Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Well, it's a full month later and we're still camped out in my in-laws' basement.  Hopefully we'll get out of here before my poor FIL's hair starts falling out.  On the plus side, I don't think my MIL has ever had such an adoring fan club.  From the moment my kiddos wake up in the morning (right at six) until they go to bed at night, they are completely devoted to spending time with their Grandma (which while sometimes annoying, is also completely sweet).

I did get to spend my birthday in CO though, which was fantastic.  We crossed over the the state line at around 10 pm, so it definitely counted in my book.  I joke that it's the most expensive birthday gift I've ever had.  I'm exaggerating slightly though, because it's also the most expensive (and best, but not because of the expense) Christ-mas gift I've ever had.  We are all so incredibly grateful to be back in the sunshine and under an azure sky.  We were a little disappointed to not have snow for Christmas, but after nine months of nearly constant precipitation, I think we can just deal with it.  We'll just have to console ourselves with 50 degree weather and sunny days at the park.

But I digress, I'm deathly short on original material to share with you guys (my camera cable is hiding in a fully-packed storage unit), so instead I'll share some of the truly amazing things I've run across in Blogland over the past month or so.


Christmas Lovelies:

Felted Ball Garland from Say YES! to hoboken

Modern Gingerbread Houses

Christ-mas Ornament Mobile from Not Martha

Snowflake Table Runner from V and Co.

Snowflake Pillows from Noodlehead

Christ-centered Advent-ures from I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar  and Delia Creates

Christ-Centered Christ-mas from A Lemon Squeezy Home

Baby Jesus in a Manger also by A Lemon Squeezy Home

Felt Ruffle Wreath by design*sponge

Oh! Christmas Tweed Wreath  by Spincushion, which if you haven't checked out before, is definitely worth a visit.  I know I'll be putting the Scrubby Buddies on my to-do list.

--There are several others, but maybe I'll get around to posting them tomorrow.  This should get you excited for next year at the very least.  Can you imagine the tweed wreath in pink and red tweeds for St. Valentine's Day?  Mmmmm. Yummy.  I love fabric.  And decorating just makes my heart sing.  I can't wait to try these ideas out in our own house next year.  This year we've been blessed to have some time to just soak up being with family.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Quandaries of Christ-mas

 I have to say, I took a huge sigh of relief this week to see that I'm not the only mommy out there in the world who is having a hard time this year getting the wee ones to differentiate between Xmas and *Christ*mas.  Christmas for us is a little difficult this year.  We're incredibly grateful to be back in Colorado under bright blue skies and a gorgeous sun (Hooray! We can see it now!).  We are also incredibly grateful to my hubby's parents for granting us a place to stay while we try to figure out exactly where we'll be setting up shop.  I'm pretty desperate to get back into my own house right now, but apparently landlord-tenant laws in Colorado don't allow you to oust someone without a little notice (not that I really would anywho... especially during the holiday season. Yeesh people, who do you think I am?).  Aside from that, we have no idea where my husband's permanent position will be coming from yet, so it may not make sense to go back to the northernmost part of Colorado if my hubby ends up working waaaaaaaaaayyy down south. Who knows?

I was lamenting this weekend how little the holiday season felt like ... well... the holiday season this year.  We spent all of Thanksgiving week packing, spent almost a week getting here, and now we're locked down in my in-law's basement (no, not really).  It was hard when my daughter cried as she saw the Christmas tree box go back into a storage unit and not come out for display.  It's hard for my wee ones to understand a lot of things right now. 

"No, no.  We're not going back to the dirty house," I tell them. "Not ever?" my son will ask.  "No, darling, you don't have to go back," I reaffirm.  "But where is our house?" he asks.    "I don't know yet sweetheart.  We have to wait and find that out." 

By the way, I can't tell you how shocking it was to find out that our little ones had been referring to our Washington residence as "the dirty house."  Out of the mouths of babes, I guess. 

