Today started off as a normal Saturday — Dan & Liam slept in for a while, Benjamin and I got up and played. Once Liam and Dan were up, Dan got dressed, took Bailey for a walk and stopped on the way back to pick up breakfast. He tied Bailey outside of the grocery store next to our house (literally, next door), which is common practice in Vienna (grocery stores being one of the few places dogs aren’t typically allowed) and went in to get some sandwiches and coffee. When he came out, about 5 minutes later, Bailey was gone.
Archive for December, 2011
Putting my kids down to bed is one of my favorite parts of the day. Not because they’re asleep and I can have a moment to think in peace (although some days it’s part of the reason) but mostly, it’s because I love to get them fed, clean, cuddled and happy, and tuck them in to a nice cozy bed. To me, there’s nothing that feels more comforting and secure than snuggling up in a warm bed.
Our “official” Christmas vacation ended today — Dan had to go back to work. It’s a bummer to get back to life as usual, but we’re lucky, because we really don’t have to. Benjamin doesn’t go back to school until January 9, so we still have about 10 days of not-quite-life-as-usual. I get to enjoy having both B and Liam home with me all day, and as an added bonus, I don’t have to keep an eye on the clock all morning, because I don’t have to go pick anyone up anywhere, so we can, in general, just be a little more lax for a while.
I found out today that a friend of the family passed away recently. He was 74, and in good health — his death was very sudden, resulting from complications after hip surgery. I am shocked to hear of his death. He was a vibrant, kind, passionate, funny, joyful, exuberant and loving man, and it makes me so very sad to know that he is no longer with us, that I will never again get to hear his laugh, or one of his amazing stories.
The holidays can be a stressful time, even under the best circumstances. At the very least, there’s a lot more to do than usual, and the usual stuff doesn’t go away. There’s shopping to do, gifts to wrap, ship and deliver, decorations to hang, cards to send, cookies to bake, menus to plan, guests to host, parties to attend and meals to prepare. And the normal cleaning, organizing and general running of a household can’t wait for the holidays to be over. And then, of course, we need to be jolly and happy and joyous while we do it.
Today is the day after Christmas, Boxing Day, and St. Stephen’s Day (which is how it’s known here). Like yesterday, it’s a holiday, and everything here is closed.
We had a wonderful Christmas Day. Benjamin woke me up this morning with, “Mommy, did Santa come?!?” He was so excited by his stocking and the gifts inside (including a new toothbrush, which he was super excited about) that he actually failed to notice the tent and race car set in the middle of the living room until I drew his attention to it. He gasped appropriately as he discovered each gift Santa had left, and when Liam woke up a few minutes later (which was inevitable given the volume of enthusiasm that was coming from the living room) Benjamin happily showed him all of the toys Santa had left for them to share together.
For many years, my dad lived on a farm. It had sheep, cats, dogs, horses (including mine) and donkeys. During those years, we often spent part of Christmas Eve with my dad. Whenever I could, I would make a little bit of time to go be in the barn on Christmas Eve, to smell the hay, pat the animals’ coats, and listen to the quiet, contented sounds of a cold evening in the stables.
About a week ago, Dan & I started a running plandesigned to help relative non-runners (which I now am) get started with running. Although I used to run, it’s been so long that I definitely needed to start again at the beginning. It’s a run/walk plan, where you work on increasing your time spent running while decreasing your time walking, thereby gradually getting you running much longer times and distances than you would have thought possible. (It’s very similar to the program that was used back when I ran a marathon about 10 years ago . . . yes, I once ran a marathon, shocking, I know.)
About a week ago, I saw a sign on the door to our building, inviting everyone to some kind of caroling happening tonight. Since the sign was in German, I only understood a little, but I recognized the contact person as one of our English speaking neighbors who we are friendly with, so I asked her about it. She explained that there would be caroling in the “house chapel” (I didn’t know we had such a thing) but I got the impression that it was maybe more for adults and less for kids. It sounded like fun, but I also guessed the songs would mostly be unfamiliar, and almost certainly in German, so it would probably be more struggle than enjoyment. Given that, plus the fact that Dan’s parents would be visiting us, I decided to skip it.