Sunday, 27 December 2015

All I wanted for Christmas

In a lot of ways things are getting easier since Noah and Aaron passed away, but then it hits me really hard all over again, just when I think I'm doing okay.   This year Christmas was really hard again.  Birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations are always hard, but I thought I was going to feel okay this year about it - as it's the fifth one without Noah and fourth one without Aaron.  I kind of feel like I'm used to not having them around, but this year was also our first one without Dad.

I think having some big changes going on this year has also made me a bit unsettled, so the lead up to Christmas felt really hard this year.   I don't dread it as much as I used to, but I just wish I could skip the whole Christmas season as it's such a hard time of the year now.

It's also hard because the Christmas season just seems to get longer and longer as Christmas things start appearing in shops earlier.  It's not just Christmas day that is hard, but the whole month of December and even before that.  We don't go to the lighting of the Christmas tree in town anymore, but we did stop to get a photo in front of the tree while we were in town one day.
At church I'm the 'Primary President' which basically means I'm in charge of the kids between 18 months - 12 years.  I have lots of people that help me including other leaders, teachers and a music leader, but because I'm the president I have to go to a meeting called 'ward council' with other church leaders once a fortnight.  It's where we discuss anything that we need to do to help people within our ward or congregation'.  Just before Christmas I turned up to the meeting and noticed people wearing Santa hats on. I picked up the agenda for the meeting, and noticed a Christmas songbook sitting on the top. 

It was then that I realised we hadn't been told that we were not having our usual meeting that week, but were going out Christmas caroling (obviously because no one would've turned up! ;). I am not a fan of Christmas caroling - I like singing, but feel like a total idiot standing at someone's front door singing, so I joked that I needed to get home to the boys.  Everyone at ward council are lots of fun though, so I decided to just go along and make the most of it, as we were just going to a few of the older, single members of our congregation. 

I was lucky to be in the 'fun car' with my cousin Tim, Luke and our two missionaries - Elder Wade and Elder Jack. 

It ended up being a really fun night, and we were lucky to get back and have treats waiting for us afterwards.   I said I was happy to go caroling every fortnight if that was going to happen! ;)

Last week we went to visit our favourite Santa (other santa photos from other years can be seen here).  He is such a lovely man, and looks so good.  Every year he would remember Noah and as we would wheel him up to him he would say 'here comes Noah!' and would have a lovely chat to him. We were so touched when he came to Noah's funeral
We made sure we got a selfie before the boys told him what they wanted.  On the way there I asked the boys what they were going to ask for. Jalen said a girlfriend, Kobe said a trip to New York and Harri said a trip to the USA so he could go to an NBA game.
When Santa asked them what they wanted, they made their wishes a bit more realistic.

We had a Christmas party at church and at the end our friend Scott dressed up as Santa and gave out presents to all the kids. When it was Kobe's turn he went up to him and he said 'what do I have in here for you Kobe? A lump of coal!'.  Kobe's body language cracked me up as he just looked at him like he didn't care.
At church last week we had to do the Nativity with the kids and it was so cute.  Harri was Joseph and Kobe was apparently too cool to participate, but joined in on the singing - little rat bag!
It was lovely to catch up with Alison before Christmas to exchange gifts (sorry Alison - I swear yours is coming in the mail!) and to have a little meal together.  We were all spoilt way too much, but the boys were very excited about their cool new t-shirts.
On the way home we stopped to see some Christmas lights. It was great that we were out late anyway, as it meant we didn't have to make a special trip out. 
This year all of my family were away for Christmas, except for my sister Nicki and her family who came down from Melbourne.  They always spend time between their two families on Christmas Day, so we decided to have our 'Christmas' together on Christmas Eve.  I always love the drive out to my Mum's house at this time of the year as all the poppies are out.
It was so nice to see the kids as we hadn't caught up with them for a while. The last time (and first time) I had seen Hyrum was when we went to Sydney when I spoke at Time Out For Women, and he has grown a lot since then. 
For Christmas I gave Mum a photo book that I hade made up of photos of Dad from when he was young, to just before he passed away. 
All of the kids have one cousin who they buy a present for (to save having to buy 12 different presents) and the kids were very excited to get their presents. 
While we were waiting for lunch to cook, we heard a fire truck as well as Christmas music.  We were very excited to see that the local fire trucks were coming up Mum's road to throw out lollies to the kids for Christmas Eve.  The kids waiting for the trucks to arrive.
My cousin Toni lives across the road from Mum, so their kids also came to meet the fire truck.  Gorgeous Tommy just had open heart surgery and was proudly showing off his scar to me.  He's such a cutie.
Jalen and Harri enjoying Grandma's hammock while they're waiting for lunch.  Jalen is rocking out to 'All I want for Christmas Is You' on  his phone :)
Mum and Maddi. 
We had a lovely hot lunch of turkey and veggies, and pavlova and chocolate cheesecake for dessert.
Kobe was more excited about the Christmas crackers, than eating.
The weather has been so nice lately, so we enjoyed a walk and swim at the beach after lunch (or at least the kids swam).
Jay absolutely hates the water, but had to walk through water to get to the island we were going to.  I was cracking up laughing as he moaned the whole time.
Nicki and Alex and their family were staying with Mum on Christmas Eve, and we were keen to be at our own house for Christmas morning, so we went back home and had some very excited boys who couldn't wait for Santa to come.
Harri was the most excited, and came into my bed in the middle of the night, asking if he could sleep with me as he knew he would get back to sleep easier in my bed.  He then woke up at 5:30 because the sun was shining in my bedroom, but I was mean and told him to wait until 6am.  Lucky for me he went back to sleep until 6:40 am and then jumped up to wake up Kobe and Jay.

