Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Ordinary Days

First up, a reader asked me how I organize sibling presents.
On Christmas Eve we have a tradition- after 4:00 pm Mass, we eat a nice dinner (we decide every year together what it will be) and then the kids exchange gifts.  This year they chose to pick names (we've done both in the past-little gifts to everyone and picking names).  Jeff and I give one gift that night also to the kids and each other, which is always pj's (or sweatpants for older kids who don't wear pj's.)   Then we all go to bed calmly, and stay in our beds and sleep all night long, and awake to our living transformed because Santa came. :)

When the kids were littler this was a bit more complicated because I had to take the kids out shopping, which added to the busyness.  Now there is the nifty internet, or I'll try to schedule a mom-and-me shopping time with the kid and his own list and his own wallet, or I'll just buy something or have something extra on hand and say "How about this?"

A few weeks ago I was taking a walk and snapped this photo-every color of autumn!   It is now all covered with snow!

I took the kids to the zoo on a day off, even in the cold and rain and we were about the only ones there and all the animals were out (the first snow of the year) and it was such a good time.  We went and ate lunch with Daddy afterwards.

A few of the kids have their signature cookie and I thought it was about time Patrick had his.  We invented one called "Patrick's Hot Cocoa Cookies".  And they are really really delicious.  I will post the recipe soon.  


Looking through old albums I found this photo of my older sister and I after a Cleveland snow storm.

And the little house we grew up in (which later expanded to hold all seven of us.) .
Little House In The Big Woods.  My parents still live there today and and have always worked so hard to keep it nice.  I have really good memories of cold snowy winters spent sledding and ice skating, and summers exploring the woods and spring's that couldn't come fast enough and autumns when the leaves were beautiful.

Janey and I attacked the Christmas books last weekend.  I could tell she needed some quiet time after a busy Thanksgiving weekend and we went up to the attic and brought down the Christmas bins and read every Christmas book we have.
The book above is the I Spy Christmas book, that is so worn out and we have practically memorized it but from first to last kid, this is a favorite. 

Abbey's boyfriend's dog comes and visits sometimes and she is so so sweet and I don't even like dogs so that is saying something.  Her roommates cried when Sasha moved back home, so she took Sasha back to stand guard for a couple weeks-which makes me feel better too.  Sasha has a bad hip just like me, so we get along, limping and stretching our way through life, eating scraps from the table and barking when boys chase or wrestle too wildly.

My sweetest nephew ever, Walter, who also happens to have the best parents ever.  He's so squishy.  His cheeks droop when he is tired.   Anyone have an extra baby I can have?

Pre-cancer never would I have a fake Christmas tree.  Post cancer-I saw one all assembled with a free sign in front of someone's house and Janey and I threw it in the back of my van, and I love it.  LOVE it.  I might have a couple older children not happy with me but I don't care.  I love you, fake Christmas tree, with no watering demands, or shedding.

17 comments :

  1. Sarah,
    I hope you and your family are having a wonderful holiday season! I had to think of you today as a loved one was just diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and I went with her to the oncologist appt this morning. So many decisions!!
    Also curious- the Cleveland where you grew up.... is that Iowa? I live about an hour south of Cleveland, Ohio and was wondering if you grew up in this area?

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    1. East of Cleveland OH! If your friend has any questions she can email me anytime and I would be so happy to help her.

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    2. Thank you so much- That is really kind of you!!

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  2. Sarah - oh, how I love your ordinary days! Thank you so much for sharing! We bought a fake tree a few years ago - after the fresh one we bought had spider eggs in it!! YIKES! We love the low-maintenance of the fake tree! I, too, have a bum hip. What do you do to help yours? I find very little relief with the stretches I do.

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    1. Me too but they do help me a little bit. Walking has helped me a ton, and no running. Yoga somewhat. If you go to a yoga classes that concentrates on the hips (or just have a yoga teacher show you hip openers) it helps to do that. I know it's the hip that all the babies sat on so that helps me remember the pain is worth it. :)

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    2. Thank you for the suggestions. I have an MRI appointment on Wednesday to finally figure out just what is going on. I am looking forward to working with a PT who can help me. I have been walking every evening with the dog - you're right - it does help!! xo

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  3. I love your ordinary days! And I am so happy to see that life goes on after kids leave the nest. Our oldest is a Senior this year and I am struggling with the thought of him leaving next year and our family dynamic never being the same. Adapt and overcome, right? :)

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  4. Looking forward to the cookie recipe! They look delicious!!

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  5. Lovely, ordinary days. Patricks cookies look so yummy! xo

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  6. I cannot believe that is Patrick!! He is so grown up and handsome! Awaiting that cookie recipe, looks divine!

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  7. Always Always Always my favorite posts, Sarah.
    I love getting the Christmas book basket out every year.
    Getting emotional for me now, as I am on my last kiddo and remember like it were yesterday reading them all with my first who just turned twenty-two. Sigh...Have a cozy evening and your tree looks great!

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  8. Sarah, I am a long-time reader, and I have loved your posts for years. I appreciate and am inspired by your love of family and being a mom. I am not much of a commenter on any platform, but I feel I need to than you tonight. I am dealing with some very difficult family issues right now (extended family; my husband and kids are a wonderful handful). Your calmness, kindness, and love touched me tonight and reading this post helped me calm down enough to feel the Father's love. Thank you.

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  9. Our fake Christmas tree is so beat up it looks like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. The pre-strung lights only light up on the bottom tier. My nine year old set it up and decorated it with all the ornaments my boys have made over the years. So basically it's perfect.

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  10. I just love reading your posts. Thank you! The photo you took on your walk is absolutely gorgeous! I don't get to see that where I live. Wishing you and your beautiful family a beautiful holiday season!!

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  11. Do you have any more pictures of the house you grew up in or a sketch of a layout. As someone who grew up in the south (but now lives in the Midwest and enjoys the seasons), it sounds like a wonderful place to grow up.

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  12. I just got caught up with the last couple of posts:) I Soo love how you write. Abbey has grown into a beautiful young woman. Janey with the baby looks so happy, babies just do that, don’t they:). Like others, I’m waiting for the hot chocolate cookie recipe!! ❤️

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