Sunday Journal: Christmas Reflections, Slobbery Kisses, and Houdini

20151223_094152 (480x640)Christmas is now past. Tomorrow the tree and decorations will slowly make their way to storage for another year. The house will feel empty and cold with all the cheerful and bright baubles hidden away. My heart wasn’t where it should be. Not this year. Maybe because the kids have been sick…or exhaustion from the move…or isolation from the Christian community.

my boys playing on the monastery grounds

my boys playing on the monastery grounds

Last week we visited the nuns and I was glad to see them again. I’ll get to see them more often now that we live closer. The boys played on the grounds outside while Sparkles and I did most of the visiting. My husband actually got to enter the cloister! One of the printers was broken and since he is an engineer…he can fix anything. He also used to work for a printer company. Anyway, I thought it was neat he saw a part of the cloister. Every time I visit with my dear sisters

Grandma opening her gifts

Grandma opening her gifts

they tell me that my husband was an answer to their prayers for me. I always leave feeling so…loved.

My mother came by for a couple of days earlier this week. She and the kids exchanged gifts. I helped the kids cajole her into playing video games with them. We barely spoke to one another. I didn’t let her stress me out this time. When she criticized me I just

game time with Grandma

game time with Grandma

turned and walked out of the room. I really do not have to sit in silence and take her heartless words. I only told her once that I wasn’t going to listen when she talked to me like that. The rest of the time I just walked away. This was the calmest visit ever…because I chose not to be her dumping ground.

We enjoyed our own rather quiet family time together on Christmas Eve. The kids opened their gifts from each other. Our main gift for the family this year was a

opening the family gift

opening the family gift

membership to the Cincinnati Zoo which is less than two hours away. I am looking forward to many fun zoo trips this year. My husband and I decided last year that we want to give our kids the gift of experiences over materialism. We want them to have wonderful family memories to look back on someday…when we are gone. More than anything I want my crew to know just how truly loved and deeply loveable they are to us. I didn’t get that as a kid.

opening stockings

opening stockings

On Christmas morning the kids checked their stocking to see what Santa left for them. I think only Littlest actually believes in Santa now. We only have a couple of years left for believing in Christmas magic. I’ll be melancholic when Littlest quits believing.

nap during Christmas day travels

nap during Christmas day travels

Later, we left for Western Kentucky to spend the day with my husband’s family. I enjoyed watching all of the children open their gifts. The baby of the family is really cute and he gave me a slobbery kiss from my jaw all the way to my brow! TWICE! The mother was apologetic but she really didn’t need to bother. That moment was likely the sweetest and most loving moment we will ever share together. He’ll only see me on holidays once or twice a year. I’ll be a stranger. This year strangers are loveable people worthy of slobbery kisses…but not ever again.

Mr. Slobbery Kisses

Mr. Slobbery Kisses

The next morning we rushed to Suzann’s home for breakfast. She made us a wonderful feast of ham, sausage, fried potatoes, biscuits, eggs, jams, jellies, juice and coffee. The kids played with her grandson and watched television with her husband. We all talked, laughed, exchanged gifts and loved each other. Awesome morning! We left her home with a new family member…Boots the cat.

Sparkles and Boots the Houdini Cat

Sparkles and Boots the Houdini Cat

Boots road in the front seat in a pet carrier all the way from Western Kentucky. About four hours. She is an awesome passenger. Very calm. Sparkles is over-the-moon to have her own pet!!

Today, Boots gave us quite a scare. We couldn’t find her anywhere and were convinced that she had somehow escaped outside. My husband tore the house apart looking for her. I tore the house apart. The kids searched diligently for her. My husband walked through the neighbor in the pouring rain for her (okay, really he walked in the pouring rain for Sparkles). Sparkles

Sparkles and Christmas outfit...because it was too warm for Christmas sweaters

Sparkles and Christmas outfit…because it was too warm for Christmas sweaters

cried her heart out. We were a heart-broken family. We were never ever going to own a pet again. NEVER! By the time we put our sorrowful children to bed the cat had been missing for about eight hours. I was sitting at this computer trying to write this post. But I couldn’t. I was so angry…I was pissed-off at God for breaking my daughter’s heart. I knew she was in her bed crying and I couldn’t bring that cat back. So I blamed God. I let Him have it!!! And when I ran out of words and sat here crying, my daughter let out a scream of delight.

Boots was in her room, perfectly okay and purring like there was no tomorrow. I immediately loved and hated that cat. I’m still mad a God for putting us through that emotional turmoil.  My husband renamed the cat Houdini.

Julie receiving her gift from the community that loves her so much

Julie receiving her gift from the community that loves her so much

In the middle of all of this cat missing feline episode I got to participate in a wonderful event with the Bravescopes community. Julie Bogart from Brave Writer has given so much of herself freely to us in the homeschooling community. I feel like I should have continuing education credits added to my college transcript for all of the knowledge she has passed on to me. Some of the amazing ladies put together a funding site for Julie. The funding project was for a kayak (and necessary accessories) because it was something she has always wanted to do. I got to participate in this project and watch her reaction live on Periscope when we gave her this gift of love. Wow!

Honestly, I’m done in. Today was truly awful and wonderful. I hope tomorrow is boring. My heart is too full.

 

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6 thoughts on “Sunday Journal: Christmas Reflections, Slobbery Kisses, and Houdini

  1. I am reading this and I feel much the same as you Audria. Between work and Christmas festivities, I am feeling a bit of a sensory overload. There is a mental and physical fatigue that has set in now that Christmas is over for another year. It sounds like you had a good Christmas, all in all. I think getting back in a normal routine should get us back on track…..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sensory overload…you hit the nail on the head! Yes, this was a good Christmas for our family…just different. I am looking forward to the return of the routine as well.

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  2. I’m glad you stood your ground with your mother. I avoided mine this year like the plague. Glad the cat is safe and sound. I’ve decided this year I’m keeping one Christmas decoration out to keep the cheer going a little longer. I think it will be my snow globe. Wishing you a happy New Year. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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