If I’m being honest I don’t know how I feel about the holidays. This feeling of “I don’t know” seems to sum up my emotions in general – probably more so these last few months.
To reinforce that thought – this post has sat in the draft pile for nearly a week. =)
There really isn’t anything new on the adoption side – just waiting for whatever is next. Whenever that comes.
And while I have brief moments of sadness I’ve attempted this last month to focus on other things – nothing specific just other stuff.
The last few days have been harder for me – I guess because I haven’t been so incredibly busy. I have been busy but in comparison to last week – these last few days were nothing. I have wandered into stores to get a few last minute items and look at little babies or children and my mind wanders to the “what ifs” of the last few months. If I stay too long in the “what if” moment then I do get sad but I usually will distract myself and go back to what I had been doing. On Christmas Day I had a moment when I thought back to loads of what-ifs in a manner of a minute. I envisioned the two babies we lost – how old they would be – what they might look like. I imagined the three failed adoptions. That minute in my mind lasted an eternity. I eventually “resumed normal programming” if you will and returned to our conversation.
Luckily in these hard moments I have either been with J or one of my best friends (one is in town – hopefully she will get to move home sooner rather than later) so I have had some pleasant distractions.
Despite those moments I think we have done a good job of continuing on our holiday traditions. Our house is decorated (albeit a little less than usual but there is still a ton of stuff up).
One of our bookcases in the living room. Normally the bookcase houses TONS of pictures of my grandfather when he was child and pictures of J’s Grandparents. At the moment it holds only a few pictures (along with many books), cards from family, friends and co-workers as well as my nutcracker collection.
Our kitchen table. Sorry it is so dark. I put my kitchen tree on my cookbook shelf this year and added lights since we would be having people over for a few holiday events. I took a picture with the lights on but it really didn’t do the tree justice or really show off J’s handiwork hanging ornaments from the light fixture.
Our tree – still missing at least a third of the ornaments (we scaled back this year) and hardly any of the presents. I tried to get a dark picture but my phone would not even remotely focus on the tree so I gave in and turned the lights on. LOL
Another dark picture (sorry) but I absolutely love the look of the living room with just our Christmas lights on. It just gives it that homey, warm feeling. Normally we would be using our fireplace but until lately it hasn’t been that cold and this year we have another chair in the living room.
Normally I will decorate the guest bathroom and drag out more stuff (because I have amassed lots of holiday stuff) but we/I just didn’t feel like going crazy. I will keep my red and gold accents out through the winter and get out winter themed plates for the kitchen (because yes I have those too) and redecorate the mantle a little but the rest of the stuff gets packed away after New Year’s.
But Christmas hasn’t been all toned down (or at least that is how it felt for us in some aspects). I started a 12 days of themes/activities at work before we left for the winter break. We stubbornly trekked to 5 different stores at the beginning of the month and got our traditional real tree (the right kind – a noble fir and one priced in our budget). J made his peppermint bark. We bought our yearly ornaments. I went to J’s yearly family girls’ night (-1 + my father in law). We have made gifts, wrapped gifts and we continued our tradition of going to my parent’s on Christmas Eve and went to J’s parents Christmas Day.
I made this sign for J’s two sisters. (The other sign is red.) I have seen these signs on places like Etsy for several months now. I was walking in a local boutique a few months ago looking for a gift for a friend when I saw these signs for sale but they were not painted – the person had used vinyl. I thought they were really cute but the price was not – especially since it didn’t come with any hardware. So I made some myself!
Like I mentioned I have tried to keep my mind on other things and focus on being grateful. My mind is continually thinking – “when in doubt be grateful”. Some days it is tough and some days it isn’t. J and I do social stuff together (hockey, movies, watch tv shows, etc.) and then we do our own thing (hanging out with friends, he plays his video game with his friends) and life at home is easy and the house is picked up (except when the dogs are muddy. LOL). I am grateful for this new routine we have in place.
I am grateful for kind friends who send kind thoughts. A dear sweet friend Elisha from Waitingforbabybird sent me the sweetest card (she is such a gifted writer with such a kind heart and she always knows what to say), we received a card from a church member with kind words as well as card from my beloved hair dresser who ALWAYS knows what to say to me (even on the days I don’t want to hear it).
So the holidays were, as much as we didn’t REALLY want them to be, the same as always (and what I mean when I say “same” is the routine and process for us – our lives as a family unit haven’t changed in over 7 years). Despite the disappointing vibe of the end of 2014, having that routine is somewhat comforting – even though it wasn’t exactly what we envisioned for Christmas 2014. I am cautiously optimistic for 2015 but for now I am going to focus (or try anyway) on what is in front me. (And maybe get some of my never ending crafting projects finished! LOL)
I hope everyone has had a pleasant and blessed holiday season and a fantastic 2015.
PS – If for some reason some of the pictures are sideways – I have no idea why they look like that. On some web versions they look the right direction and on others they are sideways. I don’t get it. =)