Hello December!

Oooh, I had a lot planned for this December. I splurged on Christmas classes, craft & scrapbook supplies. I don’t actually have a lot of events planned for the month. I just want to enjoy family time with my kids and husband. The last few months have been stressful. I did a lot of reevaluating of my priorities. I was struggling with doing too many things, and doing none of them overly well. The stress was taking its toll on my mind and body. I had some “aha” moments and gained perspective on where I need to steer my life. So, I pared down my responsibilities and am focusing on what is most important to me. I think the word “most” is key. The other things I have to put on hold are very important to me. Yet, when it comes to my final days (hopefully long from now) I will not look back and regret putting my family first. So, I can happily and peacefully say I am putting my full attention back into my family.

I had a rule that  I wouldn’t work on my design work during the day while I care for my children. Yet, what I noticed is that I was exhausted from staying up too late. I was stressed knowing if I worked too hard during the day I’d be too tired to work at night. If I took it too easy during the day, I’d be able to work at night but my “to do” list around the home would suffer greatly. During the day my thoughts would wander to the tasks I needed to accomplish at night. Instead of playing a game with my kids, I’d be distracted thinking of illustrations that needed to be imagined and created. This wonderful period in my kids’ lives which I’ve always dreamed of experiencing is passing before my eyes and recently I haven’t been fully present for it. It is worth way too much to me to waste. Managing everything was exhausting for me. For the past year or so I’ve been asking myself on a daily basis how other women do it. My answer is simply that they don’t. Something has to give. If anyone says they are able to do it all, they are lying.

So now, I am not accomplishing much creative work. I think I will ease back into when I have time and inspiration. I bought a bunch of supplies to do Christmas crafts with my kids and for myself. I did a few but lately I’ve been really tired and we’ve been plagued with colds. So, I’m trying to be zen about it and accept that some of the supplies can be shelved until next year. There’s nothing wrong with that.
I also signed up for a photography course Your Holidays Captured Through The Lens by Katrina Kennedy at Captureyour365.com which starts tomorrow. I’m so excited about that! I’m taking Heart of the Holidays by Tiffany Tillman at ReneePearson.com and Journal Your Christmas by Shimelle Laine at Shimelle.com. I plan to do 12×12 digital layouts and hybrid project life pieces.
However, even though I’m all set up with supplies and class materials, I don’t know how much I’ll get done. I’ve been trying to get to bed earlier and I’m determined my energy will be put into playing games with the kids.

I spent November in a frenzy trying to organize and declutter the house. Now I have a tornado trail of boxes sitting in my hallway that might never get dealt with. I was stressing over it but now I’ve decided it just does not matter. I’ll get to them. I will. Right now, it is more important to play playdoh and maybe bake some cookies.

Elf on the Shelf arrived at our door last week. My daughter did not like the idea of an elf reporting back to Santa on her right and wrong doings. His arrival was meant to be a fun tradition full of fancy. She normally embraces all things imaginative and fancy. She said this Elf was not real and was a doll. Just a doll and should go back to the North Pole. So, we sent him packing.  Again, I accepted that I need to go with the flow. It was a nice idea but it wasn’t going to happen. In the end, I sighed with relief that I wouldn’t have to help Elf find new hiding spots every night. Maybe next year Lauren will want him to return?

I had several plans for the first of December. A parade. A trip to a consignment shop to sell some Christmas themed clothes. Instead, we all came down with a cold & flu. So, with a general sense of malaise and grumpiness we stayed home and collectively whined, cried, and watched movies on TV. I wasn’t too sad we missed the parade. I was a bit annoyed about the clothes as it will be too late to sell them if I wait any longer and I spent an hour ironing all of them. Oh well! Next year!

My daughter wanted to put the tree up a few days early. Normally we wait until the first weekend of December. On Thursday, I lugged everything out of the basement. I put up the tree and all its lights and garlands. I put out all the other decorations around the house. We surprised my husband when he got home. I’m amazed I accomplished so much. We had a picnic in front of the tree and planned to finish decorating the tree after supper. Nyal was too tired and my sciatica went crazy from all my lugging. So my daughter and husband spent some quality time partially decorating the tree. The next day I could barely move. Not even kidding. So, the tree stood half decorated. Then Saturday arrived and we were sick but thought we’d finish the tree. We were watching Handy Manny while I sipped my morning coffee when I couldn’t see Handy Manny anymore. I closed my eyes and there it was. The little bright flame light jagged twitch in my right eye. A migraine! I took two liquid gel Advils and closed my eyes. The headache arrived 10 minutes later. Not as bad as it could be but not great. My husband told me to take Tylenol as well, to knock out the headache completely. So I did. I needed to lie down and slept for two hours. They finished the tree for me. I felt horrible the rest of the day.

Today, I felt quite a bit better but my husband felt horrible. Apparently, his cold/flu is a day behind mine. Our house was nearly barren of groceries so had a lunch of waffles, hash browns with a veggie sausage. We watched Up on TV and then some Christmas DVDs. The kids went to bed early as they are still feeling unwell.

So, things aren’t what I expected, my supplies are still sitting unused, my craft projects are on hold, but I’m happy to have spent a weekend with my family. Even if we weren’t at our best. Hopefully, the rest of the month will be less cold and more fun. I’ll share my month and what I’m up to.

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