I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas, some good vacation time, and a great New Years celebration.
We had our share of colds, coughs and even a bout of strep throat (the hubby, 2 days before Christmas!), but we've all come out the other end and are excited for the possibilities that a new year holds.
We took the kids out for the first time this New Year's Eve, which was fun. In some ways it felt like it marked the beginning of a new era. We've bid adieu to the adult only parties (for a while anyway), and have exchanged them for confetti poppers, plastic necklaces, sparkling cider and Doritos. We gave our oldest daughter the green light to stay up until the ball drop, which she has been itching to do for years and made plans to drive into the city for dinner and some First Night stuff and then head back home for snacks and t.v.
Our Dinosaur BBQ dinner fit the bill with the kids-- Aubrey managed to spill her lemonade all over the floor, then a glass of water twenty minutes later. I sopped up both spills with a copious number of napkins which accrued in a heaping pile at the foot of our table, while apologizing to the wait staff for the mess.
I laughed at the nuttiness of it all, and about how we have become "those" people with the kids at the table in restaurants (which is why we don't go out to eat out very often these days). I mean, if I were a waitress I'd run if I saw us. Fortunately, our waitress was six months pregnant with her first child and seemed amused by the whole thing.
Is this what I have coming? she asked.
After that we headed over to the convention center where we were entertained by Jeff Musial, the animal guy, and then endured a rather odd routine by a self-proclaimed contortionist and comedian who must have gathered inspiration from Napoleon Dynamite. The guy plunged himself through a toilet seat, made bad, racist jokes and while some of it was funny, many moments left Scott and I cringing and wondering how we ended up there. Aubrey rode one carnival ride, the girls ran through a "Ninja Warrior" obstacle course, and we all left relatively entertained.
By all accounts it was a successful New Year's celebration. I went to bed at 12:01 with Ava proclaiming to 'not be tired'. I told her she could stay up for a few more minutes if she wanted to help dad clean up the kitchen, which she readily agreed too (nice move, right?!). Ella, unfortunately had a terrible cough, and while we had originally told her she could stay up, we pleaded with her to go to bed at 11 so she could get some rest.
|Aubrey at Dinosaur BBQ|
|We rolled in the New Year with homemade crowns from Dollar General!|
|Welcome to the midnight club!|
|Yes, I let this go off in my living room...while we re-watched the ball drop with Ella on New Years morning!|
I haven't had the time to contemplate 2015 the way I would like to...you know, with a hot cup of coffee and lots of uninterrupted time to sit with a pen and a journal and just scribble thoughts till my hearts content.
I haven't even really had time to solidify any resolutions for 2016, though I did settle on a "word" for the year, which I will tell you about next week since this post has already gotten rather long (and I'm trying to wrap it up with sick kiddos at home!).
Oddly enough, we have some pretty big deal family trips planned for 2016-- one for a wedding in England and one to visit some very good friends who all happen to live in Salt Lake City by a matter of coincidence.
So, if you catch one of the girls in the next few weeks and ask them what they would like to do in 2016 this is what they will tell you...
1. "Get my ears pierced." That would be Ella who we promised could pierce her ears on her 7th birthday...it's a milestone in the Littlewood household, and one that she has patiently waited for. Scott is not a fan of those mall ear piercing kiosks (which is where we took Ava, and where they pierced her ears unevenly!), and so she will be getting them pierced at a local tattoo studio owned by my cousin. I told Ella she will be the only 7 year old I have ever met to have her ears pieced in a tattoo studio. You can tell by the gleam in her eyes that it all suits her just fine, and might fit her far better than some mall kiosk with a dirty teddy bear anyway.
2. "Go to England."
Yes, England, the country. Not New England the regional area where Scott and I lived for a while.
Yes, England...like international flight with three children who don't have passports yet, one of whom will not quite be 3. Haha. I pity the people next to us on the plane.
Alas, my brother in law (the hubby's twin) is getting married to a lovely British girl who hails from the London area in early April. We toyed with the idea of leaving the kids in the States and just heading over by ourselves, but struggled to figured out a reasonable babysitting option because his mother, who is usually our overnight, Mary Poppins, babysitter extraordinaire will be in England for the wedding. And, while I do have family here... it's a long story and in the end it was either I stay home with the kids, which for a very long while seemed like the safest, most logical and reasonable option, or we all just go.
Scott was always a fan of us all going.
I was like...no, that's crazy...but, yes, we should...but, not I can't, I hate flying...but, yes, we need to live life not in fear, but with faith...but no, but yes...but no, but yes...
Finally, and this is kind of how we make many of our decisions (like when we were deciding whether to have a third child, for example!), in a moment of "yes" we took the plunge and, in this case, bought the tickets. In that other case, well, you know.
3. "Go to Utah."
A very good friend of Scott's moved to Salt Lake City with his wife and three kids years ago. They've kept in touch and Scott has always wanted to head out there, but we just haven't had the chance. Well, this year, some good friends of ours from here moved there-- these friends have 4 young kids and were looking at the only Christian school in the Salt Lake City area, where our other friends kids happen to go. They all connected and now we get pictures of our old Boston friends with our more recent Buffalo friends all hanging out. Seeing as we love the outdoors, and love both of these families it seemed like a "must do" kind of trip, and while we already have one big trip on the books waiting a year to visit our friends in Utah seems far to far away...so...
We're going to embrace the adventure of it all.
And while "adventure" is not my "word" for the year, I'm beginning to think that it should be.
The reality is that my family didn't do a whole lot when I was growing up. Money was an issue, for one, but my parents have also lived within very limited means emotionally their whole lives. That is a whole other story entirely, and not one that I'm going to venture into here, but at the end of the day I want my kids to embrace their lives with eyes wide open. I want them to see new people, places, and things. I don't want them to live safe lives out of fear, or safe thinking, but to embrace curiosity, and have the confidence to explore new places and ideas.
Now that I think about it, that might be "resolution" enough for one year, but the reality is that I, of course, have all sorts of writing and reading ideas up my sleeve as well. I probably won't be able to tackle as many of them as I'd like, but I'm going to keep jotting them down, keeping them fresh and kicking them around. I refuse to allow life to become so monotonous that "adventure" seems like a bad word.
I look forward to sharing my other "word of the year" with you later this week, and keeping you up to date on all of the other shenanigans going on in the Littlewood household.
Until then, drop a comment or thought about any adventures you are hoping to go on this year, particularly with kids in toe.
Here's to the crazy adventure of 2016!
P.S. For the record, I'm posting this 3 days after I wrote it because the babe got sick (double ear and bronchial infection), and then our oldest has been home with me for two days with severe congestion, and a sore throat.The hubs was out of town for two days (back home tonight), and I'm popping massive numbers of vitamins in an attempt to stay healthy. I've snuck away to re-read this quickly and make any corrections I can find, but apologize for any egregious typos (I'm sure there are many!). That's about how the cookie crumbles around here these days!