Our Christmas 2012 Reality

Christmas day has such a big build up to it, (for good reason of course ;)...the decorations, the traditions, the music, the focus on the true meaning of Jesus' birthday, the only coming once a year....I mean, once it comes, you really want that day to live up to all its potential, right?  Well, this year I had to embrace that Christmas is much more than one day.  The weekend before Christmas we undoubtedly enjoyed every opportunity to worship our Savior and celebrate with our church family.  Our church had several services, and while Kevin (who is on staff) was at each of them, Selah and I joined him for 3.  One service we worshipped with Kevin's side of the family, and the other two I came to be with Kevin and visit with different people so we could wish them Merry Christmas.  It was nice to see so many people we love doing life with over the weekend and on Christmas Eve.  Selah was in the nursery for two of those services....and you might guess where this is leading.  Christmas Eve night, after we got home from a party at Kevin's aunt's house, I had a million things left to do including straightening up the house and wrapping some presents before Christmas day.  I was also working on the gender reveal cake for his parents' house the next day.  (I made a blue and pink layer, not sure which I'd use! :)  Obviously, I'm a procrastinator - especially when pregnant!

Needless to say, I learned that night that once your family starts growing you should not put things off to the last minute. Because you just never know when your daughter will randomly wake up an hour after you put her in  bed and throw up all over her crib.  Then, after she's clean yet too upset to sleep your husband might just show you that he meant what he said for the last few hours about not feeling well.  And the result of that is much, much worse.  So there we were, me exhausted out of my mind, our house a disaster, my baby girl unable to sleep so she watches God Made Christmas and Praise Baby on repeat until 2am, while my extremely sick husband lays groaning on the couch and randomly dashes to the bathroom.  All. night. long. Seriously.  How crazy is all that.  (Trust me, in the moment it seemed so awful.)  I even tried to get Selah to fall asleep in her pack in play in our bedroom while Praise Baby was on...because I was just so incredibly tired.  I actually fell asleep through all her fussing at me to get her out.  Finally I got her to sleep in her room and went to sleep myself.  And as you might guess, Christmas morning didn't exactly arrive with bells ringing and joyful caroling going on.  Kevin couldn't even really get up, Selah got up late and ate a little something, then went right back down...and they both napped for 3 or 4 hours.  Which, can I tell you - allowed me some seriously peaceful hours in my own home that are very rare.

I actually put on the Steven Curtis Chapman Christmas station on Pandora, and sat down at my sewing machine, being reflective, enjoying the peaceful day, and praying over and over for a dear friend who had just been diagnosed with cancer.  I also couldn't stop thinking about and praying for several dear families at our church dealing with the pain of losing loved ones last year.  Humbling and emotional.   It was kind of special knowing the whole city was mostly at home, the streets were quiet, and I was able to enjoy some stillness of my own.  I ended up being very thankful.

Poor Kevin, though - it was a rough day.  He managed to take a shower and give me about an hour around 2 or 3 to watch Selah open her presents, and for our gender reveal.  Which was awesome, and I'm SO thankful we saved the special finding out for that day.  He then went back to bed, and I got Selah dressed to take her over to my in-laws for about an hour of Kevin's side's Christmas.  She opened her presents, I revealed the gender, then we had to leave.  I kept telling everyone not to get too close to Selah, and I didn't want to be there one second too long, for fear of getting anyone sick.

So she and I went home and she had fun playing with some new Christmas things, while I put together her new wooden baby doll stroller.  Kevin remained on the couch.  Wednesday was quiet and uneventful, as Kevin slowly started to not feel awful and everyone was still tired.  We were planning to go out of town to my parents' on Friday for my side of the family's Christmas on Saturday.  I was thankful we'd have a second chance to celebrate. :) 

Kevin's always teaching Selah how to be gentle...and she was so anxious for him to be able to play again, while he was so worried about getting her sick.  It was sweet.

This is what happens when you leave your husband to babysit while you're sick all day. ;)

Then on Thursday afternoon Selah woke up from her nap extremely hot and very sweet and clingy.  She didn't eat much dinner and I took her temperature...which was 104.  By this time my nose started getting a bit runny, as did hers.  By Friday morning we were both much more stuffed up and kept sneezing, and we had been keeping track of her fever, giving her tylenol, but not that excited about it staying over 100 for awhile.  She also wasn't eating much more than graham crackers and milk.  So we decided to take her to the doctor before leaving town, just to make sure she didn't have anything that would be bad for being around my family and the little ones there.  She tested negative for strep...but positive for the flu.  Boo.  She had even had the shot, and thankfully so had I.  We made the very tough decision not to go to my parents' on Friday, and to miss Christmas dinner Saturday, which felt sad and a big bummer...especially since I've never missed Christmas at home.

Then by Friday night I was much worse myself, feeling feverish and my head was so stuffed, I couldn't stop sneezing, and I was wiped out.  I haven't been sick like that for 2 years.  It was a day of hot tea and chicken noodle soup.  Kevin thought it was the flu, but I thought it was a super severe cold.  And I had the flu when I was pregnant with Selah and there was definitely no denying it.  But Saturday I was wiped out and in bed all day, and would randomly be sweating then cold.  Thankfully Kevin was able to take care of Selah, (and Lysol the whole house), and she of course seemed to be fine other than a runny nose after her flu diagnosis.  Who knew that all the while I was making our exciting announcement about Baby girl #2 I was sick and miserable in bed?!  That's why I always tell my non-blogger friends that even if the gross and gritty isn't always shared, it's always there at some point.  Someone even told me that day they wished I had my energy...ha.  If only they knew!

All that to say by Sunday afternoon we were in a better place and decided to head up to my parents' in Indiana, especially since the other kiddos wouldn't be there anymore so we wouldn't infect them.  I still didn't feel great the couple days we were there, but I was getting better, and we had a fun time celebrating Christmas and spending time with my parents.

My mom and I finished a 1,000 pc. puzzle that my brother had brought on Christmas day and started with her and my dad.  This was no small feat.  But we did it!

So Christmas 2012 was quite the reality check of realizing the beauty in an imperfectly perfect day.  There were no stockings hung by the chimney with care...because I admit, there ended up being no homemade stockings. ;)  Our week was crazy and exhausting...but a great reminder of what really matters.  And proof that your house can be a mess, your presents not yet wrapped, and no special breakfast on a beautiful table served...while remembering the Lord and loving life with your family nonetheless.  Lessons learned:  think hard before putting your littles in the nursery the weekend before Christmas, and get your flu shots!!! (which Selah and I did or else I think things might have been much worse!)  Hope you all have some fun and merry stories to share from this past Christmas as well.


Tiffany said...

Oh, Page, I just wrote a fairly similar post. Pur Christmas was crazy too! : ) You got some great pictures of some sweet moments though!

Melanie said...

Oh my word!!!! Glad you all are ok..that sounded like a really rough week for the whole family! Hopefully next Christmas will be better for you all..but like you said..you still had alot to be thankful for despite the illnesses!