Monday, December 21, 2015

MORE MERRIMENT & LESSON LEARNING

The Christmas countdown is in full effect at our house.  I found the girls shaking presents this morning to "make sure that something was inside of them."  They are excited.  Last week, we did one of our favorite traditions and headed to Garvan Gardens to see the lights with friends.  The crowds were not bad, and the lights were beautiful, as usual.

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(best pic of all four kiddos - insert laugh/cry emoji here)

We had a good time with our friends, and I'm thankful we had an opportunity to go.  However, our drives there and back left much to be desired.  There was a ton of screaming on the way there, which is incredibly wearing.  We were pretty frazzled by the time we arrived.  After traipsing around for about an hour, we headed home, and each child had popcorn in hand.

But we were tired and ready to be home and driving a bit too quickly.  We saw an officer whip around, and blue lights appeared in our rear window.  He graciously let us go, and we felt that we had received mercy far beyond what we deserved.

Last night, we had a date night where we ate dinner and then walked around downtown seeing some of the fun Christmas decorations in hotels.

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We had some heart to hearts about how we spend time as a family and ways that might make it better.  Sometimes we just don't learn, which feels a little disheartening at this point.  We know that some of our children do not do great in the car, and so maybe driving an hour+ for an activity (at this stage) may not be the best idea unless we have really clearly thought through and planned for it.  We have a trip coming up, and we brainstormed some ideas about things that could make it better.  Hopefully we will make some helpful changes.

Planning really is mission critical for us at this point.  The other thing we are realizing is that more than going and doing - our kids often just appreciate us being.  Being present.  Being together.  We tend to keep running, but when we stop and pause, we find we do truly enjoy ourselves.  We watched Elf as a family the other night and cuddled on the couch and laughed.  The twins got to run around and dance whenever music came on.  Everyone was happy.  The whole time.  It was pretty remarkable.

So, here's to merriment and lesson learning and hoping and praying that we get better at both.

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