Yes, you read that right. Happy Flu Year, everyone! One seasonal flu shot and one H1N1 later, I rang in the New Year with getting the strain of the flu that the folks at the CDC didn't put in their vaccinations. Thankfully, it was the weekend, so my wonderful husband was able to take care of the kids (it already passed through him, my niece, and my dad, just days before) and me, of course.
Christmas was really special because it was "big Christmas", where my entire family (parents, grandparent, sister, brother-in-law, kids, aunt, uncle, and cousins) all celebrate together. We started at my parents house by attending the children's mass (even at this mass, our kids were kind of loud, meaning, the only kids who were loud, meaning embarrassing, but what can you do? God forgives, right?) Erik cooked a fantastic Christmas Eve dinner (haven't mentioned that he is a FABULOUS cook, which I should save for a future post!), and the adults opened presents from one another after the kids were in bed. We thought we were saving time by doing this, because the kids had to open their gifts from Santa in the morning.
There were so many presents, too many presents...
that they covered the living room floor. My brother-in-law reminded me to be in the moment and watch the kids with my eyes, rather than through the lens, and he was right. There are times for clicking away, and there are times for just being. This was one of them.
And then there are those moments, that no matter how hard you try, you just can't resist and you must pick up your camera.
We tried as hard as we could to be on time (ahh...the story of my life and what seems to be my resolution every single year!) to Christmas Day at my Uncle Joe's, but to no avail. It was pure chaos with 6 adults, and 4 kids packed into my parents house. We made it, eventually.
Anna was obsessed with sitting in the miniature sleigh at the top of the stairs.
Kieran found his love(s) in Gilbert and Busby.
The kids has a great time feeding the fish in the backyard-
especially Anna, who would have gone swimming with the fish if we let her.
All that being in the moment, which was wonderful, I might add, and I have no photos to show of my WHOLE family. I've got some video footage, which I am thankful for because of my sweet, sweet, grandmother who is still barely with us, but had such a wonderful day! I did get this one:
And this one:
which is pretty funny, since Anna looks like she's going in for the kill on Kieran's Optimus Prime.
We went home one night and then it was off to "snow heaven".
We had lazy mornings, which is what vacation is all about.
Though the snow was not as great as it could have been, it was still good enough to build our sled run, just outside the house. The kids had a fantastic time!
They played plenty of foos ball with Uncle:
and loved every minute of it!
After my family left, our good friends who also have a house in "snow heaven", joined us for the New Year. We took the "big kids" ice skating for the very first time (picture is on my iPhone and I'm too lazy to connect it right now) and
we took our first sleigh ride (aka complete tourist trap, but fun for kids when you need something else to do):
Yes, that's me in the way, way back. You can't see the kids because I couldn't lift both of them fast enough. That, and our sleigh driver, though as nice as he was, didn't get how to press the button. Oh well.
Kieran and Elyse were excited to get postcards from their sleigh ride.
And it was very exciting (to Kieran) that he got to feed one of the horses at the end of the ride!
It was just me, Elizabeth, her mom, and the kids...the boys were freezing their behinds off, fishing (all three caught by the way)!
We rang in the New Year with cheap wine glasses and Martinelli's. Yes, even us big kids drank Martinelli's. We were too tired to to even pop open the champagne, sad, I know. I don't even like it anyway, so it makes no difference to me!
And yes, our preschoolers were up with us and the little ones were in bed. And yes, the preschoolers normally go to bed by 8pm.
So as we raise our glasses to 2009, whether there has been good times or bad,
I am truly grateful for another year of beautiful life. Another year, of living in the moment. Another year of giving thanks to God for all I have been given with the hope that 2010 will have joyous events, moments, and memories in store.