My Christmas Wish Isn’t That Complicated

World peace? Equality for all? All of the riches of the world? Well, yes, all of these things, but my Christmas wish is much simpler than all of this and it is every year. This year, I really hope my Christmas wish comes true.

World peace? Equality for all? All of the riches of the world? Well, yes, all of these things, but my Christmas wish is much simpler than all of this and it is every year. This year, I really hope my Christmas wish comes true.

My Christmas wish is simple. It’s not just peace on earth, good will toward man, and all that jazz; it’s about peace and joy within my own household. See, every year, I paint a perfect picture of our holiday in my head. We wake up, we rejoice in the season, we open presents, we eat amazing food, and we just enjoy each other’s company under the twinkling lights. We have the perfect Christmas. But what is perfect anyway? My mind’s eye tells me there is no bickering, no disappointment, no negativity.

That’s my Christmas wish. Is that too much to ask?

With a large family, I guess it is.

As a child, there was always chaos. My parent’s coffee was never ready before my sisters and I woke up. Someone always ruined a surprise because someone peeked the night before. My sisters and I would bicker because “she got more than me, mom!”. Always something.

As an adult, a parent with a lot of kids and a blended family, I’ve never been able to pour that first cup of coffee or focus my camera on the gifts before someone woke up and counted the presents (surely, they were uneven in number, but not in cash – but I could never point that out, because…SANTA!). Chaos. Bickering. B getting mad over all of the bickering and bickering too much himself or just heading to the beach for a “break” (break, you know, those things moms don’t get?). Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

So, this year, my Christmas wish is this (and it’s really simple)…let us all just enjoy the day…together. No one gets mad. No one feels slighted. No one fights. No one leaves because they get mad (and possibly drink too much) and don’t want to adult (not me for once). We have a problem with this and I know we can’t be the only family.

All I want for Christmas is a fuss-free day. For once, I want no one to notice that things don’t “look” equal. I want each one of us, within my own home, to notice that we have a good life. That we have a strong family bond. That the magic of the lights and the season, and the love we have for one another, is so much more important than anything under that tree.

I want to feel the magic that I felt when I was 10. I want them to love the fact that we’re together, that we’re healthy, that we’re a family. I want us to all go to sleep saying that this was the best day ever simply because we were all together in the day.

If I get nothing for Christmas under the tree this year, I don’t care. I’m just committed to the fact that I know that I want to be happy knowing that my (non-bickering) family is under the tree together this year.

Is that too much to ask? My Christmas wish is simple. I want my first-world-problems, bickers-too-much, non-appreciative family to just appreciate and love this year. No nonsense, no chaos, no fighting…just love and togetherness.

Merry Christmas, y’all! What’s your Christmas wish? I sure hope it comes true for you this year!

A Family Beach Day, A Day in Photos

A family beach day is so cleansing to the soul. Sometimes, words aren’t necessary when the photos tell their own story. This is one of those occasions, and I’ll enjoy this photo journal for years to come! Random thoughts from a mom after a day at the beach.

family beach day

Sometimes, just letting them enjoy each other’s space is enough.

family beach day

And most of the time, just letting them be them…well, it’s enjoyable for both of you. I dig his style!

family beach dat

Bubbles! What’s a beach day without bubbles? What’s any good day without bubbles, actually?

beach family day

A day without bubbles is like a day without a beach ninja. I mean, it’s not even really a day, is it?

family beach day

The only sad part of the day is when you look through the lens and realize they might be growing up too fast. It all goes by too fast. Until…

family beach day

You realize that one of them is looking back at you, from inside of a sand hole, enjoying life like only a small child can, and you realize that there are still many years of joy, and frustration, to come. Be still my heart!

b burying kylee edit

And then there’s this. THIS is the beginning of a memory in the making, with a man that you adore making memories with.

beach family

It ended way worse than this, of course, but I was too busy unburying my baby (face and all) to get a photo. Sometimes, like this time, it’s not OK to just sit back and be the spectator…because…buried alive?!?!

beach family

And just when you realize you’re absent from your own online album, all of your family photos, you see that you were there all along. In their reflection. Capturing every moment. While they looked adoringly at you, and you realize you’re doing exactly what you were meant to do all along. Take care of them, love them, enjoy the moment, and capture the memories in their reflection while they reflect on the love that you give them.

In the end, that’s all that matters. The memories, their love, capturing their beauty. When you realize you’re doing what you love…while you’re watching the ones you love the most…enjoy themselves? That’s when you know you’ve made it. That’s when you know your life, your world is complete. That’s the moment you realize you’re living the life you intended, the life you’ve always wanted to live. That’s when you know love.

I know all of these things, and I’m glad my camera reminds me daily. I’ve made it. I’m happy to be in their reflections. I’m just happy. Not everyone achieves that level of success in life. I’m content that I’ve found my success from within my own little world.

Are you?

The Storm Will Pass. The Spring Will Come.

Spring is a time of new beginnings for all of us. Never make rash decisions based on the winter storm’s events. The storm will pass. The spring will come. Embrace the warmer weather. Embrace the blooming flowers. Embrace what you love the most and be the change.

The Storm Will Pass. The Spring Will Come.

Every spring, I seem to re-evaluate my life. I guess we all do.The storm will pass. What changes can I make in this world, to my life, to make it a better place? I’m often tempted to throw in the towel and just give up after braving the winter storms. I think we all are. Being cooped up, both literally and figuratively, makes us all feel that way at some level, I guess. That overwhelming feeling of, is this really all working out for me, is it all worth it, kind of gets to you, you know? I know you know.

So, what do you do?

Do you throw in the proverbial towel and just decide that the struggles aren’t worth it anymore and start anew with a whole new life? I mean, we’re all getting old (as we read my dribble), so is it all still worth the fight? Are the struggles really worth the pay off? Would it be easier to just start over, just like the flowers in spring?

Or do we take the lead from the most beautiful season that nature has to offer? Do we just stay where we are and enjoy, and nurture, the rebirth of the new season in our lives? Do we just grow back, annually, despite the diversity?

I choose to stay. I choose to bloom. Again. Because my life isn’t always beautiful, but overall, it’s a beautiful life.

My family, my marriage, has a lot of struggles. We’re human. We make mistakes. We all make mistakes. Forgiveness, rebirth, and remembering what matters the most is what keeps us all going in life. I take my strength from the season of growth. Springtime.

The flowers are blooming. The weather is heating up. There’s a freshness in the air. There’s a freshness in my step too. This time, unlike the spring epiphanies I’ve had in the past, I plan to keep that freshness alive.

I don’t know how much time I have left on this earth. None of us do. I’m embracing spring. I’m embracing life. I’m embracing an awakening in myself, my marriage, my family.

This year, the only spring cleaning I’m going to do is from within. The cobwebs can wait.

My family comes first. They’ve always come first, but I forget to tell, show them enough. No more forgetting to tell them that they come first. No more forgetting them because I have just ONE MORE task to complete. No more putting them off. No more skipped biked rides. No more ‘in a minute’ or ‘we’ll see’ replies. No more forgetting them.

Ever.

Hello spring! I’ve missed you and I’m ready to make the change.

The storm has passed (for good). The spring has come. I’m happy, I feel playful (for the first time in 100 springs), and I’m ready to never cut down a tree again.