Dave and I spent the last few days cleaning the house from top to bottom – literally! We finally organized the basement, including all of our stuff from before kids up through all of the kid clothes that aren’t the right sizes right this moment. Everything is sorted, gone through, labeled and put in its place. The kids helped us go through toys so the house wasn’t completely overrun after the Christmas haul.
We settled in for a New Year’s at home with the kids and a few friends. We cooked a delicious meal, read stories, told stories, and had lots of laughs. The kids got sparkling juice, and thought Christmas had come again!
Hosting Christmas eve was just as lovely. Having it at our house meant the kids got a full night sleep before Christmas day, which made our holiday way more fun! Tess helped me set the table for the kids with beaded napkins and a candle. We picked food we could prep early, so Christmas Eve could be all about time together as a family. We even ended up plopped in chairs around the fireplace at the end of the night, laughing about what a nice start to Christmas we were having.
Christmas morning, the kids were almost as delighted by their matching PJs as they were by what was under the tree. We had a low-key, fun and funny morning with joke gifts and awesome surprises. We had time for a quick breakfast before packing up and heading over to Sassy and Poppi’s for Christmas with the cousins: chaos, Christmas extravaganza and kids.
Christmas dinner meant a second night of storytelling, laughter and family. One by one, all of the kids got tired and headed to bed – either upstairs or at their own homes. When things wound down, we woke up our sleepyheads, packed them in the car, and headed home.
Going into 2015, we had no idea what an amazing year we were getting into. This Christmas was wild but perfect, and frankly that sums up 2015 pretty nicely. 2016 started with a quiet morning with the kids. Remy curled up in my arms for a few hours, while Tess played with Legos and Lilou buzzed about like a little bumblebee. Griffin observed us all with his usual good humor and beautiful smile. We have errands to run, more laundry of course, things to take care of and responsibilities to come back to as work starts up again. But for today, we are reveling in how much difference a year makes, as cheesy as that sounds. We are hoping this morning is a sign of the year to come: family time, controlled chaos, a full fridge, clean house, and a few play dates with friends and family in the books.
For the first year in almost seven years, we are not worried about if we’ll have children or where the next one will come from. In fact, I dub 2016 “the year of no babies”! That sounds silly and perhaps ungrateful. It’s neither. Wanting a child and having no control over that process or outcome is incredibly stressful, as is all of the adoption paperwork associated with our two beautiful additions. We accepted those responsibilities with gratitude and an overwhelming sense of good fortune. Still, it’s a luxury beyond measure to be looking forward to a year where our family responsibilities include simply loving and appreciating our family, as it is.
We’ve had news from all of our birth families recently, and are so excited to grow those relationships and see our good fortune reflected in their lives too. We wish all of them and all of the rest of you a 2016 that surprises, delights, fulfills and challenges you. Our New Year’s resolution is to live in the moment every day this year. Wish us luck!