Round The Kettle Ep 7 : All The Things to Share

Lord help me, I have so much to say! I have a lot I want to cover, but I don’t want to overwhelm ya’ll and say too much. It’s a balancing act…maybe. First off, as I’m typing this up I’ve got a cup of one of my favorite tea blends steeping. It’s a wonderful raspberry and rose blend that is just so velvety smooth going down your throat…incredible. When I am done with this I am going to take my cup, curl up in my comfy seat and try and finish up my current read, Labryinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

What about you? Tell me what you are doing.

Let’s start with Christmas? Or should we back it up to the week before? Ok, backing up a little further. Quick rundown of our pre Christmas adventures (as they did happen)…

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We had family visiting from out of town, so first we headed for one last trip to our favorite little antique store. They have such an eclectic selection of items and the owners kindly had sugar cookies baked for the kids. I’m going to miss visiting this place, but I know that I will find a new little antique haunt (or several) in Germany JSecond we headed to the…White House! This was our second trip up, but the only one that we got to see all the Christmas Decorations and what a sight they were! Both boys loved to see all the different trees and we definitely felt the magic of Christmas. Somehow we also ended up at the bookstore (quite the shocker there…) for a few hours and the boys got to do story time and play around in the kids section while we relaxed. The week wrapped up with a “Mom’s Day Out” at the movies seeing Bohemian Rhapsody. If you like Queen, hell if you like music, then this movie is a must see! So so good!

We also did a big move thing and shipped the car off! My car is currently on its way over to our final destination in Germany. This was the first of the big things that are happening for our move (aside from all the paperwork and appointments) and it almost hit me that we are really going.

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Christmas was a big hit (as always) in our home, even with our lack of decorations and such. The boys loved our little Christmas Eve Boxes, and they loved tearing into the couple presents they did get this year, as well as all of the sugar from cookies, cinnamon rolls, and candy! We had a lovely Christmas Dinner and I loved that it was all so easy and laid back this year (although we will be going big next year). It was nice to re focus on what the season is really about.IMG_7975.jpg

 

Finally, to round out all the excitement, I have officially ended my job!!!!!! What?!?!?!?! I am going to be able to solely focus on my family, my blog, and our travels!!! What is this??? When we got orders and everything was in process for our move out of the country, my husband and I had several long conversations about what that meant for us, what it meant for the kids, for my working, and what his job was going to entail. At the end of the day, we decided that it would be best that I didn’t continue to work and take a little time to focus on educating our children, being able to fully experience another culture, and with the added bonus of us being able to take advantage of random four day weekends that he gets with his job and travel. I am not going to lie and say that I am not excited about this, as I am incredibly excited to be able to not only have the time back with my children, but also to be able to take advantage of everything that another culture and country will offer without anything holding us back. I know that we are incredibly fortunate and blessed to be able to do this and I want to do it all “right”.

2019 is going to be THE year. I can feel it. So much good is coming our way (that goes for everyone, not just me and mine).

I hope I didn’t go on to long with the updates and blabbering! How are you? How have you been? Did you do it up for Christmas or just be laid back? Has anything excited happened lately? Tell me all the things!!

Real Talk: Holiday Stress

Oh the Holidays. The most wonderful time of year. Maybe.

I like to think that there are three categories of people around this time of year.

Category A) The Grinch. The one’s who enjoy making a mockery or being in a sullen mood this time of year. This DOES NOT include folks that are actually depressed this time of year or who take the holidays especially hard due to family loss or personal loss. I could not even begin to empathize with that and if you are someone who has a tough time with holidays, I am so incredibly sorry. This are those people who are just grinches in good form. My husband is a member of this category (although he is getting better now that we have children).

Category B) The jolly go with the flow-er (think Cindy Lou Who’s dad). This category is for those who just go with what the holiday season brings. They want everything to be perfect, but know that it will be perfect because that is just what it is. They don’t stress over decorations, over baking, over making everything perfect and just enjoy the holiday season for what it is.

Category C) The Mayor of Who-Ville. This is the category that I think a fair amount of people fall into. The one’s who stress about having everything just so, who want to be able to have all the cookies, who want to buy everyone the perfect gifts, who want to capture all the smiles on camera. Those who want Christmas dinner to taste beyond amazing.

