Sorry, guys, about the hiatus in posting! It seems like I’m most consistent with posting when Ben is in school…but when he has breaks, I just can’t be trusted to post regularly! In any case, here’s how our December went:
- Ben presented/defended his thesis at the beginning of the month which means that he is officially DONE with his thesis. He’s put so much work into it and I’m so excited that he doesn’t have to worry about it during his final semester of classes.
- We try to take advantage of Ben’s breaks by visiting family, and after classes got out around the middle of the month, we boogied up to Idaho and then Utah to spend time with family. I’m always grateful for the people we’re able to see on these trips and the time we can spend with family/friends. Obviously, we were able to celebrate Christmas and New Years with some of our favorite peeps! I love the holidays and I love that some of my favorite traditions have become some of Ben’s favorites too.
- My dad’s family has, for a few years now, done a big cousin game night a couple times every year. We’ve actually never been able to attend, BUT we took a page out of their book and planned a game night for Ben’s family while we were in town. We kept it pretty low-key and just did a handful of minute-to-win-it games but it was a total hit! I think everyone had a great time!
- Speaking of, Wendy got some much appreciated cousin time on this trip! Ben’s sisters have older kids and all of them just smother Wendy with so much love and snuggles! It seriously warmed my heart a billion times over to see even the cool, older boy cousins get in on the Wendy love. And my side of the family has lots of kiddos (who am I kidding, they’re all girls:) around Wendy’s age which is also fun (and highly amusing) to watch them all interact. They are all a little bit naughty and sassy and hilarious!
- In Idaho, we went for a quick visit to Grandma Brown and she was able to show us a ton of stuff from Ben’s dad’s mission in Italy. We looked at pictures, read letters and even held the nametag he wore! It was so cool and it made me want to go back when we have more time to read/see more.
- Man, ’tis the season, but Wendy, Ben and I all got hit with a stomach bug before Christmas. Bleh. Luckily, it was short lived. Unfortunately, I’m sure we passed it on to others. Ben and I also got hit with some pretty epic colds.
- I feel like sometimes little stressors just pile up into a mountain of anxiety. There was the sickness going around, plus Wendy had some rough nights, plus traveling is stressful in and of itself, plus, plus, plus. Basically, when we headed home, I was ready to be home (don’t be offended, family! Let’s just blame the pregnancy!).
- Just because of weirdo circumstances, Ben knew every stinking thing he was getting for Christmas. He had zero surprises. So, so lame, but at least he was excited about everything anyway.
On My Brain
- I have been thinking so much about Christmas and what I want Christmas to be for my little family. Gosh, I feel like I have so many thoughts about this, I’m sorry if this ends up being a huge bullet point. BUT, CHRISTMAS, right? Anyway, now that I’m a parent, I’m realizing just how huge Christmas is and how my parents busted their butts every year to make Christmastime extra special (and they didn’t even have Amazon!) but also extra meaningful. I felt like this year was probably my last year of being non-commital to certain aspects of the holiday, specifically Santa. Honestly, the Santa role is one that wasn’t even on my mind until I read an article asking people to talk about the role they had Santa play in their homes. It was surprising to see how strong opinions can get surrounding that tradition. And it definitely made me wonder where Ben and I will stand in the coming years. The holidays also made me consider what other traditions we want to start, which ones we want to keep, and which ones we’re okay with tossing. Also, why do I only think of the best gift ideas AFTER Christmas?
- I used to be super good at setting goals (and decently okay at keeping most) but for the last two New Years, I’ve been so “Eh, whatever” about goal-setting. I mean, I definitely think self-improvement is important, but there’s something about being a mom that makes me think less about the entire year and more about the day to day. Maybe that’s not it at all. Maybe I’m just lazy. In any case, I have made a few small goals and becoming a better wife and mom are always top of my list (and almost never actually happening. If that’s not a successful New Year Resolution, I don’t know what is;).
- In just a couple of weeks, Ben will be getting into his final semester of his Masters program, which just absolutely blows my mind. It also totally blows my mind that here we are again-sitting in a place where there’s an end but not a clue as to what is beyond that. So much is contingent on Ben being accepted…BUT we are hopeful and we do know that everything will work out somehow. Anyhow. One semester. Crazy.