|Illustration by Mary Engelbreit|
Mixed feelings in me seem to be happening every year around this time. I LOVE the excitement of the holidays, being with family, creating and seeing all of the beautiful decorations~ but, like so many others find it hard to find the TIME for it all without ending up feeling drained. I know the solution many like to give out is to edit- keep things simple- etc. which we do do, but there's still a part of me that I can't turn off....a part of me that really likes doing all of the shopping, the wrapping, the Christmas carding, the decorating, the fun events.....I know you all know what I'm talking about.
So- I decided to declare today a ME day.
Ohhhh doesn't that sound splendid, selfish, and fabulous?
I thought so too.
The details of my kind of ME day involve me getting a babysitter for the boys (4 hrs is my magic time frame), spending one-on-one time with my little Elyse, folding some laundry (don't know why, but this always has a calming effect on me), watching a lame-o but cuteintheirownway tv movie, and painting my toes.
I knew I was in need of a day like this when last week I accidentally drove to Idaho with my kids on our way home from Farmington. Go ahead, LOL. In my defense, it was dark out, I had shopped all day with kiddos in tow (thanks to my Mom and sis for their MAJOR help with them all), and I was hungry. Best part to this story is that when I called my husband all lost and upset, do you know what he did? He calmly told me to pull over, asked for my coordinates, suggested I put in a movie for the kids (man oh man has that DVD player in our van come in handy!) then told me he would be there soon. Yep, he drove from Logan to wherever we were in Idaho (I still have no idea) so that I could follow him home and never once made me feel stupid about it. Love that guy. I really really do.
Speaking of him and the holidays, the two of us have never really been that big into getting each other gifts for Christmas. Our mantra has always been if we want something for ourselves, we buy it. But this year I decided there's more to it than that because I realized it's not about the wanting but the feeling.
So, this year I asked for something with feeling. Nothing that costs any money, just time.
I asked him to write Our Love Story.
I already have my version of it written down in my journal, but I'm curious to hear it from his point of view. But if he doesn't do it, that's okay too. After all he did rescue the children and I from Idaho (btw- nothing against Idaho- I happen to really like what I've seen of it when I'm not lost).
One thing that I'm really looking forward to doing this week with my family is picking out a Christmas tree. Growing up we always had a real tree and the minute I walk onto a tree lot and I get that fresh whiff of pine, I'm immediately reminded of memories with my siblings and I going out with our Dad to pick one out. Sometimes we'd play tag or hide and seek amongst the rows of trees, sometimes we couldn't all make a decision on which one to get, and all the times we'd be late in getting it, and it would make a big mess of a million-and-one pine needles all around the living room floor, but once it was in its place and put up in our home, it was OUR tree, imperfections and all.
Writing this post led me to realize that although this season is filled with a lot, it's also full of wonderful memories and surprises of love. Thank you to ME for giving myself today so that I can clear my head of my busy to do list and take in all of the surrounding joy. Oh, and thanks to Mary Engelbreit (coincidentally also M.E. with her initials) for all of her talented and touching artwork ~ it has, and probably always will warm my soul.