The title of this post was taken from the song Skyscraper by Demi Lovato.
I had worked myself up over Christmas, and worried incessantly about everything. Did I buy the kids enough? Did we mix enough new traditions with old? Did I make sure to incorporate their dad? I just worried nonstop. Christmas Eve the kids helped me clean house, and that afternoon we went to Mandaly's house. The whole family was there. Even Matthew was able to come in off the road. It was so good to have everyone together. There was enough food to feed an army, and presents were everywhere. The kids were bursting with excitement. We opened gifts, to the squeal of excitement as each new treasure was freed from the wrapping paper. I loved watching everyone else open their gifts, especially when they opened a gift that my kids had picked out for them from the Santa Shop at school. Those are the best gifts, because they truly are from the child. Tyler got an electric scooter (don't worry the helmet for it was wrapped and ready for Santa to bring to our house). Sebastian got video games he asked for and an amazing Spyder coat from Mandaly and Mikie. Mason got a Leap Frog computer, and an awesome remote control truck. My favorite gift of the night was one that I got, and that was the box set for Jem and the Holograms. I don't know if anyone else remembers this cartoon, but we loved it as kids, and I can't wait to watch it with my kids. We left there, and headed home. We unpacked everything and everyone went to sleep. Santa came and left.
We woke up Christmas morning and got ready for church. I had the kids wait until after church to open presents, because I knew we would never make it if we tried to open them before. There was a great presentation in sacrament meeting. Sebastian sang a song with a friend, and they did an amazing job. I was so proud of all three of them as they participated at different times. It was a great way to keep me from feeling sorry for myself this Christmas. We came home, and my dad, Scott, Marie, Ender, Barbara, Jim, Katie, John, Mandaly, Mikayla, and my mom all came over. The kids got to open their gifts with all their family there, and then they had even more to open. I couldn't have asked for anything better than being surrounded by family. I found myself tearing up a time or two, as I thought about all my kids had been through this year, but with everyone there I didn't have time to dwell on it or be sad. They got so much stuff! My mom and sister are amazing. They played Santa and bought things for the kids to give to me. They knew that Mike wouldn't be here to make that happen, and they wanted to have something for me to open on Christmas morning. I could not ask for a better mom or sister. They truly are my best friends. I love them more than they could ever possibly know. We enjoyed each others company, the laughs and the stories. I am truly blessed. Slowly everyone left, and we cleaned up all the paper, and the kids started organizing their things. I was sitting in Carl (my chair), and Sebastian came over and sat on my lap, all 5'6'' of him. He threw his arms around me, and whispered in my ear "I love you mom, you made this a wonderful Christmas." My eyes welled up with tears. I know that they loved their gifts, but he wasn't just talking about the gifts. He was talking about all of it, he was talking about the fun times with family and the laughter we shared. Tears rolled down my face as I kissed cheek. "I love you mom." he said "I love you too babe." was my reply. It was a good day.
Plans for this week and New Years. Yesterday, I was able to see my cousin, her husband and their son. It was so good to spend time with them. Today, I'm taking the kids up to exchange Christmas gifts with my father in law. He was so excited when we called about coming up. The kids always love seeing him. Then I am coming home and we are packing for a trip. I decided that I would go completely stir crazy if I tried to stay home all week. We need to get out of here for a bit, so we are leaving Wednesday for Williamsburg, and we will be back on Sunday. We are going to do some sight seeing, and who knows what else. The kids are excited about swimming at the hotel. They like to get away just as much as I do.
I'm excited for a new year. When I think about all the loss, all the tears, all the regrets, all the pain and anger we've dealt with in 2011, it gets overwhelming. I know that the new year is just a change of time. Going from one year to another isn't really magical, and it holds no secrets or promises, but I have hopes. I have hope that 2012 will hold some fresh starts for us in so many ways. I have hope that I will better figure out who I am, and what to do with my life. I have hopes, dreams, and goals for getting where I want to be. The start of 2012 is simply a marker of time. A way for me to mark the beginning of all of this. It helps me feel like it's a fresh start.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I'll post again on News Years Eve.