I think most of us fall somewhere in between Category B and Category C (with maybe a few more in the Stressful Category C). The holidays can be stressful and they coincide with the end of the year, which depending on what you do can be stressful in itself. The idea of getting all of the gifts, everything wrapped and hidden from prying eyes, making sure that everyone gets their Christmas cards, that everything is planned for Christmas eating and THEN to go back and plan a whole bunch more for New Years can set anyone’s head spinning.

I am here today to tell you to STOP.

This whole trap of making everything perfect during the Holidays is a dangerous one that can leave us forgetting the whole point of the Holidays. Setting aside any religious aspects, the whole point of the Holidays (at least for me) is being with family. Seeing and being with family trumps anything else that can happen. The whole idea of being present in the moments when my children see the Christmas tree light up for the first time that year. Or seeing their faces Christmas morning when they come out to sugary treats (usually Cinnamon Rolls, Pancakes, or Waffles) and the excitement of a present or two for them to open.

If we spend our time stressing about gifts, wrapping, cooking, etc, we lose sight of the important moments. Honestly, your children will not care if the tree is absolutely perfect, they will not care if you do not make every type of cookie that you wanted. What they will remember and care is that Mommy or Daddy were not there. They weren’t smiling and laughing with them. If you are working yourself into stress, or panic over getting everything accomplished, let something go. It will not ruin your overall Holiday.

So, if you are heading into the next couple of months stressing, let it go. Let whatever is going on go and remember what the Holidays are really about.

 

Round The Kettle Ep. 5: A New Tradition

Good afternoon! Oy, It’s been a weekend. A weekend full of wonderful memories that were only created because I chose to not a semi unexpected turn of events affect all of the fun we had planned. After an early (think 4:30AM) phone call calling my husband in to work Saturday Morning, any plans that we did have for the weekend that involved both of us or him in some way went out the window. This isn’t a bad thing (a bummer yes, but ultimately there was only one major thing that ended up having to be postponed) and we made the best of the turn of our weekend.

So, how are you??? Are you ready for December? Ready for the Holidays? Ready for the <gasp> New Year???

How is it already December? The year is starting to wind down and we’ve got a very busy month ahead! I’ve been trying to do some forward planning to lighten the load of December a little bit as it has now become apparent just HOW MUCH is going to be happening this month for us.

We start the month with getting everything sorted for the Holidays. I like to get gifts, cookies, and any plans for the actual holiday sorted as early as possible, so that when that last week comes around it isn’t as stressful and we can just enjoy everything that the holidays really offer.

Then we have back to back family visits, along with different appointments, and a car drop off (to ship my car overseas!!!). Once Christmas hits, it’s a final countdown to getting the things that aren’t being shipped packed away and preparing our house and items for the movers to come and pack everything up.

This weekend we are doing a fun little thing that I am starting to actually do every year. I should clarify, I bake loads every year, all throughout the year. I love to have fresh baked something, whether that’s bread, cookies, pie, cheesecake, whatever. It’s just a nice little thing that I enjoy doing and love to be able to offer.

This year though, I want to start dedicating the first weekend in December as “Mrs. Claus Visits” Weekend in our home. Everyone talks about the big guy, Santa Claus, but Mrs. Claus is like that grandma that always has cookies to offer and is full of warmth. I’d love to represent for her and bring a little warmth to start off the month.

So, “Mrs. Claus Visits”…what is it going to be? Well, it’s a weekend full of baking, love, hot cocoa and that good ole cheer that you feel when it’s FINALLY December 1st. Christmas starts to feel real and I want to start doing this every year.

So, we will be spending our Saturday in the Kitchen. I’ll be detailing more about our Holiday treats in an upcoming post, but it’s safe to say that I’m really excited about this. Between a Saturday spent baking and a Sunday afternoon spent being pampered I think this might be the best weekend I’ve had in a long while. It certainly is setting me up for a successful busy December.

How do you handle the Holidays and this busy time of year? What do you do to keep your head level and your mind straight on track?