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December, 2015

  1. i will be joyful

    December 22, 2015 by louissa

    Christmas week is upon us! I started yesterday feeling the energy that always accompanies this incredibly wonderful week — it’s filled with extra practices for special Christmas music, menus being decided and responsibilities doled out for a family feast, and then there’s the panic that accompanies when you actually go through what you’ve purchased for presents only to realize that there are some major holes in the stocking department. No worries, a quick morning trip to our world’s favorite Walmart yesterday helped that incredibly.

    And then I woke up today. And in more ways than one, my body was telling me that it’s a bit worn out. The achy head, the scratchy throat, an incredibly swollen gland, burning eyes, and issues in the nursing mother’s world which I’ll spare you the details of — I’m feeling a bit run ragged. And I was so glad for the excuse for a day of Christmas week routine. Pajamas weren’t taken off till 10, I watched the Curious George Christmas movie with my two boys, dough for Christmas Eve cookies was made and now sits in the fridge, and we took a walk to get some fresh air. Two boys now sleep and I’ll join them soon.

    I’m thankful for a bit of hush in the midst of a full — full of wonderful, good things — but full week.

    The other day the devotional I’m going through had us read a well known portion of scripture from Habakkuk:

    Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

    Christmas is a joy-filled time. Sometimes, because of life, it’s hard to see the joy. Our eyes get clouded by difficulties, sorrow, struggles. And I’m struck that I can be light to those around simply by my ability to pursue and choose joy. No matter where I am or what I’m going through, God continues to give gifts and lavish His love upon me. That’s reason to be filled with joy. And sometimes I need to decide to seek and see joy in my life; to look for His fingerprints of goodness that surround and cover and are all over my life. He’s there. In the midst of it all. I just have to open my eyes.

    Now for a few minutes of afternoon sleep to make this day even more perfect…

  2. because boys sleeping mean I can continue to ramble

    December 16, 2015 by louissa

    My afternoons have been transformed this last week and a half. The baby, who has never been a very scheduled baby, and whose lead I’ve always followed, has suddenly started to transition to one afternoon nap. HIS NAP AND THE TODDLER’S NAP OVERLAP. This is an incredible thing in the life of a mom. I mean, yesterday afternoon I actually cleaned my bathroom. Like, scrub the grout with a toothbrush clean. And today I mopped my floors. This is incredible because of how full my days feel and yet how little it feels I get done.

    Oh, dear babies of mine, how I enjoy this busy, busy life you’ve given me. Just last night I sat at my mama’s kitchen table drinking coffee and eating Christmas cookies and talked of the mayhem you two energetic tots bring to my world. The broken decorations, the water from the humidifier tanks being emptied all over my living room floor, kitchen cupboards and the refrigerator being emptied in attempts to find food, vacuum filters and attachments being pulled apart and strewn all over, the bottom half of the tree looking absolutely dishevelled since it’s been the major battlefield this last week and a half and I’ve hastily redecorated it multiple times every single day.

    You two have so much fun together, and although there are moments I want to tear my hair out since going down to the basement to change a load of laundry is enough time for you two to get into something, I wouldn’t ever trade your energy for the world.

    Maybe someday you’ll enjoy sitting in one spot stacking blocks (do kids out there actually do such things?!), but for now I’ll enjoy the constant clamour of laughter, little feet running (even though they’re not supposed to) and little legs crawling (because why walk when you are so good at crawling), and the fact that half my day is spent redirecting you from trouble or helping you stay in one area and productively “play” (because yes, sometimes you have to actually teach a child how to play) or cleaning up from an incredible mess you made.

    And in the midst of that you run/crawl back to me for a kiss or you reach up to me with your sticky baby hands because you want a hug and I’m reminded that I’m the most important person to you. I will gladly kiss your dirty face (because my boys just somehow get so dirty) and watch your newest trick and tell you how awesome you are (because that’s your favorite word) because you are my world. Sometimes it feels like a monotonous, small world, but when I pause and see you for who you really are — future men — it seems like a wondrous, overwhelming world.

    And yeah, dear reader, you read that correctly. Our laundry is in the basement of our new home. It’s pretty much one of my least favorite things. I mean, for the basement of a house built in 1889, it’s pretty amazing, and the previous owners kept everything in impeccable condition, but can we just talk spiders? There will always be way too many spiders in basements. Moving our laundry up to the first floor is on our Someday list. It’ll happen. But for now I’ll keep going down and be grateful that at least I don’t have to go to a laundromat (because dirty, dirty boys).

    I’m off to go fold laundry because I have a few more minutes of quiet before my Energy wakes and needs my attention.

  3. december night ramblings

    December 13, 2015 by louissa

    December 13. A whole week of the glow from the tree lighting our small living room throughout the day. Cookies that are only made in December have been baked (and too many consumed). Christmas tunes are played during the rare moments when I can handle background noise (wow, being a mom has changed me!) or when I declare Dance Party Time (when I’m in the mood for attempting controlled chaos).

    The just-turned-three-year-old finds everything about this season positively THRILLING. Taking walks is not simply mindlessly sitting in the stroller anymore as his crazy mother drags him around town — he knows the route he wants to take to pass all his favorite blowup lawn decorations. He thought decorating the tree was magical, Jingle Bells is sung daily, and he’s been able to eat way more cookies this week than ever before which is obviously the best thing ever.

    We’re working on the whole Santa/Baby Jesus thing, but there’s slight confusion on the real meaning of Christmas or who Baby Jesus really is anyway. He recently informed me that Christmas is about Santa bringing him presents, and this morning he asked if the the overdue baby my oldest sister is carrying is Baby Jesus. I laugh as he informs me throughout the day of what he would like Santa to bring him. How does he even know that Santa “brings” gifts?!

    It seems that every Christmas season finds me wishing I was being more intentional; walking through this season more purposed. But I’ve been learning this: life with a three-year-old and one-year-old, regardless of how much you as an individual may like it, won’t ever be super routined. No day ever looks exactly like you think/want it to. You never have as much time (or energy) to do it all. And the romantic ideas of a little family sitting around the dinner table discussing God’s Gift doesn’t happen exactly as I picture it. At this point we do our rather short devotional reading and as much as possible we talk about how Christmas is Jesus’ birthday — try to help a little mind comprehend something about this holiday. And then the baby starts to cry and the toddler decides to join in and we end the conversation.

    Life’s all about being flexible anyway, right? I have to pursue grace daily for that flexibility to be my portion, but it’s needed and necessary to walk these days out in love. And I want that more than I want my perfect schedule and the perfect kid who sits surrounded by candlelight as we read lengthy portions of scripture (ha!).

    I have been working my way through Ann Voskamp’s devotional (just myself — a bit too much for my little guy right now!) and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Simple, short, and what a refreshing reminder of the Great Love that’s on display through all of scripture! If you’re looking for something for you and your family for next year, I’d recommend! I’m eagerly looking forward to the years to come when we can go through it as a family!

    That’s all for now. A few random thoughts on this December night. Our two boys are now asleep so I’ll go and spend a few minutes of quiet with The Husband as we gear up for another week.