Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas was wonderful.  All 19 members of my family (incl. new spouses and babies) gathered in Kansas for two weeks of joy.  At first it was a little weird for me, realizing that my 'family' as I knew it has permanently changed.  J has been around for so long that he's kind of assimilated into being one of the kids, but with all the new brothers-in-law around (as fantastic as they are), it was kind of ...sad?...that my sisters were now part of a package instead of it just being the girls.  I don't know it this makes any sense, but I mourned just a little for the way it used to be.  It was really wonderful to play games, watch movies, talk until much too late, and craft to our heart's content.  We also happen to have the best sister in law in the world, who planned fabulous activities like homemade gingerbread houses, flower making, and surprised us each with a super cute, reversible apron.  How cute is she???

It was AWESOME to be with everyone, cook together (we even had "Cultural Night" where everyone prepared a special dish from around the world), do dance battles on the Kinect, and enjoy each other's company.  It was so very relaxing.  They boys had a great time playing football in the backyard.

My parents have a house with a big yard that backs to a golf course.  It makes it seem like we're way out in the country (out in the country with an occasional golfer) and it's like a breath of fresh air.  Girlie and Sammy (without my permission) would go adventuring onto the golf course, exploring the ponds and woods and trails.  I loved it.  That is what childhood should be.  Lots of gathering, and cooking together, and wandering, and playing with wooden blocks, and inventing games, and sleeping hard at night.  Lots of people to love and to love you.

As I thought about coming back to real life, it made me cringe just a little.  So busy and scheduled and complicated.

It made me want to move to the country and live off the land.  Teach my kids how to navigate by the stars and which plants are edible.  Make my own soap and pottery.  You get the idea.  And it made me determined to spend this next year really getting back to a life without so many additives.  An existence that is wholesome and organized and simple and rich in all the right ways.  I vow this year to savor the good things more. Like my wee ones.  They're growing so fast, too fast.  I'm mourning their quickly passing childhood (look at me with all my mourning...) while bursting with joy at their new ventures.  And I'm grateful.  For the sweetness in my life.  And especially for J.  If I may get sappy for a moment, I love that man.  In an unpredictable, changing world where everything seems to disintegrate and all is disposable--I have J.  He is so final.  A destination, a home really.  I can't imagine anything beyond him. 
And, for my friends.  I came home to stacks of delicious Christmas cards, photos and letters from dear ones around the country.  Beautiful, talented, amazing people whom I truly adore.  As I read the updates, looked at kids who are impossibly bigger, and thought about each of you, just know I. LOVE. YOU.

2011, bring it on.

10 love notes:

Jessica said...

What a sweet post! I feel much like you this new year, but we already talked a bit about that. Hopefully we can enjoy these ideas together in the new year and actually find more time to be together!! :)

Happy Mom said...

You have a beautiful family!! I counted seven kids in your family that all looked like they came from the same gene pool. How fun! And your mom looks adorable!!!

What a fun post!

I vow to do the same! Savor the sweet, simplify, and honor my relationship with my destination husband by taking the time to really meet his needs (I think I need to do a post about that one)

Love you, girl!

Laura F said...

Wow, all those new additions to your family are bound to herald MANY, MANY more additions in the future! :-)

Glad your Christmas was wonderful! We drove the I-80 route this time through Nebraska home and back for the holidays and I felt much the same way. You drive past all these towns that seem to be in the middle of nowhere and there's something that seems almost romantic about it. But I grew up almost in the middle of nowhere, so maybe it's my roots showing. ;-) Love you too!

Things' Mommy said...

Jess, thanks! Yes, let's definitely get together and let our kids explore together! Thanks for your sweet note yesterday, too. :)

Happy Mom, you counted right! Can't wait for your post. I've missed you. :) Love you, too. Isn't it funny how I feel like St. Louis was just the beginning of our friendship and I've gotten to know you so much more since I left!

Laura, you're one of the best. Miss you. And, wide open spaces are definitely romantic. Along with old planes, big plantation-style homes, and historic downtowns.

Amy said...

I know how you feel! I miss having my sisters to myself instead of having to share them with their husbands & children & their in-laws. It's never quite the same, but in some ways it is better, because we have all now shared a common experience of motherhood & we no longer fight over clothes:)

Aubrey said...

Thanks for the update. Your extended family is so beautiful. I hope your kids get more cousins soon. We had no shortage of kids during the week after Christmas when my family was all together. 14 kids ages 9 and under. The kids outnumbered the adults. It was crazy, but fun.
It sounds like you had a great time with your family, I love the aprons! I agree with you about simplifying life. Normal, essential playtime and family time often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of life. I hope you have a beautiful, simple year this year.
I loved what you said about J. That's how I feel about Mark. We're both very lucky with who we married. Love you guys! We miss you!

Shelley said...

You have a beautiful family.

Things' Mommy said...

Amy, I miss you! And I love you. And I'm proud to say that in all the years I've known you, we've never fought over clothes. :) I loved catching up on your blog the other day. Darling boys!

Aubs, we miss you guys too! We're planning to come through Boise this summer. We're having a family reunion mid-August (in Utah), so we'll have to try to plan a little get together!! Loved your Christmas pics--that Joy! I could eat her up!! So big and so beautiful!

Thanks, Shelley! I've been thinking about you. Hope your Christmas was wonderful. We'll have to both go to craft night so we can chat!

Orsolya Nance said...

You made me cry ... and happy and grateful and blessed and encouraged and inspired!!! I am so glad to know you and you your little family.

Things' Mommy said...

Orshi, you're so sweet! You're one of the people that inspires me to keep everything in perspective--you're so good at it! You guys will have to come over sometime. We miss you!