visit from our Gilmore cousins (so fun!) and then an afternoon swim at the YWCA with our Garretson cousins and a sleepover at our house with Caleb!

And then it was Daddy's basketball game on Thursday with haircuts for the three big kids after that - when I asked Violet if she wanted a haircut, she said, "Yeah, I need normal hair" (LOL). She got the most adorable pixie cut!

Friday was Christmas at Abba and Chum's house for dinner, pretend snowball fights, boxing, and even a visit from Santa Claus himself!

And Saturday, B and I tackled the garage while the big kids went bowling with our family and then we had the Stankan family over for dinner and a playdate! 

Feeling real joy in my heart every time our door opened this past week with the faces of people we love walk through and their voices calling out, "Hello! Merry Christmas!" Gosh, is there anything that is more 'the season' then hearing the door open and having family and friends walk into your home? I love it so much.

Cracking up about how Rusty can say "cheese" so perfectly now because he has taken so many pictures in the past week.

Reflecting on this past year and looking forward to the year to come. I transferred birth dates and important upcoming dates into my new 2018 planner. Santa brought me a new magnet fridge family calendar that I love. I combed through my 2017 100 small things list (blog post to come) and started on my new 100 small things list with excitement and anticipation. The kids (with a lot of encouragement and suggestions) created three goals for themselves for this upcoming year. And I re-worked our 12 Months of Kindness list to be more kid-centered for 2018. Every year, new years has me all like, "yeah, let's do this!"

Cherishing this weird week off from school between Christmas and New Years. We leave our Christmas decor up to celebrate Orthodox Christmas on January 7th - so it always feels like we're in a suspended time in this week. Despite all the running around and busy we've had - B and I tried to keep every spare moment of downtime as relaxed and unfussed as possible. Jammies all day until we had to change, lots of hugs for the kids, maintained 'homework' time to keep the kids' brains from melting (hah), and embracing the no work/school few days.

Making lots of meals with leftovers...we were both laughing yesterday about how if we eat ham for one more meal we might keel over. We've thrown some other meals in there too to offset all the holiday food: salads, ramen noodles (oh gosh, hilarious story about that and Bullet!), sloppy joes, and blueberry muffins.  But seriously, mostly cookies and pumpkin roll has been everyone's diet for the past week over here.

sending so much love to you and yours for the holidays and the new years. thank you for following along and commenting, liking, and reading these Around Here posts all year. They are mostly for me in a few years when everything runs together in my mind and I want to peek back on the way it used to be in our house with younger kids. But if they were somehow also a bit of silliness or recognition or bit of joy for you too - then that is such a humbling bonus to me. thank you for stopping in to this little piece of the web about the people I love. You, those that read these pages I write, are certainly among those people I cherish.  xxoxo

1 comment:

  1. Your book stack!
    And those sisters napping!
    Love love love!
    Wishing you a beautiful, happy & healthy 2018!