Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Winter Memories

This weekend, Mark set up a fire-pit that he had bought a few weekends ago in our back yard (which isn't really a yard, but an assembly of pavers, patio-style, with lots of shrubbery). Does it look like we are cold and it is smoky? Both are true, and yet we had the time of our lives. Sadie LOVED it the most!

We are slowly leaving the Christmas season. And I mean, slowly.  I have never experienced a holiday like this one where I had not transitioned to the next thing coming by its end. Well, maybe our wedding. I remember the day after our wedding wanting to replay it all in my head over and over again, so this is kind of like that. But give me a break, am I really equating one year's Christmas break with something as important and live-changing as my wedding was? And by the end of the day after our wedding, I was on a plane to Italy very much looking forward to an awesome honeymoon. And honestly, by the end of our honeymoon I was kind of ready to come home and get settled again in our house.

But for some reason, I am having a really hard time leaving Christmas this year. The Boden spring line did help me for a few moments, they have some wonderfully springy new kaftans in there, but still, I go back to my Christmas CD in my car every chance I can. Sadie's still lugging around her Rudolph and Clarice reindeer dolls everywhere around the house (two nights ago, we made a card for Rudolph because yesterday was to be his birthday, and the kitchen table was completely set for a party).  She took them to her grandparents this weekend, and only allowed Rudolph not to come to Red Lobster because we convinced her that Daisy would be lonely in Grandmom's house without him there.

So Mark set up the fire pit this weekend, and we all sat outside for an hour or more and toasted marshmallows and watched the flames.  No hurries, no need to speed anything along. Fire pits are wonderfully warming... all of us had 'toasty buns' as Sadie kept saying.
Even Daisy wasn't scared of the fire, which is amazing considering that she freaks out usually when the oven is turned on if it has any remnants in there or when a smoke alarm battery is about to die.

We truly had the most amazing Christmas ever. And it wasn't made that way by one gift, or an assortment of them even. Or spectacular weather. Or even anything extraordinary, like a surprise visit by a long lost friend or family member (though having Aunt Carolyn with us is special every year). On paper, this Christmas was no different than the ones we have had before (except the Great Pine Beetle Infestation, requiring an 11 foot tree take down, rebuy, and redecorate in 14 hours).

But it just was a great time. 

I have a lot in my life that I am really grateful for, and nothing in my life begging change, right now. That is so rare for me, and particularly rare considering some of the changes we went through in the last year. But everything is great right now. Sadie is just at an incredible stage and age right now, reminding me of a mother at the pool last summer with a newly turned 4 year old who told me "When she will turn 4, you too will realize that you have the daughter you always wanted."  It is true, for us at least. My new job is going well.  No part of me really misses being a partner or fully engaged in the practice of law. I love my part-days off. I love time to exercise, to organize something in the house, and most importantly, more time with Sadie. I am fully 100% in love with my primary role as Mom right now. I don't regret moving to this sooner, but I am sure happy I made the change when I did.  Just in time to spend some afternoons sledding!

Sure I could be 12 lbs slimmer, and have a lot less gray hair (that is the most disappointing thing about turning 41, I am going gray rapidly!!). The lines on my face seem to be etched more. And my house is never tidied up. I wish my husband were less stressed and had more free time too... but I am thankful that he finds work rewarding and fulfilling, and that his commitment allows me to be less committed. Our parents could be younger and healthier, but this is what happens when we are older parents ourselves. I hate watching our parents falter, but they have lived long long lives and they all watched their children, and several of their grandchildren, grow up and prosper. I can think of many friends who have already lost a spouse, it seems pretty much the norm to be watching a declining parent at my age.  Our house is decorated just the way I want it to be. Sadie's childcare situation is just perfect. The list of things that I am truly thankful for now, and the people that I am thankful for, goes on and on.

I do love the concept of bucket lists. And as Sadie grows older, I think I will start one. Something that will replace our trips to Disney one day with things more adventurous for Mark and me. But for now, it is so great to be just where we are. And I am incredibly thankful.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I'd be fibbing if I said...

... that there wasn't a large part of me excited to go back to work tomorrow.

We have had an incredible Christmas. And I mean that from Halloween through this week, basically.  Faith gave us the most incredible nanny in early November and she has influenced Sadie in a truly wonderful way. The whole experience shined a bright light on a faith journey that I have been fumbling on recently, which made the whole Advent and Christmas season so much deeper and more fulfilling than I could have ever wished for.

And Sadie, she just couldn't have been better. Her behavior (no tantrums!) was perfect, and her true belief in the birth of Jesus as well as the visit of Santa (guided by Rudolph, who was the shining start this Christmas and the story that she couldn't hear enough) was just inspiring. It was just all together great. We had a terrific time with my sister who visited for several days, a white Christmas, my parents were great when they came on Christmas day, and a visit with Mark's family later last week was just marvelous too.  Sure our parents are aging and presenting more complicated health problems than we would like to be dealing with, but they are alive. It was just a great time all around (once the snow melted).

Yesterday Sadie had her first tearful meltdown "please don't go back to work day after tomorrow Mommy, can we have Christmas vacation for just a bit longer?" It made me tear up too.

But it couldn't all last. The tree (our second of the season after the Great Pine Beetle Infestation) must come down. The toys must be sorted through to fit the new ones in. It was a warm day today before the rain came and I got in a great long run. I was inspired to commit to my healthier living goals for resolutions, but to do that, I need to fit working out in every day, and working downtown with quick lunches at my desk allows me to do that much easier than being at home with Sadie does (we did a Mommy/Toddler yoga video today which was hilarious though).  She needs to get back into a rhythm and so do we. I don't think we have woken up before 8 am in a week or more. Even the dog has a sense of relaxation that made me suspect carbon monoxide poisoning more than once (kidding!).

So tomorrow, we begin what I have always hated, the doldrums of January - March. Hated, despised, barely survived, countless times. Bad memories of so many struggles find themselves in those months. Meningitis, miscarriages, etc.

But hark back, four years ago now... God gave me Sadie in the midst of that period. My March 8th baby, with a due date just into spring, came to me instead squarely in winter. My last trimester with her was heaven, it was blessed, it was a Lenten Journey that yielded, not taketh away. I never thought I would celebrate a birth of a child in any other season than Summer, which was when Mark and I celebrate our birthdays, and when the most wonderful childhood memories are gathered. But no, she was a March baby. A reminder than in the periods of darkness, that is when the light is needed to shine.

So we start tomorrow, back to work, back to school, back to routine, and judging from tonight's dinner, back to tantrums. Part of me sees Spring in the distance. But a lot of me is saying to enjoy these moments, and begging them to slow down.