Easter

I love the holidays. I even get excited over National Pet day. I make a big deal out of holidays, I have traditions for all of them. We always pull out Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving and spend the morning decorating the house. Since that day is also Black Friday, we wait till the afternoon to leave the house and brave the stores to pick out a new ornament for the tree. Each year it is someone’s turn to pick the ornament and they get to pick whatever they want. (It’s my turn this year- my first year, we got a French fry ornament.) For Halloween, I try very hard to come up with cute family costumes but my husband won’t go for the Fairly Oddparents. Halloween also sneaks up on me and I’ll be a week out without a costume for anybody. Maybe this year will be the first year I get ahead of that ballgame.

Easter is an odd holiday for me. I love Easter and I love everything Easter is about. Easter reminds me of the simplicity of my salvation and makes me grateful. The sacrifice wasn’t simple but it’s a simple fact because Jesus sacrificed himself, I’m saved. However, I never know what to do for the holiday. Every year has been different. We don’t really have traditions when it comes to Easter. I don’t even remember what traditions we had when I was a kid. I remember egg hunts in the backyard. I have also found photographic evidence of really tight ponytails, dresses and an Easter bunny in an old photo. That tells me that things happened as a kid, I just don’t remember a lot of pomp and circumstance around it.

I’m a traditions person. I like having traditions and knowing what to expect for each holiday. This year, for Easter I was going to plan a semi-big deal and have an Easter party and invite everybody and their mother over. It was a solid plan. It was also a plan I never started putting to paper. Now, I am writing a blog post that I planned a month ago for this weekend because I was supposed to have all the Easter plans.

Easter has sprung up on me. Instead of scrambling to try and make the most perfect Easter I have ever seen, I think I’m gonna wing it. I’m going to check out the Easter events happening around my city and see what one I think my son will have the most fun at. Maybe we won’t even leave the house on Easter. Anything is possible. The one thing I know I won’t be doing is stressing about the things I need to do. In fact, deciding to wing it just took a thing off my to-do list.

One thing we’ll for sure have is an easter egg hunt. Before we started the no spending challenge, I got some easter stuff, like plastic eggs so he could have an easter egg hunt in our backyard. I’m going to celebrate that we have a backyard to have egg hunts in.

Happy Easter everybody! Tell me about your plans! I’ll fill you in on what we decided to do later.

Valentine’s Day

It’s the first day of March so it’s probably time I finally write about my Valentine’s Day, right? 

In all honesty, Valentine’s Day used to stress me out. I would forget to do cards for my son’s class until the day before because my schedule was so hectic. I would be scrambling Pinterest for easy to make printables and things I could put together for an entire class without a trip to the store. He just turned four. I still have like six years of valentines day class parties to deal with. The crazy thing is that Valentine’s Day happens the same time every year, I should be able to plan ahead.

What do me and hubby do for Valentine’s Day? Well, we usually don’t make a big deal about Valentine’s Day. Our anniversary is in January and our son’s birthday is also in February so we kind of push Valentine’s Day to the side. This year, I wanted to do something for Valentine’s Day. We could do something small, as a family and have a nice night. Little man wasn’t in school so I didn’t have to worry about making a gazillion valentines. I grabbed Little Man and we headed off to Target to raid their dollar spot.

I grabbed a couple decorations. It was all going to be very minimal, just enough to make it look like we were decorating for something, on purpose. While we were raiding the dollar spot I found a notebook that had dinosaurs all over the cover. I always carry a notebook with me and I write in my journal with me and Little Man is always asking to sit next to me and write. I knew that notebook would be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for Little Man. Once I decided to get Little Man a gift, my decoration set up changed in my head and we all needed gifts to make it work. My husband is the hardest person to shop for when it comes to presents. He isn’t someone who ever wants anything. Conveniently, he pointed at something during our last Target family trip that he thought was cool. That made deciding to get everybody gifts less stressful than it could have been. I grabbed myself a cute mug and I was all set.

