December has always been a fun time of year filled with birthdays, Santa, hours of baking in the kitchen and ending with the joyous birth of Jesus. This year seems to be crammed with more than years past but still fun and just as enjoyable.
I just have to say that I'm so glad I wasn't hard-wired like others I know or come across at this time of year when they get so stressed out during busy times, it's saved me in the teaching world and now in parenthood! Enjoy every moment, busy or not, life is to be lived happily in all you do and say so your joy will spread to others. Wish I had the guts to say to people when at the bank or a store to just keep their frustrations, attitudes, bad language, and grumpy faces to yourself please; but I'm sure that'll make matters worse so I'm just thankful it doesn't bother me and I can use it as an example of what not to do for the kids!
That vented, just wanted to share the best birthday present I could have ever gotten from my boys, a smiling picture with Santa! For my birthday I wanted a day spent with the boys and decided to take them to the Bass Pro shop where they're supposed to have a winter wonderland set up with different tables of fun for the kids to play with along with a free photo with Santa. It was awesome! There was no line, nothing like the mall where at 6pm on any given day of the week it'd be at least a half and hour wait. They had a train display to watch, RC cars to drive, Red Ryder laser guns to shoot at a wall, and others we just never got to.
I've been prepping them for weeks about sitting on Santa's lap and just as I thought Mr. Outgoing went right up with no problem, sat on Santa's lap and answered every question he asked, especially the one about what toy he wanted, "a bicycle and dump truck helmet with a horn!" Santa was impressed and I just beamed, that's all the boys have been talking about, Santa bringing them a bike under the tree!
Gavin got extremely shy and held on to Mike with a death grip so as usual we didn't push it and used re-direction and went off to play some of the free games they had set up. Then Gavin realized that Carter got a candy cane after seeing Santa and he wanted one too, then there it was, all on his own he had the biggest smile and said "Me go see Santa too!" and was actually happy about it! I took him up, he gave Santa a high-five then actually sat on his lap and was talking to Santa like he's known him forever- stroking his soft suit collar, feeling his real beard all while answering Santa's questions of how old he was, what he wanted and if he's been a good boy! After he got down with a big smile I totally welled up with tears as this was a milestone for him and I was so glad he could actually enjoy the season with Santa instead of being so anxious! I am so glad to have such good photos of them this year to remember that day! Don't know if it'll be the same next year but it was such a nice ending to a great birthday for this year at least!
Gavin has cried his little eyes out every year, and the anxiety he's had since being 1yr old never helped, but time and maturity have done him well and I am impressed at the little man he is becoming! Just last night at Pop-Pop Thompson's 40th Retirement party he sat at the dinner table with the adults for a very long time eating and socializing like he was in Elementary school already! But Carter, as advanced as he is, made it known he doesn't want to grow up too fast just yet and refused to sit for dinner and cried when it was time to blow out Pop-Pop's candle, which is fine by me- stay young as long as you can both of you, tears and tantrums don't bother me any!
So glad I was able to re-use this cake pan from Gavin's 1st birthday dump truck theme! Gotta love Wilton pans, they're so versatile!
Mom-Mom only found one sippy cup firetruck, I knew there would be a fight for which boy got it so had to make it useful another way! But now that the party is over I'll have to hide this one until I hunt another one down!
Happy 40 yrs with the Baltimore City Fire Dept Pop-Pop! Actual retirement starts next fall when his sick and vacation leave expire, but we look forward to spending more time with him now that he's guaranteed to be home for holidays! He's already been to Gavin's pre-school for the Thanksgiving feast and now is able to go on Wednesday for the Christmas show too; here's to making up for lost time!
So amidst the yr. anniversary of my brothers passing, with all the cookie making, present wrapping and parties these next few weeks, it's made me even more thankful that I'm here on earth and know I'm enjoying every moment and trying my best to spread joy at every turn!