Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas rush

In the midst of all the Christmas rush today, an amazing thing happened. I let three people in front of me while driving! LOL! May not sound like much, but if you know me, it's a Christmas miracle! Even my husband said something to me tonight.

We were intending on an early start this morning but, as we've come to learn, the kids rule the start. Of all days, they slept in until 8:45! Normally, we're talking between 7:00 and 7:30 on the weekends, so this was huge. I rolled over in bed and went, "WHAT!?!?" So, once showers were taken, clothes were changed, the dog was walked and breakfast was eaten, we were on the road closer to 11:00. Now, if you live in the DC metro area and are planning any sort of shopping at the mall this close to Christmas, you're taking your life into your own hands. But, we set out with the best of intentions and I kept reminding myself, "the kids are watching, the kids are watching..." The inside of the mall was really not bad, at all. We made all of our stops and grabbed lunch. It was leaving the mall that was insane. Take 15,000 people trying to leave a mall with only two ways in and out, and you've got serious problems. I think it took us 30 minutes? We drove down the road to...*gasp*...Toys-R-Us. The shopping center that the store is in is a joke this time of year and I should have remembered that. In hindsight, I should have chosen to make that stop during the week, at some point. The problem is, Jason's family just got back to us on Thursday about the wish list for the kids. Otherwise, we were all done with our shopping. Surprisingly, the line at TRU zipped along and we were in and out in minutes. It was the leaving, again, that took us nearly 45 minutes just to go 2 miles. By the time we got home, it was nearly 4:00 and the kids had not had naps. Miraculously, they were amazing children all day long and very patient with us. We laid them down for naps and they hit the sack hard. I did wake them up at 5:30, though, because I knew they'd never go to bed tonight. They were so confused! LOL!

Earlier this morning, I popped a new recipe in the slow-cooker and it had been cooking all day while we were out. So, for dinner, we had a delicious beef stroganoff that a friend passed on to us. It was a hit!

After dinner, we changed the kids into their jammies (at this point, it's nearly 7:00) and took them for a surprise car ride out to Bull Run Park. This time of year is my favorite for drives because of the lights. Bull Run hosts a Festival of Lights that is known to be the best in the entire metro DC area. We've never been, so we figured it was a great way to get out for a while and entertain the kids. Five years ago, we went to something similar in Gaithersburg, MD...which is where Jason proposed to me. He wrote a beautiful poem and stopped the car under the arbor of lights at the end of the trail to read it to me and pulled out the ring. *sniff* So, that's the last time we'd been to anything like this. The kids loved it. Lots of "wows" coming from the back made it all worthwhile (even though it was nearly 2 hours past bedtime!).

We were talking on the way home and it has really struck me this year just what Christmas is all about. I mean, I've always known what it's about, of course, but something in me changed this year. For the first time in my life, it's not about me. It's about the children, of course. I want nothing more than to teach them the true meaning of Christmas, to share the joy I feel everytime I look into their eyes, and to make it a special time for them. They are, after all, our Christmas miracles. I'll never be able to quite put it into words, but there has been a profound change in me this Christmas.

I love my family.

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