Christmas 2008 --- I need a do-over.

Kaylee said, "Mom I got great gifts - I loved them all. But Mom, it was the worst Christmas ever." Yep ... she could be right.

Christmas Eve service was wonderful. We took up a whole row with our friends the Condello's and the Prins'. 6 adults, 6 kids. The worship center was pretty full for a 4:00 service. And I was ready. I love Christmas Eve service. I love singing the songs so focused on the miracle gift of Jesus. I love the finale of everyone being invited to come to the platform to sing Hallelujah chorus. I love the messages that direct my heart to the real blessings of the season. Jesus. Forgiveness. Salvation. Do overs. And this year - the best is yet to come. (The service isn't on our website or I would give you a link to listen to it...it was a good one.) Anyway ---- I was focused, grateful, adoring my Savior & my God...

The Condellos came over afterwards for games and fun - plus sandwiches, shrimp, and other yummies!! I was home about 3-5 minutes, when I started to not feel so good. The feeling wouldn't go away...and then...yep...that yucky spit. Let's just say the rest is history. The puke-fest would begin. I was miserable. I don't think I've ever been this sick. I spent a good bit of time upstairs. I didn't get a picture of the kids in their Christmas outfits - and for me...that's ridiculously bad. A sure sign that I was absolutely miserable. Once the Condellos left, we had little Christmas Eve projects - stuff stockings & wrap the last few stuffers, and...put together Noah's new bike. I love to wrap. I love putting stuff out and under the tree. Yeah - that didn't happen. I was miserable. I sat in front of our fireplace begging the warmth of the flame to melt away the agony. While it was a comfort it wasn't enough. I kept apologizing to Steve who wrapped all the presents - stuffed the stockings and assembled the bike. And early enough I was already up in bed. Yeah, I'm hardly ever in bed before Steve - I'm the night owl.

As I've said before, somewhere along this blogging journal...I am unfortunately a recipient of the Armbruster curse --- yes I snore. So, on some unfortunate nights, my husband may end up slumbering on the couch for the last hour or so of his sleep cycle because the symphonic noises he hears are not exactly the sleepy soothing kind. So, when I woke up about 4:30 and realized he wasn't in bed, part of me thought I was snoring - then I thought maybe he was sleeping on the couch to not catch my germs. Then I heard him. Uh, oh. We broke the parent rule. Both parents cannot be sick at the same time. I slowly made my way down the stairs to commisserate in agony with my man - me on the loveseat, him on the couch and we groaned in pain together. Noah was up early ready for Christmas (about 6:30)...and Steve...he went back to bed. The kids were sooooo patient because we had told them that at 7:00 it would be time to open presents... They waited until 7:30. They were great.

Now I don't know how it was in your house growing up, but the "standard" seems to be that parents kinda "stack" the gifts - they say, yeah, you can open this one, wait hold on that one a little bit. Today - we just said - find the one with your name on it and open it. They looked at each other for a moment of "seriously - did mom just say that?" And then they bolted - they knew exactly what they wanted to open. We didn't dictate order or anything. Sure - open whatever you want. And they loved it. Paper covered every inch of the floor and they were thrilled. Once we finished opening gifts, Steve was back in bed. I was asleep on the couch and slowly they began to open and play with everything they got that day. They were fabulous. They were patient. They were entertaining. They were best friends. They were amazing. Steve and I...while bodily present - we were miserable. We couldn't walk. We could barely lift our heads. The Condellos saved the day...again...and brought us Gatorade and crackers and chicken noodle soup. (At dinner time they brought the kids turkey & mashed potatoes). We couldn't even open the door. Poor kids - when they wanted something opened - they would bring me the box and the scissors to cut through all those stupid twist-ties on the back side of kids items...I would fall back asleep and 10 minutes later they'd say Um mom - weren't you going to open that. Oh yeah - I was.

I was reminded all day to pray for John. I had no energy. No stamina. I couldn't move. It was a day. He'd been like that for what - 7 weeks. I was reminded of how I take for granted how amazing my kids are. How I wished I could care for my hubby but couldn't. How I was grateful that I knew God was watching out for me and pleading with him to spare the kids from this yuck. And in the midst of those fleeting thoughts found Him in the midst of misery. There's soooooo much of that day or two I want to do over. But I learned a lot too. I can't give that day back to the kids. I wish I had video of them opening stuff...and being as excited about every single gift in the exact same way - whether a big lego set or a bottle of bubble bath --- they just called out "I love it" and ran to find the next thing. I can't give them a different memory of the day. I can't promise that next year will be different. I can't count the number of times I said I'm sorry to them. I wish I could have been even more focused on Him. I can't take that back either. I am truly grateful for my kids, my friends, my hubby...and for Jesus. Truly truly grateful. I don't always understand the experiences in life...but...I love Him. I trust Him. But man...I'd still like a do-over.



©2009 Until... | by TNB