Sadly, I awakened to Jeremy's alarm this morning. I am very fortunate that for the last 10 years, he has received the week between Christmas and New Years off.
This year was different though. Instead of staying up until the wee hours of the morning playing Super Mario each day of his vacation, until it was beat *cough* or staying in our jammies and playing with all the boys' new toys, or running around to all the after-Christmas sales, we headed down South for a holiday trip.
I'm not one to give up time with Jeremy. I enjoy him way too much! So I try not too, when he has time off ;-)! But this year was a little different. His sister Beth and family are getting transferred to California in less than a month. And we also have a brand new baby in the mix that I needed to get my arms around before he was running around.
I'll be completely honest. We weren't looking forward to making this 15 hour trip, the day after Christmas. and then again on New Year's Eve. But like many parents, memories and bonding for our boys with their cousins (and Aunt and Uncle) was our number one motivation.
So we put on our happy faces, bit our tongues and headed out early the day after Christmas. And if getting up at 3 a.m. wasn't bad enough with a 4 year old refusing to go back to sleep, it snowed the whole route down to Florida. Snow in Tennessee, ice in Alabama and below freezing temperatures in Florida. Come on people, at least give us some warm Southern weather!
But all that to say, it was so worth it when we heard the giggles of three little boys as they embraced and ran off together to play. 3 little boys, playing non stop for 3 days, giggling, talking, pretending, gaming. While us parents sat each night, dark circles and coffee in our hands - HA!
Am I a fan of holiday trips now? NO!! Was it worth it? Yes. Who knows when the next time we will be in Florida. So we made the most of it. We spent one day at the National Naval Aviation Museum, another "fighting bad guys" at Fort Pickens, enjoyed local restaurants and parks. It was crazy busy, but totally fun filled!
We wanted to get home on Friday, to give us the weekend to try to get some things done before Jeremy headed back to work. The boys had yet to play with many of their Christmas gifts, the tree and decorations needed to be taken down, and there was football Bowl games to be watched ;-). And after 4 days of running crazy with the crew, down time with just our family was much needed.
Of course, a trip away from home, one that I frantically cleaned the house before we left, washed and made all the beds, mopped all the hardwoods so that we would come home to a nice, clean home, would not be complete without some mishap. As in, one of the pets used Evan's bed as a toilet while we were gone. Not quite sure if the cat was locked out of the basement for a period of time or if the dog was forgotten and not let out. But let's just say that the stench in Evan's room was not that pleasant to come home too!
So we added that to the list of "to-dos".
It's amazing how EVERYONE wants to help put the Christmas tree up, but when it's time to take it down, no one seems to be around - HA!
Some good came out of the weekend. I can't complain too much. We cleaned and organized the basement for accomodating all the new toys from Christmas. We went through all the old toys and threw out all the ones that were broken or missing pieces. We have a large box of toys that will be going to the Good Will. And found homes for the remaining pieces in Evan's new storage bins. We have not seen the basement that organized since before Evan.
We sold our elliptical. An elliptical that was used maybe 10 times. It took up way too much space. I love the ellipticals at the Rec center, but HATED the one we purchased years ago. After tying to sell it on Craig's List with no luck, I decided yesterday that we would place it out in the front yard with a price sign on it. Hello! New Year's Resolutions! I knew someone would scoop it up. And indeed, within an hour, it was gone. And I have some spending money to purchase some more storage bins for the basement!
We watched football.
We built some amazing Hot Wheels track.
We played trains.
We stayed in our pajamas all day.
But as in all good things, it had to come to an end. Jeremy's alarm pierced threw our glorious sleep. And our vacation is now officially over. I am so bummed, but ready for the new year, getting back on a schedule and getting back to the grind. There is just something encouraging and comforting with that!