We've been doing our best to get ready for Christmas, and I can't believe it will be here in Wednesday!! Despite my previous post on missing my father, I've still found the Christmas spirit and have loved preparing all these little things in my heart and for my family.
I've tried really hard to sacrifice. The last couple of months, I've been a little, ummm, off kilter for varied reasons, (no baby), and I've totally struggle with weight. I've gained 10 pounds over the last 4 months and couldn't believe it when I stepped on the scale and realized what had happened, complete disgust, my friends. Are you shocked that I live in Utah and I'm sharing that I've gained weight?? #thisgirlgetsreal Yeah.
So besides for the last few weeks being full of food sacrifice, I've been trying to find those around me to serve. I guess I really felt I needed to get into the Christmas spirit, and there's nothing like serving to do the trick. I won't share a few of the things, but there are pictures a little ways down of one thing.
So here we are, and here is a picture of our main floor bathroom lights. I take this picture to tell a story. Friday night I was smack in the middle of making dinner (after working all day, mind you), and half the power in our house goes out. The power downstairs in the basement was working, and a few lights and outlets on the main floor as well as the lights in our master bath upstairs. Strange! My oven was out (as I was in the middle of baking chicken), but the fridge (thankfully!) was still running. Honestly, of all the power we lost in the house, I'm grateful we had use of our fridge, furnace, and kids rooms. #tendermercy
As luck (ha!) would have it, I had so duteously decided to wash all of my and Kristoffer's winter jackets, and the power went out to the washer...with my wet jackets in it. *sigh*. So I found an extension cord to plug the washer into an outlet that was working and air dried my jackets:
To tried to fix the power issue myself at the breaker box, I shut down the whole house and restarted it...nothing. I called Kristoffer and he walked me through resetting the GFI outlets...nothing. He called a friend in the ward who came over to check things out...nothing. We spent a very quiet evening that night! I always sleep with a fan on, but not that night...a very silent night indeed!
We had the power company come out the next day, and they determined the problem was on one of their main lines to the house....which meant we could have been looking at a ripped up back yard/concrete/tool shed. We said a prayer, and Sunday morning when they came, they were able to fix the problem without hardly any digging at all. VERY blessed with that one.
Last night, Kristoffer and I were able to go out on a real date. It had been more than two months at least since we had gone on OUT on a dinner date. We did get to go the the temple this week...which I loved...but when you don't get to actually see your spouse on the date, it's kind of not the same. So I sent my neighbor a last minute text yesterday, and her sweet 12 year old daughter came at 3pm to babysit. It was such a great date!
We went to Deseret Book because I wanted to find a Christmas book and an ornament. I think it's something I want to continue each year. I've been trying to find a new ornament for our family each year, and when I pulled out our decorations this season, I realized we had about five Christmas books, mostly from gifts. The kids have loved reading them, so I thought I would add to the tradition an find a book for this year.
For dinner, we went to a place here in Layton called Mongolian Grill. Kristoffer had been to one a few times in college and loved it, I had never been. It was great! It's a buffet of all the different fixings for an asian noodle bowl. You choose your own uncooked meat, noodles, veggies, sauces, and they grill it up for you as you watch. All you can eat for a great price, I'll totally go back!
We actually started our date just South of Perry at a store called Smith and Edwards. This place is amazing, they have just about everything! Seriously. It's been almost five years exactly since we've last been, and we found some great little stocking stuffers. They also have some pretty awesome, obscure, totally random things. Love that place.
Speaking of obscure items...take a look at this...cassette blowout, 2 for 99 cents! Yeah, this didn't make me feel old at all!
This is the book we bought at Deseret Book, and the ornament hanging off of the corner. It's a Christmas tree, carved out of olive wood from Jerusalem.
Our Christmas tree!! I wrapped all the presents last night, and out the one's from us (mommy and daddy) under the tree...I think Owen was a little confused this morning and may have thought it was Christmas morning!
We have a small nativity set, I'm not even sure where it came from, I certainly didn't buy it. But, I set it out every year, and this year, little fingers have had fun rearranging it. I really don't mind. They have their own vision of Christmas in these little decorations, and it warms my heart that they try to recreate what's in their head (gently, of course). I saw this and it was a potent reminder of how we really need to be drawing as close as possible to our Savior, kids are great for reminders like that!
Owen has a hard time waiting...he likes to pull out all the presents and put them on the coffee table to look at them...just *itching* to unwrap them.
This is oatmeal. If I could start to describe my Owen, it would have oatmeal in there somewhere. He loves his hot cereal in the morning...almost every morning. He's just a hot cereal kind of guy.
Our cute little gingerbread house! We bought a kit (THE way to go if you're a busy mum) from Costco. The kids had a blast...and tummyaches later that night.
A couple weeks ago, I went to a little Pinterest Party...just hosted by some friends at the ward. We made these super cute clothespin magnets to hang Christmas cards on. I *REALLY* wanted to keep them for myself, but at length, I decided to give them away to my the girls I visit teach. I told myself that the blessings would get in return would be worth much more than the joy I would have in keeping them for myself. I'm not trying to say anything about myself, I'm actually innately kind of selfish, but I'm working on it.
The gifts for my Visiting Teaching ladies. I had an extra copy of The Christmas Train by Thomas Monson that I've been wanting to give as a gift, but it hasn't been the right time. I finally wrapped one copy in the ribbon, only to unwrap it when Marin told me there was writing in it. I panicked that I had wrapped up the copy from a family member, but then realized I had the right one all along...the one signed by our Prophet, Thomas Monson. It was the right thing to do, the girl I gave it to was the right recipient.
Ten days ago we did this...amongst other things. Marin had a pulmonology appointment very early Friday morning at Primary Childrens (where I work), and I thought I would make the most of the day (since Kristoffer had the day off) and have a little date with my girl and do some Christmas shopping. It turned out to be a very difficult twelve hour day. Marin took her PFT's (Pulmonary Function Tests) and scored 58% (out of 100% obviously). It was a tough wake-up call. Even with the Singulair she's been taking, it wasn't enough, and it made my heart hurt to know how much she's been struggling just to breathe. He prescribed an inhaled steroid...which I had been hoping to avoid, but she clearly needed it. In the afternoon, she went for her eye exam, which was equally deflating. Poor thing is as blind as a bat, thank goodness for Polymer lenses that give her thinner glasses.
I can't tell you heartbreaking it is to hear that your child isn't perfect (I know, I know), and needs things like this to be well. As we were in Costco, dropping off her prescriptions, I figured we would just get all three months of her Flovent, Singulair and Albuterol all at once....until the girl told me it would be $800 for all of it. I almost fell over. I asked for a few minutes and called Kristoffer, and almost broke down in tears right there in Costco. We decided to take just purchase one month of each for the time being and take the hit on saving by purchasing three months. I survived and made it home, and I am so grateful for my husband who is such a rock when I can't hold it together anymore.
My hubby and little guy shoveling the walk, so sweet.
We've had moments of frustration, and moments of tender mercies, but all in all, I am so grateful for our many blessings. I look around me and think of how much worse life could be, and how life could be without the Gospel...and I wouldn't want it that way! What a hopeless way to live! In a few days, we celebrate the miraculous birth of brother, our Savior Jesus Christ. With his humble beginnings in a lowly stable, He was mocked, scorned, and crucified by the very people He was sent to save. Joy to the World! The Lord is Come! And someday, when He comes again, every knee will bow....EVERY knee will bow, and tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. What comfort to know that our efforts to live a good and righteous life will not be in vain. From our family, the Lymans wish you all a very, extraordinary Merry Christmas.