If you're wondering what it is like during the holidays around these parts...let me tell you (again!).
So...as with anything I deem important, I get a vision in my mind about what all I want to do, and how special I want to try to make things for my kids, and well, it might not work out exactly as planned.
Advent started off with a bang. I made popovers (which I've never done before but I highly recommend now with some honey and butter), and I opened my advent journal from Blessed is She (available for digital download still).
Instead, I woke up a little on the easily-irritated side. But, we pushed on anyway. We got out the decorations (besides the tree ones because we don't have our tree yet).
Immediately, the kids tore into the boxes (when I has explicitly said to wait so we could do one at a time - I mean, come on, the oldest is only six and Christmas decorations might be just a bit exciting).They set up the Nativity...
...and then I put down my camera because between taking photos, I was sternly warning them of what not to do.
I also had a very specific routine planned for the evening...opening an Advent book, having a cup of hot chocolate, and hanging our Jesse Tree ornament.
Would you believe that they really didn't pay a bit of attention during this very important reading??? Or that they might have just constantly asked for more peppermint sticks?!
And, this one maybe yelled the entire time.
And, the next night (and the night after that) really didn't go much better in terms of them being enlightened with the beauty of what's to come?
And, again, my journal sits on the table waiting for me to slow down, take a peek and truly give Him His proper place.
I know I'm half-way joking about this, but really, I stink at the "important" stuff. I want so, so badly for it all to go so well...to make memories for them like I have of my childhood. I expect too much. I don't necessarily do too much, but even if it's super simple, I want there to be meaning. The funny thing is, I don't do any of it for anyone else to know about. It's not like it's a "keeping up with the Joneses" thing. Instead it's a keeping up with Britt's idealism thing, and that's what makes it all so dumb. The truth is, these little ones are just excited to be a part of anything, and it's special to them in a much more basic level than I can understand anymore, sadly. They need a momma who is smiling during this season, not one who is yelling at them or faking it through gritted teeth. But, sometimes I just can't figure out how to stop.
I just want it all to be good. I want to finish my photo editing and be able to take a breath during this season with them before we enter the season of life with a newborn. I want John Paul's December birthday to still feel important. I want to make the cookies we always make during Christmas. I want to buy the gifts that will let others know just how special they are to us. I want our freezer to be full of meals early, in the event that this little boy shows up before his due date. I want to get down on their level and help them appreciate the love and care that goes into giving and the thankfulness that comes with receiving. I want to use Advent to prepare our home and hearts for the life-changing gift that comes on Christmas.
What I want is good. My execution of it all...not so much. I stay up too late trying to get things done so I don't have to do them during the day. So, during the day, I'm lacking a bit of rest, and I snap more easily, have "less time" for them and wish I would have just let some of it go the night before. Then, the night comes and I think "Oh, I can get this done and have a bit more time tomorrow" and the cycle continues.
This isn't Britt's pity party (although I've had those from time to time). This is more of the real Britt. The one who I'd venture to say knows what to do, just not how to do it. I don't know exactly what these next three plus weeks will look like. My prayer is that I shift my focus...to that of being a better mom/example, even if that means not doing things to get there. Because when they look back...when I look back...I want to have yelled less, been stressed less, and cared less about making every minute memory worthy, even if it means doing less. Instead I want to live more, sit back and watch more, and truly leave these weeks open for God to move more in this home.
I've got a long, long way to go. But, maybe this admitting is the first step in getting there!
Here's to a little more love and a little less stress as we celebrate this glorious time of year.