Saturday we braved the cold for the Christmas Stroll downtown. I'm glad we went, but it was not the same as years past. We froze. But we saw Santa up closer than we have at any other stroll.
Before the freezing of the stroll I took my girls to the Nutcracker. For the past few years we have gone and it is a tradition that makes me very happy. I have always loved the ballet and for years Matt, awesome guy that he is, would take me to the Nutcracker each Christmas. I do believe he is quite happy we have daughters to go with me now. As he said when I invited him to join us "I gave you girls so I wouldn't have to go anymore". That's cool. I've got my girls and my bestie and her girl to go with now.
Sitting with Amy and our daughters watching the ballerinas up on the stage that her and I used to dance on is something else. A reminder of how quickly it all goes. Such a fun morning, and one of my many favorite traditions I hope to continue for many years.
By Sunday I think everyone was worn out from a busy Saturday and with the added bonus of being stuck inside because of the cold, moods were chilly. I know Matt and I both wanted to skip out on church, but Ava's Sunday school class was having a Stepping Stones event. And, of course the girl who never wants to go to Sunday school wanted to go to this. Lately I have been finding my faith on a yoga mat instead of a church pew, so really wanted to go to a morning class instead of church. However, I wanted to be supportive of Ava, so we all headed to church. The Stepping Stones event was nice, but then the girls went on to Sunday school and Matt ended up having to teach, so there I was. Sitting alone in church. And, like I tend to do in church lately, I zone out what's going on, look around and question my thoughts on the whole thing. I feel like my faith has been shaken this past couple of years with my sister getting sick. I have prayed a lot. And she's not better. I know you never know how your prayers are being answered and there have been some very scary moments that she has come through so I should still have faith in prayer. And, I do...don't get me wrong. It's more the church part that I question. I didn't grow up belonging to a church and didn't until Ava was born. For most of the past eight years I have enjoyed our little church community we became a part of. But, lately the more I go, the more I question things and the less I like it. I think there is so much more to it than church. Since I was uninspired by the sermon going on and was wishing I was at my yoga class, I took a couple deep breaths and read some stories in the bible Ava had gotten that morning. It passed the time and by the time we were singing Joy to the World as the sending hymn, I felt peaceful. I will continue to try to figure out this faith and spirituality thing. And I will keep praying every night with gratitude for my beautiful family. And for my sister to get better, because she has to. I believe questioning things is always a good thing. Namaste.
Now that the weather has warmed and Christmas is right around the corner I feel like things are lifting up. I have been good about staying calm and enjoying this holiday season. A little gift shopping here and there, but I'm not stressing about it. I have a box of un-opened Christmas cards I was going to write on this evening, but I didn't and that's okay. I don't want to do them out of obligation, I want to do things this holiday season because I want to and it will add some holiday cheer. If cards go out great. If not, it will not be the end of the world. We are having our annual cookie making party this weekend and I bought (gasp!) frosting for it instead of making my own. I'm letting the little things go so I can enjoy the other little things. Like going old school and cutting out snowflakes with my girls...
The last two weeks before Christmas can be the busiest...holiday parties, school parties, Christmas programs and all that jazz. I plan on obligating ourselves to some and saying no to others. Choosing instead to stay home curled up on the couch watching Christmas movies like Polar Express and the Grinch. Ya know, the important things.
...And to All a Good Night.