Just Another Manic Monday. Finally.

We did it. We survived the holidays.

As I look back on the last couple of weeks, I’m still not sure how I feel about our decision to stay home for Christmas Day before packing up the car and heading to NC for our family Christmases. Having gotten to the other side of the holidays, I think I can now look back on it without the day-of emotions clouding the picture. But there were so many pros and cons to this year’s arrangement that I’m not quite sure where we’ll shake out for next Christmas. Overall, being just the three of us on Christmas day was great when it came to our pancake breakfast, opening presents and enjoying a small dinner together. It was the post-present-opening time and peanut’s nap time where the hubby and I stared at each other like “what now?” Being able to spread out our family time while we were in the Old North State, however, was wonderful. We didn’t feel rushed. We could keep peanut on a relatively normal schedule. And we managed to avoid all the holiday rush traffic (total bonus!).

Highlights of our holiday (since it’s well past the time to be talking about them) include:

* Sitting near the shepherd and angel “staging” area during Christmas Eve Mass (note to future pageant “directors” – 1st grade boys and shepherd’s staffs (ie, sticks (ie, weapons)) and Santa anticipation are NOT a good mix).
* Peanut’s immediate LOVE, LOVE, LOVE of the wagon we gave him for Christmas (haha Santa! I win this year!).
* Peanut and his cousin actually playing a little bit more together than they did even a month ago.
* High Heeled sister-in-law introducing peanut to the piano.
* Spider man slippers! On a toddler!
* Xylophones, dump trucks, shopping carts, tractor books, frog books, poppers, and squirting fish bath toys, OH MY!
* Date night with the hubby at a Carolina basketball game (GO HEELS!).
* Realizing I’m old: New Year’s Eve playing Trivial Pursuit with my parents, watching the ball drop and going to bed by 12:10.
* Teaching peanut how to make elephant noises (thanks, High Heeled Sis).
* Two new teeth for peanut!
* A ton of new words.

And as I always do when we’ve been “home,” I struggled with our living far away (read: had my usual breakdown at the half-way point between my parents house and ours that we live SO far away, blah, blah, blah). Watching peanut with all his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousin is wonderful for us. It’s so hard to leave and know that he doesn’t have this constant contact with these important people. But I grew up far away from our extended family (a lot farther than we are from ours) and I know that these relationships are what you make of them. I’m just as determined as my parents were to ensure that peanut knows who is family is and vice-versa. And I think the fact that the hubby and I truly love our lives here and have built a life and a home that we an be proud of will only serve our peanut well in the future — all things that I remember as soon as we walk in the door, start the laundry and resume our “normal” lives.

So that’s where we are today – the first Monday of a full and regular week. Boy, I’m looking forward to “normal.”

And as for the new year…we have lots to celebrate. It’s a year of parties and weddings and vacations. A year to get serious about a few things and a lot less serious about others. Another year to watch peanut grow and support those closest to us as they embark on new journeys. A year for goals and not resolutions.

And a mere 352 days until next Christmas!

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