Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Holidays and a Year in Review

Yep, gonna try and cram it all into one jolly little (ahem, probably long and winded) blog post here. The kids are asleep and I have a fresh glass of wine so hopefully I can sit and write and stay focused. Let's see how well that works.

I will say that this Christmas, by far, has been one of my favorite ones yet. I am not quite sure what made it so, but it was. In fact, I maxed out my mush-meter for the next few decades when I told a friend of mine that it was almost magical. And as soon as I said that, I almost ralphed when I realized that those words indeed came out of my mouth. It was like I suddenly needed to go and put on an apron and high heels and curl my hair and then bake cookies from scratch and later on have craft time with the kids and all the while clean the house from top to bottom. I mean, WHO just said that?

Well, I did. And I kinda meant it. I don't know if it comes with both of the kids and a knowing that this is the first of many of holidays with my sweet little complete (you see that Byron, complete party of 4) family. Or instead maybe it had to do with my overall stress level which was WAY lower than this time last year, and maybe even the years before. I seem more settle at this point in time than I remember being in a while. It sounds odd considering my house is soon to be on the market and settle is not the word I would use to describe keeping a house with 2 labradors, a tabby cat, 2 children, a home-based business and a husband that works MANY hours ready for selling. Maybe I mean settle by the fact that we know where we are going in the middle of this new year. We know that our next move will be a permanent move. It has us moving back home. And maybe overall, just knowing that this is our last Christmas here in Jackson. That combined with the knowing that we did, in fact make it. Granted we still have 6 months left...but all in all, I think we did it. Take that residency. Before I get too far off subject - back to this holiday being magical. It just was.

Christmas Eve has quickly become a favorite of mine. We always fix shrimp po'boys and homemade french fries for dinner. The kids get to open one present and Byron reads The Cajun Night Before Christmas. We brave the crowd and head to the cathedral and sit, among many and listen to the beautiful music, the reminders of the reason for the season and twice now...the brilliant words of Edward O'Connor in his sermons that I swanny he is speaking directly to me. And then, the kiddos go to bed with those sugarplum (what in the crap really is a sugarplum anyway) visions. It is such a great day and night. I have sat here at the computer for about 5 minutes now trying to grasp words to describe it, but I keep coming up blank. I just can't. But I can feel it. And it feels wonderful.

Christmas Day is of course, the most fun once you have a child to remind you of the pure joy and excitement. Believe it or not...we had to wake Louisa up at 8:15 on Christmas. My kids and their sleeping habits - don't even get me started there. But just to watch her face...I mean, I found myself just staring at her almost holding my breath while she enjoyed it all. And then sweet Nash, his first Christmas. Bless him, he didn't grasp the concept of presents but he is so excited to have boy toys to play with now. Phew. Just a few pics of all the excitement.

The before...

Waiting for Sis to wake up...

During...

I mean, look at her toes curled in excitement!


The after. Haha.

And you know me and my animals. Of course, they are part of it all and I don't know if even Louisa loves Christmas as much as Mallard. He is in the middle of it all the entire time.

Sweet Lucy just likes to have people on the floor with her

and of course the doggies love bones...

Now Murray, this is where I found her.

Asleep on our bed in the back of the house with her head hidden. Someone must have gotten into the eggnog.

Moving right along...it is official. Nash is now into everything. That fabulous stage of development when exploring is the coolest thing on the face of the earth. The word 'NO' is still not comprehended, although Nash seems to find it humorous when I raise my voice and tell him no. He stops, looks at me and gives this smile that basically says, "Mommy...I know better. I am sweet baby Nash. What are you really going to do about it?" Busted. Not a thing my sweet little man. It is cute and sweet but frustrating at the same time. Along with the new milestones comes the dreaded change in sleep routines. Now, I have yet to produce an offspring that sleeps (which is still beyond me) but Nash does better than Lou. However, NO ONE has been sleeping in this house lately, especially Nash. No naps, no night-time, etc. It is driving me cuckoo. But before I try and get all angry at him...just check out the sweetness for yourself.

And this, straight up hooligan. This is how he responds to me actually buckling him in the seat that he escapes other-wise. This is how he will sit in it. Crazy boy.

And poor, sweet Lucy. Bless her big-boned soul. This dog puts up with everything. And Nash adores these doggies.

Speaking of growing up...

who is that girl in the skinny jeans and cowgirl boots with a face that looks just like her daddy? Ugh. My dearest Louisa, please stop growing up. It hurts me.

