(sigh of relief)

(the 2nd generation of cousins...and one more in the oven!) (not my oven)

You know, I could write a novel about this Christmas. Okay, maybe not a novel but definitely a short story. What really matters now is that we are once again home safely. We passed maybe 20 cars in the ditch on our way from Eau Claire yesterday morning. Many of them flipped right over! Patrick is an excellent driver and even though it scares me a little when he says "don't worry, I'm applying Newton's law of physics," I trust him totally.

We left Duluth on Thursday and decided to stop in Eau Claire just to break the trip home up a little. Our original plan was to stay through New Year's but that just wasn't going to happen. This trip was pretty stressful for us. There was a lot of wonderful stuff mixed in but Patrick & I just couldn't get in sync with each other. It makes me sad since we normally get along pretty fabulously. sniff. I just think we need to remember that going home for Christmas is not relaxing. Fun, maybe, but not relaxing. It wasn't relaxing before we had kids, it's not relaxing now. (especially when Ruby is breaking her last molar and busy doing her best impersonation of an ankle biter.) (the tooth is through now, thank God, I felt it this morning.) It doesn't really matter...we just need to figure something out before we go home for Christmas again. (2009)

It's so silly because as I read that last paragraph I totally remembered years & years of feeling overwhelmed at Christmas. It only makes sense that it would be harder now, with 2 little ones, instead of easier. duh. I think I had forgotten since we haven't been home for Christmas in a couple years. Here is a look at our last 6 Christmas celebrations:

2002 - I miscarried on 12/18, we stayed in Madison for Christmas and ate lots of donuts. Went home in January.
2003 - Baby James was born, we stayed in Madison and my mom came. She was deathly ill on Christmas and wore a mask to hold the new baby. My whole family came back in January to meet James and exchange gifts.
2004 - Closed on our house on Dec 3 and my mom, dad & brother came to help us move. Patrick had to go to Paris for 2 weeks for work and while he was gone James & I got really sick. Patrick returned on the 23rd and got really sick. My family all came back on the 26th and we had a fun visit. They all went home and most of them got really sick.
2005 - Went to Duluth for Christmas. I don't remember being particularly stressed. (I wish I had been blogging then so I could have known my secret.) (Actually, I don't think Patrick's family's meet up was on Christmas Eve morning, 2 hours up the highway, like it was this year.) (I know for sure...NEVER AGAIN.) We had fun but I got food poisoning on the day after. Was pregnant with Ruby and nervous about being so sick but nurses reassured me that I couldn't possibly vomit out my unborn child. (of course I knew this, they just reassured me.)
2006 - We stayed in Madison for Christmas and no one came over because we all rented a house together for a long weekend in January. We got kind of bored on Christmas day but definitely were not stressed.
2007 - Now that I have all this off of my chest I can come back later and write about all the good stuff, my favorite stuff. There's lots of it. I just hope that Patrick and I can someday learn to love again. HAHAHA! I'm totally kidding. It's not that bad, just kind of an extended ickiness. We'll be fine.


  1. Aargh- I feel your pain. Stephanie. Not that John was hard to be with, but that I know how it feels being pulled to 100 different meetups and him having different needs, and me being EXhausted and Sophie EXhausted and grumpy and why did we come, again?? I invited my parents to our place next year and told them that I am done with the bonanza. It's just not worth it. On the flipside, I'd be sad without them . . . let's hope it's easier next year, for both of us.

  2. I echo Blackbird's comment...and commend you for the honest writeup about the complexity of the holidays. It's really such an interesting phenomenon. I try to remember being awestruck and not stressed out by the holidays (surely there was a time!) but it's hard. ;-)


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