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I’ve Got Some Explaining To Do

My apologies for going all radio silent on you this past week. I can 100% blame it on two things: life and a stomach bug.

Those are always fun, aren’t they?

I went down last Saturday night and was sick all through the weekend. I don’t really feel like I came out of it until Wednesday or Thursday of last week. Whew. Rough.

But, enough about my gut, let’s move on to better things. Advent! December! Or, as I like to call it, “the month I delete all the emails.” Last count, I was up to 21 Christmas/party/end-of-year emails from the school. Ask me how many I’ve read.

No really.

ZERO.

This is usually where all my fellow homeschooling moms chuckle, as they sit on their couch in their yoga pants, sipping coffee. After 11 years of kids in school, my philosophy at Christmas time is simple. Delete all the emails. Bring cash to the class parties and pay the room mom for pizza. Buy teacher gifts in the summer but don’t forget where you hid them. Drink a beer upon return home. Rinse, repeat. It really makes this time of year so much more enjoyable.

Our three weeks of Advent have been filled with some beautiful moments of peace. Yes, there’s crazy because that’s what December is full of, but it doesn’t have to own you. For years, I let it take control and after Luke and Gianna were born, my give a damn button broke and I started embracing the season of life we’re in. I stopped doing and started being.

The girls and I enjoyed Ballet Austin’s “The Nutcracker.” It’s become an annual event and boy, do we love it so.

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We finally gave up the search for the great Christmas tree farm, cashed in our “best tradition ever” chips and bought it at HEB. I felt like it should also come with a tag on it marked #lame. But, as part of embracing the season, we decorated it up and it’s probably one of the most beautiful trees we’ve ever had. And, Gianna hasn’t pulled it down yet.

After 19 years, we finally have a Jesse Tree. My grand intentions of making ornaments never materialized, but my fingers went a-clicking to Etsy and voila. Ornaments. We were a week late getting started, but we’re all caught up now. So far? The kids are loving it.

jesse tree, blog_6203

The elf on the {damn} shelf is back. We have a love-hate relationship. At 10pm it’s hate, but during daylight hours you can find me Googling creative ideas. It’s what parents do for the love of their children.

At last weekend’s District 4-H Food Show and Food Challenge competition the kids 100% rocked it. More on that later, but it appears I have four, really talented, sous chefs on my hands.

4h, blog_5875

St. Nick came and boy, did Gianna love her gold coins.

st nick, blog_5891

We also found ourselves bleacher side, watching Mr. Point Guard do this thang. That kid is fast.

bb, blog_6093

There have been Christmas parties and present buying, decking the halls and cookie baking, “Elf” watching and popcorn popping. But it’s been in the small moments where I’ve found solace. Last week, our parish had it’s Advent penance service where many priests were available to hear confession. If only I could bottle the peace in that church, with the lights dimmed and the piano softly playing. It was a beautiful way to spend an evening during Advent.

I’ll be blogging the rest of this week and the early part of next and then I’ll hang up my 2015 blogging hat until January. Lord knows you people have better things to do over the holidays than listen to me yap. What do you have to look forward to until then? The Star Wars party recap (YES!), how we celebrate both St. Nick and Santa Claus, what our decked halls look like and I’m sure 1am sassy Kathryn will make a debut, too.

Chat soon!

9 Comments

  1. Nicole on December 15, 2015 at 8:34 am

    That stomach bug will take you out! Hopefully you were able to contain it so that the rest of the household didn’t get sick too. Our December has been busy, but I do feel like we are trying (really trying) to remember that it’s not about the parties, the cookies, the lists, the emails, the sales, the presents, the chaos… it’s all about the reason for the season. Thanks for sharing your 2015 with us. I have enjoyed reading (as I have in years past), and will look forward to more in 2016. Take care!

  2. Lynn on December 15, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Kathryn,

    I read your blog far too infrequent but when I do, I am always blessed and find myself smiling a lot! Have a very blessed rest of the year and Christmas Season!!!

    Your infrequent follower,
    Lynn ??

    • Kathryn on December 20, 2015 at 11:36 pm

      I love it whenever you drop in! Merry Christmas, Lynn!

  3. Christina on December 15, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Glad you’re feeling better again! Love your holiday philosophy. I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to do things like go to the Nutcracker- sounds like a blast!

  4. Rachael on December 15, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I completely understand your perspective on being overwhelmed by all of the holiday stuff from school, but a perspective from the other side–I’m the room mother for one of my children’s classes (not something I ever wanted to do, but the teacher emailed me and asked if I would take it on since nobody else signed up, and she knew I’d do it if asked). It’s been super stressful since I broke my leg last month and literally nobody has signed up to help with the as-simple-as-possible holiday party. So while I understand your reasoning, please don’t just delete those emails blindly–the person sending them may be just as stressed as you, if not more!

    • Kathryn on December 20, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      Rachael, I probably should’ve explained myself a little more fully. All of those emails were ones I’ve read before (hazard of having been at the same school in many of the same classrooms for nearly a decade!) I know my gifts and they aren’t to help at the Christmas parties. Although, the time and effort those room moms put into them is not lost on me. But, I’m usually the mom that coordinates one of our other fundraisers and that’s where I channel my energies. It’s all about knowing your gifts. Thank you for reminding me that we all serve in different ways and may you have a blessed Christmas season!

  5. Becky on December 15, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    This post made me laugh out loud!!! Hilarious!

  6. Suzi Whitford on December 17, 2015 at 5:52 am

    So lovely to read how your family is embracing Advent. This is the first year we’re truly celebrating this seasons and it is so beautiful. We have a Jesse Tree, with free ornaments I printed online, an Advent wreath and we’re trying to do the Christmas novena.

    As our little family is growing we’re doing our best to embrace the Church’s traditions. It has been lovely.. we’ve even been brave enough to sit in the front rows at mass to see the Advent candles being lit.

    Thank you for sharing! I hope you feel better and no one else in the house catches the bug.

    • Kathryn on December 20, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      The rest of us came out unscathed – thank God! Merry Christmas to your family, Suzi!

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