I am stressed out. I hate that because I am usually way into all the Christmas hoopla--baking and decorating and shopping and the whole nine yards. But I am just worn out this year. I don't know if its all the traveling, or just how crazy things are going to get with our schedule starting in about two weeks, or the financial strain so many are facing... but I am really feeling overwhelmed. And I hate that, because Christmas is my favorite. I need to read Luke 2 before I sleep tonight and try to get some perspective in the chaos. I may also make some lists. Things are manageable when I pace myself. Theoretically.
I went into a store the other day with both of the girls, and a woman held the door open for our little parade to pass. I thanked her and she said, "I know what its like. You're doing manual labor right now, honey. This is the hardest time physically, but the real hard stuff is yet to come." Now, I appreciate her helping me get inside and I like that she validated the fatigue I experience all the time. But why not leave it at that instead of tacking on the gloom-and-doom pronouncement of future difficulty? Why do moms do this? Think about it and you will realize how often people offer you empathy in a situation and follow it up with a grim-reaperish, "Just wait." I'm not going to do this anymore. I'm going to offer encouragement and then shut my mouth instead of bumming people out. Every day is hard enough as it is, without adding the burden of tomorrow.
I miss Christy. I was putting up decorations and came across a gift she gave me a couple of years ago. It's this cool, old-fashioned sign made out of painted boards that says "Sleigh Bells Ring," complete with jingle bells. We had seen it while flipping through a magazine and both loved it. The next thing I know, she & Josh gave it to me for Christmas. If I remember right, Julie and Chris gave her the exact same one that year. Anyway. It was weird hanging it up in its usual spot this year, but not as weird as it would have been to put it back in the box. If that makes sense. So since I have Christy on my mind, I decided to share something I wrote on her facebook wall (now a memorial) a couple of weeks ago...
I've been thinking about you so much, Christy. Maybe its the holidays coming and all the memories I have of special times with you at this time of year. I was thinking about the time we (stubbornly!) went shopping on Black Friday when no one else wanted to brave the early hours or the crowds... it poured all day! We were cold and wet! I remember you were shopping for your new family, the inlaws to be. You so wanted to get them gifts they would love, but you didn't know them very well yet. We ate lunch at Fridays and had mexican-type appetizers. I was craving it because I was newly pregnant with Brynn. My doctor had grounded us from travel that year for Thanksgiving because of some complications I was having. I was so bummed about that at the time, but now I am so thankful because we never would have had that day together otherwise. What a sweet gift from God that is to me now. Yay for complications--seriously. Love you, Sweet. Miss you.