I've been on a bit of a hiatus and to be honest, it was partially due to writer's block. There were several times I wanted to post, but just couldn't quite figure out what I wanted to say. But now following one of my favorite holidays, I've been dying to write a post and couldn't find the time. I don't want this to be just a recap of our holiday experience, but I do want to share some of the emotions of the past few days.
Unfortunately, I came down with a bug of some sort on the last Friday of work. Fortunately we make it a pretty laid back day and so I muddled through, but I was starting to get stressed about getting sick for Christmas. This shouldn't have been the end of the world for me; I knew no matter what it wasn't going to be serious so even if it was an inconvenience, or worst case, I couldn't make it to some of our festivities, I would be fine and there would be other Christmases. This of course brought me back to several years ago when my sister became very, very, dangerously ill just before Christmas and our family spent several hours on Christmas Eve with her in the ICU and how all I could think was that I didn't care about Christmas at all that year, I just wanted her better and home. It's a time our family can joke about now, but at that time, it really put things in perspective for us and I always try and keep that perspective around the holidays.
The main reason I was so worried about being sick was because I didn't want to miss anything with Tera. If there's one thing I've learned since becoming a parent, it's that the holidays bring on a whole new meaning. In the case of our little Energizer Bunny, it means we're both a little more exhausted at family functions because we have to alternate who's going to chase after her. But mostly, it's Christmas morning that has gotten even better. I'll admit I've never been able to sleep in on Christmas; I'm always up early and trying to wait until an appropriate time to wake Tom up so we can go downstairs and open gifts. I love turning on the tree when it's still dark outside, exchanging gifts, trying to capture the looks of surprise with the camera, and sharing our stories about our gift purchasing experiences. But last year and this year it was made so much more memorable when the day was started by hearing that little voice from the other room. This Christmas morning I was already awake (following an incredibly crappy night of sleep due to my inability to breathe) and anxiously awaiting Tera's waking sounds. She of course took this opportunity (of all the days) to sleep until 7! I walked into her room only to be greeted by one very smiley, happy girl. I got a hug and kisses and it almost seemed as if she knew what was going on. I carried her back to our bedroom where she greeted Daddy with kisses and soon enough we headed downstairs.
Last year she did pretty well with the unwrapping process, but this year she was just completely enthralled by it. If Tom or I opened a gift from the each other, she had to help unwrap it. Pretty soon our living room was a tornado of paper, boxes, toys, and clothes and it was perfect. Tom's parents were due to join us shortly after so we started cleaning a bit up before the next wave and Tera took a break to have some breakfast and then Skype with one of her aunts. The amazing thing about technology, is that even in Charlotte, my sister can watch Tera unwrap her gifts from her.
The rest of the day was a whirlwind of food and gifts and despite only being able to nap in two short spurts, Tera did great. So here's what I'm taking from Christmas this year. 1.) My husband never ceases to amaze me. The thoughtfulness and love that he consistently puts into my gifts reminds me how incredibly lucky I am to have him. 2.) Each year Christmas will become more and more memorable as Tera understands more about what is going on and I can't wait to make memories with her that we will both cherish. 3.) Our family and friends also never cease to amaze me. The gifts are one thing, but the thought that went into them and just the reactions on THEIR faces when she opened her gifts were priceless. I'm still always taken aback when I see how much that little girl is loved, and how much love she inspires. 4.) We clearly need a bigger house.
I don't know that I got everything out that I wanted to, but I guess that's the price I pay when I have thoughts percolating in my head for days and I don't get them out. Maybe as I remember other things I wanted to include, I'll write them down and I'll have some material for the next few days. Tomorrow Tera will be at daycare and Tom will be at work so given an entire day of personal reflection, I'm sure I'll have more than enough.