I did all this about a week and a half before Valentine’s Day so I hid the presents, put away the decorations and waited for Valentine’s Day. When the day actually came, I ended up having to go to a local bake shop to order cupcakes for Little Man’s birthday. It turns out, finding a place that will make dairy-free cupcakes is a lot harder than you would think. While we were at the bake shop, I grabbed a cupcake for myself and hubby, they looked so good and would make a great dessert. They even had extra vegan cupcakes in the back so I was able to get one for Little Man.

Everything looked so cute once I was done and we didn’t even use it. Hubby got caught up in homework. I got a headache and took a nap and the next thing I knew it was almost 7pm and we needed to eat. We decided to go out to dinner. We also made this decision forgetting it was Valentine’s Day and everybody wants to go out to eat for Valentine’s Day. Apparently, the trick is to go out after 7pm because we didn’t have to wait for a table or anything. We had a nice dinner did another Target run, stayed out too late. It was weird but fun and not planned but awesome.

Hubby said my table looked nice even though we didn’t use it. Him and Little Man liked their presents. The cupcakes were delicious. It was good. This is how I kept Valentine’s Day minimal this year.

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Christmas & Expectations

 

We are in the final days till Christmas! Four to be exact. Does that make your palms a little sweaty? You’re in the home stretch now, at least. We’re almost there. Hopefully all your Christmas shopping is done!

November-December is usually my favorite time of the year. I love the cooler weather, the Christmas music, all the family events that start popping up all over town and I soak it all in like a sponge. I pack up my son and drag my husband along to everything and every single year we find real beauty in Christmas living in the desert. By now, I would be up to my eyeballs in Christmas plans, wrapping paper, ribbon, bows and gift tags and I wouldn’t have a single complaint. I would be watching my favorite Christmas movie for the 1000th time this year, while doing all of this and getting excited. Then my Charlie Brown clock would hit the hour and another Christmas carol would play from it and I would smile as I think about my mom and then vow to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas next because I need to show my son that movie.

This is all my usual Christmas time stuff. My countdowns are usually because I need to keep track of the never ending to-do list and the quickly dwindling amount of days to do them. This year, my mental countdown that started in the beginning of the month had nothing to do with making sure I could keep track of my to-do list. If I’m being honest, I’ve been tracking down the days because I’ve been wanting this whole holiday season to be over.

Am I officially the Grinch? I feel like it. Everything I just listed above, I haven’t been able to do this year. It is completely, 500% out of my control. It makes it hard to get into the holiday spirit when it suddenly looks like the opposite of what you do every year.

That’s the problem with expectations. It’s awful when the expectations crash and burn and you’re left with the ashes. The disappointment. The not being able to control whatever the outcome even though you so very wish you could. Maybe if I just….. and that doesn’t work either. I think the worst part of ruined expectations is the part where you know you should just walk away but you still try to come up with something that will be an okay version of the expectations. Like, if you can just get this and that, then it would be just as good as the whole expectation. It’s not though. You should have just walked away. Create a new picture. Walk away and get rid of the expectation.

I think that might be what God is trying to walk me through. I had bigger expectations earlier this year. Just a few months ago, to be exact and what I have surrounding me is nothing like what I had envisioned. There is nothing I could make of my ashes that would even come close to a “good enough” version of what I wanted. So I went the opposite direction and maybe tried to pretend that Christmas wasn’t a thing that was about to happen. Like, if I kept Christmas at arms length, I wouldn’t have to be disappointed again. I wouldn’t have to feel like I had no control. Maybe, it was even a way to feel like I had control again.

There is never a better time like the present, so I am going to embrace the next four days. While my limitations are many, is the love I am surrounded by is even more. While I’ve been looking around me, seeing how things aren’t how I thought they were going to be, other things have been happening and it has been so much better than I could have imagined. So I am going to trust in the vision of the person so sees it better than I do. He’s been doing it better than I have anyway.

Photo by Nathan Fertig on Unsplash