Sorry when I do that.
Usually, that means it's fair for you to assume that a bit of craziness has erupted at our home.
Or, we could just say that it's December.
And things kick into extra-high gear with rehearsals, performances, and worship services---just like at your home.
Oh, and add two birthdays.
And a sinus infection for Juli.
And walking pneumonia for Micah.
Thank heaven for antibiotics!
Juli's birthday came on December 11th.
Her best gift to me was when she told me that night how she loved the dresses for her American Girl dolls more than anything.
After the cake and ice cream we headed outside to cut down our Christmas tree.
From our driveway.
We planted over 200 trees when Juli was wee little and looked something like this:
Now that she is nine the trees are perfect to use for Christmas.
And they're free.
We brought it in, and I put the lights on that night.
It's a job I don't really mind, especially since we usually have a pine tree.
Which is different from a spruce in that it won't gouge you to death.
I have a thing for Charlie Brown trees, and I don't have the 20 recommended strands of lights. (Seriously?)
So our trees usually have a very soft, homey look.
And they usually end up being much bigger than anticiapated, which is why this year's tree looks Clark Griswold-ish as it threatens to swallow my curio cabinet.
So be it.
Every night, my husband brings in a bucket of mortar and stares into space trying to envision where the next stone will fit in the fireplace puzzle.
I haven't asked him if he's tired of it yet, for I know the answer.
But the really great thing is that he keeps plugging away.
Which is great because if he gives up, there's no way I could ever finish it.
This next set of photos is fuzzy, because it involves my point-and-shoot and Christmas tree lighting.
It doesn't even faze me anymore how bad my shots are around Christmas.
Two nights ago, we decided to be Christmas elves and go over to finish decorating Grandma's tree.
They just got their tree this past weekend, and it was driving my mom crazy that the ornaments were slow to go on. So we took pity on her and went and finished it.
And spent time with Aunt Paula, who flew halfway around the world to celebrate Christmas with us.
We're a big fan of Aunt Paula.
Can you see the sleep threatening to take Micah over as he sits and tries to decide where to hang the fuchsia bulb?
I love decorating my mom's tree, because my children do things like group ornaments according to type.
Which makes me laugh, because I was pretty sure it would make my mom twitch.
She says that she loves it because her wonderful grandchildren did it.
Yesterday was my birthday.
That used to scare me to death, until I finally realized that I seem to like myself more as each year passes.
So it's okay.
My family sang to me in the morning before school.
My mom and dad had me over for dinner.
And we skipped the cake because I'm not doing sugar right now.
Which made me sad, but it's for the best.
Is it hard being born so close to Christmas?
(Mom, you are not responsible for that. It's a no-guilt thing.)
It's just so busy and crazy that birthdays get swallowed up.
Which is why we never crack the Christmas decoration box until Juliana has had her fill of birthday on the 11th.
Mine's too close to get away with that.
So I ate it up last night when Todd told me we'll celebrate my birthday on June 21st this year.
A box came from Amazon today.
It contained four presents I had ordered.
And a box cutter that I had not.
Some poor employee at Amazon is now out one yellow Tape Splitter.
Perhaps he or she somehow knew that I open my boxes with a knife?
Which brings us to tonight.
Todd is upstairs, where he has been confined all day with a stomach bug.
I've disinfected the entire downstairs, and he will stay in our room until he's feeling better.
I'll bring him anything he wants, you know.
I just can't have Juli and Micah picking up something else.
He never gets sick.
Which leaves me feeling a little scared, because if this bug was strong enough to take Todd out, it could wipe through the rest of our home pretty quickly. Kind of like the Bubonic Plague.
Sorry for the random nature of tonight's writing, and for so many sentence fragments.
It's hard to catch up on so many days of living all at once.
I had that great stretch going (as my friend M said)---and then life happened and writing didn't.
Thanks for understanding.