And now for a year in review. In 2011,
  • My sweet, little girl got bigger and more mature than I give her credit for. And unfortunately, bigger and more mature than I am ready for.
  • I gave birth to a little boy that turned my heart to mush. Utter mush. I had been warned, but little did I know.
  • 2011 was a HUGE year for my itty-bitty little clothing business. I produced by far my most favorite line that was a huge hit. Daydream Believer stole my heart. And while I was away sewing in my little sewing room, BG was noticed. I got offers from boutiques about wholesales. One of them in California, I was floored. And then an offer to have some of my collection in a magazine...and then only to land on the COVER of the magazine. Right about the time I didn't think it could get any better, I got an offer from a buyer with Zulily to purchase my collection to showcase. As I sat, a little-ole dorky, quirky seamstress in my sewing room while my kiddos napped, I realized that maybe I was on to something. But against the advice of many friends and even my husband, I turned them all down, with the exception of the magazine. For now, I am comfortable being that itty-bitty seamstress. Afraid of failure? Definitely. Afraid of letting go of the controls? You bet your ass. Afraid of success? Almost more than failure. One day I will figure out what in the world I want to do with brownie-goose. But today just isn't that day. But with that said...I am in dire need of help. Maybe in 2012 I can figure it all out...but I will never forget the words of a fellow designer when he said, "Hardly just a seamstress Amy. You are a fashion designer! An incredibly and insanely talented one at that!" Mitchell, I swear I don't know if you will ever know what that meant to me. It is on that note that makes me want to strive and push forward, but I can also smile and know that if I quit it all today...I'd be one happy seamstress, ahem fashion designer. :)
  • Byron got a job. A real job. For those of you that have stood beside your husband through medical school and residency, you know how big this is. It is the light at the end of a very long, hard tunnel. The amount of pride I feel cannot even begin to be described. This man never, ever ceases to amaze me.
  • Sadly enough, for my perfectionist self, I learned that I am not the perfect mom, wife or friend. Hard act to swallow. But I realized it was okay. Instead of losing myself in the search for that perfect trio, I found instead how to work at being the best mom, wife and friend that my husband, kiddos and friends want me to be. I also learned that sometimes being a good mom makes you a bad friend. Sometimes being a good friend makes you a bad wife, etc. It is all about balance while keeping yourself in line. Still haven't worked out the kinks yet. :)
  • I think this will be on the year in review every year. But, I learned that a clean house is over-rated and makes me a bad mom. And this is the one time when the paragraph above is null and void. In this case, when I am a bad mom because I have a clean house, I am also a bad wife and friend. This will get interesting in the next few months with the house on the market. We shall see...or you should just come on over and buy my house. I mean, it is perfect for you. Promise.
I always like to sit down at the end of one year and beginning of another to take time to look back and figure out what I want to continue and what I want to change about my life. Last year, I decided to slow down and just start letting things go. Now, coming from an OCD, Type-A control freak...I knew that it wouldn't happen overnight. However, I am very pleased to say that I think I did a very good job of looking it in the face and tackling my demons head on. I am not a Type B convert just yet (haha) but I have let a lot of things go, and you know what...it feels good. Damn good to be honest.

So this year, I will continue on that path of working on letting it all go. Letting go and letting happen is what 2012 and the following years will be about. Letting go of all the things on my to-do list (well, some of them at least) while I let life happen. What is really important to me at the end of the day? Did I let that happen, or did I fail to let go? Once again, this will not happen overnight but hopefully in a year when I sit down to reflect I can smile and be proud in knowing that while in the car on my life journey, I got out of the driver's seat and into the passenger seat. Then, I put down my blackberry and said to hell with it all and climbed into the backseat and enjoyed the view. And when I had the urge to put my foot on the imaginary brakes or shout to the driver to speed up, I looked to one side and saw my precious kiddos smiling at me and then to the other side to see my amazingly supportive husband holding my hand through it all and instead, I just was. I let go. I let the driver continue on His way and sat back and enjoyed the view.

With that said...2012 is going to be a wild ride. We have a house to sell, we have a move that includes packing up my family (trying to avoid the panic attack the comes with the thought of packing), my husband starts a new job...a REAL job, we have an entire house to renovate (and I giggle here because yes, we bought a house. I have been mum about it and will be for a little while more, but lesson learned...never say never. We have another full-fledged renovation ahead of us, this one being the most involved of any we have ever done), I have a little girl that will be starting kindergarten, a little boy that will be old enough to go and make friends and play at a mother's morning out, a new life to start and new friends to make while missing the snot out of the amazing ones I am leaving in Jackson, a town to learn, etc. Usually, all this would send my heart racing in a panic and anxiety would set in. But other than packing, I have no anxiety. Just pure and utter joy. I cannot wait.

Are you on for the ride? If so, I must say you can either have the passenger seat or the back-back...the backseat is taken. :)

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Best of wishes on the move and new phase of life! Know bg will continue to be awesome! On a side note looks like Lou has great feet for ballet or gymnastics! Wish we needed a house in Jackson but my baby has another year and a half of undergrad before med school..know you will find the perfect buyer! Happy New Year!