Okay can you tell life is better here now that my only grumble is glitter and such. Normalcy has settled back into our lives and the pure crazy is now back to a minimum.
It all came with my mom and stepdad. They were the first to venture our way this holiday season. They were just stopping on their way on to their final destination but they got here on Monday afternoon and with them came a gust of fresh air that my mind, body and soul so desperately needed. They were able to visit, go see Santa with us, take us to dinner, give me time to grocery shop on my own, love on us and then off they were the next morning.
Then that week seemed to settle some- still not totally but some. We headed back to bible study after missing a week because of the 'bugs.' Lauren sang in the children's concert that was so precious to watch. I didn't get any good pictures of her but took videos and they were priceless. Matt appreciated it since he couldn't be there.
Then Matt's parents were here the following Saturday. They stayed in a hotel this time, which is something different. I appreciated it since it meant less clean up once they left and it was neat to try something new. Their presence gave us the time and rest we, Matt and I, so desperately craved. Matt and his dad got a lot of small projects down around the house and I got a few big ones done. I got the girls summer and fall clothes all packed up and set them home with my in-laws. They are so wonderful and house the billions of boxes of clothes we have accumulated- one reason I'm so super excited that baby three is another sweet girl! But that cleaned up my closets and just felt freeing and refreshing. I also got the crawl space door painted- yeah the one we put up just under a year ago. But it's done so now Matt can figure out how to insulate it and that project can officially be done.
Then if that wasn't enough my MIL cooked and took care of the girls the whole weekend. Then they took Lauren to sleep with them at the hotel Sunday night. It was so fun for her and Olivia who soaked up all the wonderful mommy and daddy love all for herself. Then on Monday I got to go workout in the morning, meet Matt for a date lunch, shop, go to a PT appointment, and grocery shop (again) for a few weeks worth of food- and all of this was done all by my lonesome. Then as an extended family we went to our local botanical gardens for the lights festival. The weekend was like a dream come true. I tell you I went through the ringer at the beginning of this month but God is sure giving me time to recover and rejuvenate. It was a wonderful time Monday but boy was I tired by Monday night- I had gotten so much in that day! Then the next morning they headed home.
Tuesday morning had Lauren sick again. I tell you our house this year has been a revolving door of one nasty germ after another. Luckily she was the only one who came down with this 24 hour virus that left her just lifeless on the couch with a mild temperature. Since we had done oil in their hair again just to be double, triple sure all was well, they needed to take baths that morning. Lauren did a quick bath and then asked to lay on the couch, only to fall asleep (something my little girl hasn't done since her baby stage). Olivia was on my lap while I talked to Matt about Lauren and then she fell fast asleep, so I laid her down on the couch. There they napped. I had to snap a picture of this! They both sleep about two hours, staggered, but my goodness.
Wednesday was the first day since December 1st that we got some school in! In fact we had school again today- two days in a row!! And it's on the schedule for tomorrow too- yes that means we completed a whole week of school!! That is the lovely thing about homeschooling- besides the many other things- flexibility! But getting off schedule really throughs Lauren and I off- we both love routine and knowing what to expect so when everything goes wonky (Lauren loves that word) it throws us off. So glad to get back into the normalcy!
So onto more exciting stuff, Olivia is now sleeping in her big girl bed. It is funny because with Lauren we set the beds for the first time when we were rearranging the house for impending Olivia's arrival and she just, on her own, went and slept in there and never looked back at the crib. With Olivia we've had her big girl bed set up since before her birth and it has always just been there. We've always called it "Olivia's Big Girl Bed." Lauren knew that one day she would come to sleep with her. In fact, she has been looking forward at least since the end of this summer. I wasn't sure exactly how to do it. One day, over a month ago, I attempted to nap with her in there but that was nuts. Then on Tuesday we were playing upstairs waiting for Matt to get home and she was just snuggled in there and she looked so ready. I thought we could give it a go and see how it all works out. Lauren was all for it and Olivia too. Matt said sure when he got home and now she is out of the crib and into her 'big girl bed.' We're two nights in and they did just fine. They took a bit longer to fall asleep due to the excitement of it all and Olivia and Annabelle are still working out this new arrangement (Annabelle woke her twice in the middle of the night by loving on her). Nap has been more of a learning curve for Lauren and I then anything. Lauren doesn't need a nap everyday and even when she does it is hard for her to head off to dreamland the nights she naps. So I've done 30 minutes of 'rest' time in bed and then an hour or so of 'quiet' time where she plays in her room and enjoys a small snack. Well now that Olivia is sleeping in there she has to leave after the 30 minutes of rest. And I still need my time and Lauren still needs her time, so I have her playing with toys in the nursery, but it just isn't the same as having all your toys, books, and games at your disposal to entertain yourself. She has had shorter quiet times the last few days and until something comes to me. I'm not sure how to solve the problem. Olivia sleeps like a rock but I can't expect Lauren to be pin drop quiet while she plays. I'm sure it will get figured out somehow. Until then, we'll roll with it.
Anyway, I've enjoyed the moments of answered prayer and God's grace that have come my way in this past week and a half. I am looking forward to a continued calmness for the rest of December as we anticipate my dad and step-mom's arrival this coming week and Christmas excitement just around the corner.
Many blessings to you as we continue through the advent season- the season of hope and great expectations. Where we see God's grace through the celebration of the birth of a baby. Who came to rescue us from the sinfulness that can consume us if we let it. Who came to rescue us from the pain of this world as He brought the light that shows us the dream life in the next. Who came to remind us how to live life gracefully now and how to behave in a way that is pleasing to God. Who came to guide us and encourage us. Who came to, more than anything, show us God's unending love!
Amen for that little baby boy!
"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them." Luke 2:6-7