They were all very excited to see their presents from Santa and to open their presents from me. Kobe cracked me up as he said 'I can't believe I'm on the good list Mum! I must've just made it on!'.  There was never a truer word spoken by him!  They were keen to try out their new Wii U games that they got.
At the end of every school year I seem to crash and get really run down, as my body knows it can finally stop running on adrenaline. Once again it's happened this year again, and I've been feeling really tired and have broken out in the dreaded cold sores (happens every holiday!).  I woke up feeling sad and not well, and knew the boys were happy to play with their new games and presents, so I went back to bed for an hour or so. 

I then got up and made pancakes and bacon and eggs for breakfast.

We had a lazy morning at home, and then headed out to Mum's after lunch.  My cousins messaged me to let me know they were going to the beach, and I was tempted to join them, but wasn't feeling up to it, so even though I had a sleep in the morning,  Mum and I had a sneaky sleep on the couch while the boys occupied themselves.
When Mum woke up she commented about how lovely it was having older kids around, as they just let you have a nap.
We had an easy tea of ham, prawns and salads and fruit salad.
After tea we headed down the beach as it was such a beautiful day. 

It was 7pm when Harri, Kobe and I we went in the water, and it was so warm.

It was a very quiet Christmas which I was looking forward to, but it was very different not having the whole family around, and especially not having Dad there, and didn't really feel like Christmas.   Mum had been sneaky and had bought a present with the boys for me, and other years I have bought myself something and wrapped it up, but this year I didn't bother.  Being 'single'  means I can buy whatever I want, when I want, as long as I can afford it and all I wanted for Christmas was not possible to buy. 


  1. I'm the Primary President in my ward in Virginia! I think being a Primary President adds a whole other layer of stress to this time of year. I have 105 kids in my Primary and trying to get the teachers and classes all set for the coming year was a HUGE ordeal, that's not finished yet. I feel the same way you do about caroling, but I'm glad it turned out to be fun. I love reading about your summer activities while my kids are still in school and our summer seems so far away.

    1. Oh wow! I could not cope with 105 kids! We only have 25 and that's enough stress for me to deal with. Love the kids, but it just another level of stress in my life, and I'm sure that's what's added to me being really run down.

  2. Wow...your last sentence tugged at me :( I loved reading about your Christmas. I've had some health issues since the first of November, so, it didn't feel much like Christmas to me either. It's awesome to look at the beautiful pics at the in Yakima, WA we have a white Christmas!! I love Winter, and I love reading about your family, Lisa.

  3. Those firemen deserve a medal after spending most of their day at the Latrobe fire and still show up to do the usual Christmas Eve run. Very special people. I had a year where I thought it would all be easier and I am many more years down the track than you. It wasn't easier and I only made it harder on myself trying to force it to be. I know in my heart of hearts it's probably never going to be easier and I need to be thankful for what improvement there has been.

    We all accidentally snoozed Christmas afternoon and our son was the first asleep. I'm with your Mum it's great to have children who allow Christmas naps and even join in 😊

  4. I was the second councillor in Primary for 3 years, until I moved recently to a new ward I have always had a calling. I remember many wonderful Christmas Nativities trying to get the Primary children on stage to sing and act out the Christmas Nativity. Fun times. I live in Canada where today the temps are about -20 with the wind chill. Lots of snow on the ground. May you and your children have a delightful New Year!


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