Braveness- Otherwise known as “Will I survive Black Friday?”

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For Black Friday my family has always gone tree hunting. We avoid stores, all stores. Since the invention of online stores I spend any shopping time on that day clicking and waiting for it to arrive in the following week.
This year I have no choice. We need a new dryer to save money on electricity. I’ll have to figure out which place to go that will be likely to have room for me to park my extended bed 15 passenger van. I need to pay as little as possible but still get an energy star dryer. We also have a family of nine so we need to have as big as possible. My life won’t always require so many details to align right, but for now I have to use my ingenuity, do a lot of research and I have to muster a huge dollop of braveness like a glob of thick whipped cream on a pumpkin pie.

I’m just hoping I don’t get eaten alive. “Family, just muster on without me until I escape the black pit of traffic and parking insanity!” Maybe this will be the last time I have to torture myself with Black Friday shopping IN PERSON! You be brave too. We can survive such things. Right?

What do you do for Black Friday?

Just don’t get lost in all that black!

Precious Moments

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Right now we are in the thick of holiday stuff. It gets crazy and can be the most stressful time of year. I try to keep times like this simple or I would go insane, but life demands more anyway.

We have a real tree after two year having a small fake tree. When we went to go get it the tree farm was closed. We went home, found another one and hurried a half hour away in the freezing cold and growing darkness. We ended up meeting a pair of reindeer and got a tree that fits perfectly in our living room.

In our family we plan holiday movie nights. Sometimes we just stick a movie in. Other times we plan ahead with one of the kids picking the movie and the treat and telling everyone days ahead of time. There are days it just doesn’t happen. Don’t-beat-on-your-siblings-or-sass-me-or-we-won’t-have-a-movie-tonight does not always get through to everyone.

As a mother spontaneous tends to be, “Hey, lets have ice cream tonight.” So I’ve had our plans to go to The Hobbit next week in place for months. An unexpected change in a medical appointment has bumped those plans to after Christmas. At least the plans are flexible and fluid in time. If I didn’t plan ahead and make the plans negotiable I would crumble into a little pile of frozen frosty bits.

My greatest desire is to have at least four days in a row that I don’t leave the property once! I can’t wait. I did realize that asking for five days was pushing it. Even four days might be asking too much, but really, I have rarely had an entire day home in months! The joys of moving into the teenage years!

No matter how I plan life really does do what it wants. Our family vehicle, a huge 15 passenger, has broken down twice in the last month and we have been without an oven for about seven weeks. I’ve lost track of how long and I’m not even sure I’ll remember how to cook normal meals after this. There is any number of unknown things that could happen including that white stuff that gums up the entire region some winters. The teachers want all my kids to get caught up on school work before the break, because of course their minds are totally into their school work and not on the fun around the corner. Hah! So I slog onward. Thankfully not in snow.

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But in all this craziness moments happen that allow time to hold still. That I can treasure when I need daily chiropractic care to look up at my part giant children. I will remember that once upon a time they were little. Once upon a time life was simpler. And I can enjoy these precious moments when they happen, too. Since my last child was born I try to do this more than ever before. She will be two in the new year and I will never live through these phases with my own children again. I have no excuse. They will never be little again and this time will be gone in a breath. I want to have these moments forever.

Take a moment to etch a precious memory into your mind during the rest of this year. Maybe we can all look at the time with less worry about the details and more to catch those moments.