We do not remember days, we remember moments.
This is life...moments.
Did I understand this fully even a few short years ago? Probably not and sometimes even now I forget but not as often.
My life plays in front of me like a movie and I sit back and watch this amazing show.
I used to wonder where the magic of the holidays went to. I may have mentioned this before because I used to think about it a lot. I just couldn't figure out how the holidays once so full and rich seemed a little lack luster. I have always enjoyed them and always cherished the special time of year but I would think back to being a child and I couldn't figure out how to recreate that same magic in my adult life. Thanksgiving and Christmas were just another day and there was a certain disappointment in that.
Where in the heck was the magic? That feeling of anticipation and wonder.
There is an acceptance now. I am not a child. I get it.
But does November and December even in there non magical state have to be flat out insane?
No I know they don't. I am the boss of myself and I am taking my favorite time of the year back and eliminating all the stupid stuff that mean absolutely nothing.
Certain aspects of the holidays make me bat crazy and here they are in no particular order...
# 1 crazy is the shopping.
I realize I can't eliminate this completely but really? This is totally out of control. Here we are celebrating Christ's birth and we are running around with our heads chopped off buying hundreds of presents and spending hundreds of dollars that we don't even have.
This makes zero sense to me.
Why has it come to this?
Now we are all believers in Santa in this house including me so of course he is going to bring a couple of presents...but couple being the operative word here.
But beyond that not much else is necessary. My children needed clothes and well I think that is it.
Between thrift stores and Amazon not one trip was made to the mall.
Problem # 1 solved.
#2 crazy is the decorating.
OK clearly this is a problem again of my own making. While decorating is so fun and really something that I wildly enjoy... it is still a lot of work. I am super lucky that my honey loves to make all my dreams come true and works along side me always. But no matter it is a massive undertaking to make my house a twinkling wonderland. So I have simplified majorly. While my house was stunning and wonderful it didn't seem as overwhelming this year. I put up the decorations that I loved and tossed the rest. It felt good to me and I wasn't overwhelmed putting them up or taking them down.
#3 crazy is the baking and the cooking.
OK so I lucked out a little this year with major help. Now I completely realize that this may never happen again but my dear family that lives by us catered Thanksgiving...seriously. The whole meal...seriously. Did I care that we didn't have my rolls or Ann's stuffing? Nope. I don't know how to get my head around this incredible luxury. I mean the meal was catered from a top golf club in the country...Monterey Peninsula golf club. I have to just add seriously here again but probably not for the final time. Because it made Thanksgiving 2014 my favorite Thanksgiving almost of my adult life. I loved having a year off of cooking and cleaning that beast of a meal. I am a vegetarian and a traditional thanksgiving meal isn't really my favorite food anyway.
So while there was still a ton of cooking and baking it was just the right balance. Well except for making my own gingerbread house...that was almost torture. That was not one of my favorite moments.
#4 crazy is all the parties
Parties are fun in moderation but everyone is so excited about Christmas time that everyone wants to have a party.
My answer to this was to not go.
I know, I know not the answer for most people and especially for all the party loving people out there. But for me it was and I went to exactly one party this year and it was my honeys work party in San Francisco. ;)
What was the result of all this cutting back? I will tell you...
I just sat back and watched this movie of my life with everyone I love.
The highlights are the moments I will honestly cherish forever. I had Nicholas celebrating with us and that meant more than I can say. All 17 of my favorite humans on this planet gathered around our table Christmas eve basking in the candlelight glow laughing and talking. I watched my kids decorate the Christmas tree with music blaring, hot chocolate and dancing. We drove to the Christmas house and burst out laughing as we rounded the corner and saw those ridiculous lights. We played countless hours on the beach and watched the sun set over the ocean while we sat on the rocks. I watched Nicholas play and joke and laugh with his brothers and sisters and cousins and I thanked my lucky stars that he was home with us...safe.
I watched as the men in my life bought our raquelette cheese in our favorite cheese shop in San Francisco. We hiked lands end trail and made our own wishes and dreams in the labyrinth overlooking the golden gate bridge.
These moments were magical.
In the end the magic just doesn't exist because of childhood innocence that I had come to expect. It still exists because my family created it...we made room for it.
This is our trip to Carmel for Thanksgiving.
Tom and I went on a run and this happened. There are simply no words.
Random day in November and it was Nicholas's first city day with us since being back from his mission.
And there was this....
And this...my dad in the cheese aisle at Costco
Per Tom's request we spent his birthday at six flags and to Thai dinner that night. We had so. much. fun.
And Christmas Eve was spent here.
And buying our Christmas eve fixins were bought here
Christmas Eve night at pear cottage
Back to Carmel.
We did have a Christmas break flu. It was really bad and I am not sure I have the strength to write it down because this is soooo long and I am sooooo done. But basically in a nutshell I am still humiliated because as I was sleeping cozily over at the bed and breakfast Ann was over at her house helping Charlie. He barfed all over the bed, himself and Ella at 1:15 a.m. I didn't get the call to come pick him up until 4:15 a.m. He had been barfing every 15 minutes and he continued to do so at our bed and breakfast until we got the next call at 6:00 that Ella had just barfed. We ran over to the house and grabbed Ella and both children preceded to barf for the next 24 hours. They didn't move for 3 days. So while they laid in bed we tag teamed and played the best we can. It is shocking that I actually enjoyed being locked up with these two. I don't know there was just something about it.
Our morning breakfast. Almond croissant, quiche and fruit and tea....unbelievable.
So grateful for these times spent with the people I love so much!