I was thinking over these things, while simultaneously trying not to let any of the play dough crumbs from the afternoon's escapades make their way to the bright white linoleum floors of my in-law's kitchen, as I heard my daughter telling my son about Santa Claus, yet another internal debate I'm having with myself. And I realized that we were going to have to start reigning this in quickly.  Almost every toy on the television is now a "gotta have."  Which I mostly find ridiculous, because the last thing my children need is another toy that they won't pick up or play with right now.  If it were humanly possible to get friends and relatives to listen, I would probably ban toys from all birthdays and major holidays (along with candy) for the next five years.  Books are great.  Games are wonderful.  Art supplies are fantastic. --But please, please, please don't give my children any more toys. 

I mean, honestly, can Christ-mas possibly get anymore convoluted and complicated?  As if it isn't difficult enough during a normal year ("No honey, the Christmas wreaths aren't for Jesus, they just put them up to look pretty."), but now we're hunting for a job, homeless, and all but broken in so many ways.  I can't decide if I'm ready to chew nails or break down and weep half the time.  But the simple fact remains that we just aren't home yet, and right now we aren't sure if we ever can be or will be again.  My husband is determined to be within a 15-minute driving distance of home, which is literally impossible with where our house is.  He thinks he might possibly settle for 30 minutes, but it would be cutting it close.  So now every time he talks to me about us moving, it's always to a new house, a new "home," which never was, and probably never will be our "home."  My home is being occupied by strangers, for the lovely benefit of me paying out of pocket every month on top of their rent to cover the mortgage, and my absolute terror that they are destroying my home, which is surrounded by "friends" who came to beg, "borrow," and flat-out steal from us before we moved.  Joy.  Is my home perfect?  No.  Is anything? Absolutely not.  I'm not expecting perfection, but what I desire more than anything right now is to go home and be left alone. 

I want my walls to hang pictures on, my floors to clean, and some space where I'm not constantly being shoved in a corner.  I want my kids to be able to run, play, and laugh, and enjoy the beautiful sunshine that they haven't seen in 9 months.  I want them to enjoy the fresh air that they haven't breathed.  I want to be around family and friends that really and truly appreciate us for who and what we are, not constantly push us away, lock us in separate rooms, or compare us to other family members or friends.  But since that last one is never going to happen, I'm content to let that one go.  I'm beginning to relish the thought of becoming a loner.  Being a hermit has never sounded so good.  Even my husband is seriously tempted at this point.  He keeps talking about compounds with ten-foot walls and shotguns.  I'm not worried quite yet, but if he comes home with a shotgun for Christmas, we'll have to send up some emergency flares.  But honestly people, that's how bad it is. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Beautiful Colorado

So, what happened to all of those nifty tutorials I keep promising?  I'll tell you what: they're stuffed in various boxes in a U-Store-It place until we have a permanent residence again.  Sigh.  And right before Christmas too.  But, what's the best part of all of this?  The family and I get to have Christmas where it actually snows (yearly, and regularly, not just as freak snowstorms once a decade), and where the sun shines more days a year than it does in Honolulu, Hawaii (I know, weird, huh? CO is sunnier than Hawaii). 

So, for those of you who were wondering if we were moving, and if so, where we were moving to, you now have the official unofficial answer: we're in Colorado, but don't know where we're going to.  My hubby has a contract job in his old position in CO before we got transferred halfway across the country to WA, but some benefits and a permanent full-time position would be greatly appreciated (and necessary) before we figure out what happens after that.  Ideally, we will be going back to our house in northern Colorado (NOCO for those of you in the know).  I think that's exactly what will happen, but the time line is a little iffy.  For those of you that are the praying sort, some prayers (or happy thoughts) would be awesome. ; )    I know daughter would be ecstatic to be back in her "purple house" by her birthday at the end of next month.  Hubby and I are planning on painting her room purple when we move back in (hush, it's a secret). 

So, now that we're out of the storms in Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming, and internet access has been fully restored, hopefully some sunshiny-type things will be coming soon.  In the meanwhile, you may just have to settle for some round-ups of my favorite Xmas-y and happy type things.  I know, it's depressing, but true.  My only disappointment (and it's a very *small* disappointment in comparison) is that I won't be able to finish the kiddos their Christmas gifts in time.  But hey, maybe we'll just have our own Thanksgiving and Christmas when we move back in.  My Savior knows that that would be more than enough to be grateful for this next year.  Truth be told, I have a whole laundry list of things to be grateful for right now.  :-D