Recovering and Rediscovering Christmas

After one killer flu bug violently made its way through our house this week, we are slowly crawling out of our sweatpants and Lysoling our way back to some Christmas.  Although I am glad it hit the three of us this week instead of two weeks from now, it knocked us out for awhile and left Beau and I picking up the remains this weekend.  And there's nothing like a good flu to make you want to strip the sheets, soak the laundry, and scrub every inch of the bathroom.  So, this weekend, our last weekend before the start of our SEVEN family Christmases begins, we enjoyed a weekend of recovering our bodies, rebuilding our normal, and rediscovering a little Christmas.  

...We welcomed a Friday night invitation to Jordan and Kelli's to order pizza, lounge on the couch, and watch UNI play Montana in the playoffs.  After a stressful week, nothing sounded better than an easy night in, and Cruz and Charly couldn't have agreed more.  They played hard until they both passed out cold.  It's getting more and more fun watching the two of them together---Charly hides behind her lamp base and Cruz giggles as she jumps out to 'surprise' us.  I have a feeling they may grow up and look out for one another.
...I woke up to two gifts on Saturday morning.  One, my alarm clock read 8:12, aka, the latest Cruz has slept in for a long time, and two, my very smart hubby suggested we go out to eat for breakfast.  In our pajamas, the three of us enjoyed stuffed Iowa toast with fresh berry au jus, and eggs, hashbrowns, and all the works at our favorite breakfast establishment, Newtons.  Cruz discovered a love for sausage links, and Beau and I contentedly sipped our coffee and tea and wished Saturday morning could last all day.

What our sleepy head looks like after getting 12 hours of sleep...

...A shopping trip and a near Christmas shopping finish for me.  I try to do as much of my shopping as early as I can, however, always seem to purposely leave a few gifts for late in order to join in on the last minute busyness of the shopping season.  Barnes and Noble and Best Buy, American Eagle, Hallmark, and a finish at Wal-Mart---let's just say only one of my two shopping partners enjoyed the crowds ;)  I did, however, manage to get nearly all of my shopping done, and escape the stores without bringing home anything for Cruz.  I have officially cut myself off from buying him presents!

On the move at the mall...

...A good old fashioned meal and night inside for the three of us.  Don't judge me, but our meatloaf, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes totally hit the spot, and before you go all 'wow, what a loser' on me, I'll have you know we washed it all down with a couple of holiday White Russians.  Cruz was wiped out and went to bed fairly early, which left Beau, myself, our whiteys and a cribbage board.  Just like old times, we played Cribbage, listened to music, and talked about everything from our first house to our dream house.  It seems so easy to pull out a deck of cards and turn off the TV every now and then, yet, we realize we don't make it a point as often as we should.  We made a pact to drink a few more whiteys and have more of the kind of conversations we used to have.

...Sunday was a day of Christmas preparations.
...Some gift wrapping, 

...And cookie baking (the recipe for these little devils can be found here.  Hopefully yours turn out fluffier than mine---as it turns out, I think it was time for my baking soda to be replaced).

...A quick stop at Santa's workshop after church,

...and a chocolate treat discovered in today's advent mitten.

...And most of all, lots,

...and lots,

...of cuddling.  

I'm looking forward to so much in the next couple of weeks.  An end to another semester at school, followed by some fun, end-of-the-semester get togethers and celebrations.  Winter Break, aka, carpet picnics and Christmas movies, fires in the fireplace, and a cozy ride to check out Christmas lights.  I'm looking forward to celebrating the gift of a Savior and the hope that I may learn to surrender even more of who I am to Him.  I'm looking forward to finding the peace amidst the busy in the next couple weeks, hoping to find the joyful opportunities in each event and experience that comes its way in the last few weeks of 2011.  It's been another very blessed year for us, and we have lots to be thankful for.  

Hoping the peace and joy of Christmas finds you and yours this year.