The past two and a half years have been a crazy roller coaster ride for my little family. I left my full time job back in May of 2013 to come home and be with my kids, which ended up being a major time of adjustments on several fronts for our family. Last year at this time year we were knee deep in the home buying process. Due to the craziness of all of that, I dreaded the upcoming holidays and would rather have hibernated through it all rather than face them. The start of the this year was crazy, but we finally closed on our home in March. Thankfully, things started to calm down for us and have continued in that trend as we have pushed towards the end of this year. I don’t dread the holidays this year. Actually, I am looking forward to the holidays, especially Christmas.
My attitude is different know that it has been the past two years. Several weeks ago I walked outside to take something to the garbage can. As I rounded the back of my van, I looked up and stared at my home. As crazy as it sounds, I was in tears. They were happy tears. I was staring at our home. It wasn’t a rental home, but our home. We finally had a place for our kids to grow up. There was no fear of the phone ringing and being told that we had to move. There is no more wondering what the next year will hold in terms of where we will live.
Now don’t get me wrong. I loved our old house. It was what we needed at the time. We were there for a little over five and half years. All three of our kids came home from the hospital to that house. We celebrated many firsts in the house. The issue was that it wasn’t ours. Someone else had say over how long we could stay. I dreaded October. Any time my husband’s phone rang, I held my breath until I could tell who he was talking to. That was the time of year we had to renew our lease. My anxiety always jumped until things were settled again. I love that a ringing phone no longer brings about dread and anxiety.
My kids have loved our new home from day one. Their favorite place is our backyard. It’s big, flat and beautiful. We have a shed with our kids’ bikes, balls and toys. My kids love to get dressed in the morning and head out the back door. I love that we have a large picture window in our dining room, a glass back door, as well as a window over my kitchen sink. I can keep an eye on my kids playing while I take care of things in the house. The back yard is completely fenced in, so they have the freedom to run and play without us worrying about where they are. My husband has hung their tire swing and climbing rope. They also enjoy blowing bubbles and writing on the back patio with their sidewalk chalk.
Their next favorite place to play is the bay window seat in the living room. We have an oversize pillow up there where they like to lounge, read and play. My kids have also turned the window seat into a stage on several occasions. It’s fun to watch them just sit there and carry on conversations. I can only hope and pray that the window seat sees many more conversations and continues to be a place of bonding for my kids.
I love watching my kids run around the house and the yard. I love listening to them talking about growing up in our home. They have all planned their birthday parties for next year. They have a long list of play dates and sleepovers they have requested with certain friends. At some point we will start making those happen.
My kids are also super excited about Christmas and have been asking for the Christmas tree to be up since about the middle of August. Up until now, I have been able to hold them off. My mother has bought all 3 kiddos new stockings and my hubby and I have new stockings as well. We have spent this past week decorating our tree and pulling out our other decorations. Yes, this is much earlier than I would typically pull out decorations, but I feel like, this year, it’s a celebration of blessings and a time of rest for us.
We have also done most of the shopping for Operation Christmas Child and will be making purchases for a couple of other ministries as well. My kids have a great time shopping for others and I love including them in on these ministry opportunities. It’s been fun knowing that we can truly concentrate others this year, rather than having the underlying uncertainty of what might be.