Christmas 2015. A review.

Let me start this blog by sharing my true feelings about Christmas. I have not liked Christmas since I was maybe 18 years old. Since then I have dreaded every moment of it. Now that I have 2 small children, I put on a brave face, I try to enjoy it and make peace with it.  This year in particular, I feel like I kept the holiday spirit in my heart until about December 19th. Then it left me with my normal cold dead heart.

So. Here is how Christmas was this year for the Kosterpelding clan.

We woke up (at 7:30! woo woo) Christmas Eve to tons of unexpected snow. The flakes were giant. It was beautiful. We took the girls out to play in the snow. Bette hated every minute that she wasn’t being fed snow. Edith loved it. Our neighbors came over and we took turns running them down our driveway in a sled. Luckily traffic was pretty slow that day and there were no fatalities. A bit later we came inside and had a pretty warm snuggly day. We drank hot cocoa. Took naps. Then opened up our family presents. Brent bought me a beautiful onyx ring that I am hoping shields me from the remaining negativity that 2015 might try to sneak in (so far not working). As we were preparing to go to my in-laws house, Edith fell on her face and busted her chin. This resulted in her 3rd set of stitches for 2015.  I was mad as hell at her. She was brave and quickly recovered after the hospital.

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Christmas morning! Yay! Santa brought a bunk bed to the girl with the busted chin. Not a wise move. Bette is teething, or has a cold, or a combination and is completely miserable. The day is nuts. 2 crazy kids who just can’t seem to control their emotions=2 crazy parents who can’t control their emotions. But we survive and go to the in-laws for more family time and Edith gets to bond with her teenage cousins.

The next morning we go back to the in-laws for MORE PRESENTS! These 2 children are flush with gifts.  It is very exciting. Then we go home for Christmas celebration round 234 (or that’s what it feels like). My family comes up and they bring the children bikes (per my dumb ass suggestion). Clearly if my kid can’t handle standing on a couch she can’t handle a bike. But whatever. They must learn! There is a great deal of bike riding around the house that happens and is super cute and fun.

The 27th is celebrated by spending time with my parents. I get to try out my new juicer and feel a glimmer of hope about how great 2016 is going to be when I am juicing my face off. I am completely wiped out by the time my parents leave and fall asleep in a ball on the couch. The rest of the day is spent in survival mode until we can put the kids to bed.

I tell you my truth not because I am a selfish hateful human, but because I am human. The holidays are stressful for me. However, I am grateful. My kids are healthy, and somewhat safe when they are not putting themselves in harms way. Our family came from near and far to visit us in this cold place. We all received many beautiful gifts. We are warm and cozy.  We love each other…for the most part. And I am also glad it’s over.

Happy New Year! May 2016 be safe, glorious, peaceful, and may this year’s calendar end at December 23rd!

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A picture of me in all of my holiday to cheer to show you I am not a monster. Weirdly cut out due to randos in the background.

Out of Nebraska

I just survived a road trip to Georgia…with a one year old in tow.  I have always claimed to  hate road trips, and this one had it’s moments, but overall I really did enjoy the experience.  There were a few meltdowns (both me and Edith), but we all survived without any threat of divorce or adoption.  On our 16 hour drive we traveled through Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and finally Georgia where we got to see a beautiful couple get married (Congrats Dave and Barbara!)

Somewhere in Tennessee, I think!

My eyes were really opened to how amazing it is that we live in this huge country that has so many climates, landscapes, and cultures.  I have been to Branson, Missouri on a number of horrible family vacations and never realized that the entire state (not only the Ozarks) is covered in beautiful bluffs and trees. You get to drive through and see the layers of red earth and every color of tree.  The people of Missouri were all gems too.  Well I guess I should say the old people we encountered at a McDonald’s were.  Every single one of them said good morning to us and gave Edith a cute wave or smile. This was a welcome change  a day after I was at a mall in Omaha and surrounded by old ladies who ignored me, and refused to hold door for me despite needing help maneuvering with a stroller… humph!

I couldn’t resist posting this photo of Edith in a sailor outfit, I didn’t take enough pictures on this trip!

It was such a great time of year for this trip. The trees were turning, and really changed from the beginning of the trip to the end.  Nearing Nashville we drove through these large hills. It was morning and with the fog, I felt like we were in a rain-forest.  And close to Chattanooga we saw a natural spring/waterfall coming out of the rocks next to the interstate. The Smoky Mountains are completely deserving of their name.  The low and intense fog makes you feel  like you are driving into a giant fire. Northern Georgia was just as gorgeous as the rest of the trip.  We drove over Lake Lanier several times. It’s a sight you just don’t see in Nebraska, the red clay banks and forests lining the lake.  In Georgia, we also saw signs almost every mile that there were boiled peanuts for sale.  We didn’t stop to partake of them, honestly they sound gross, but it was cool to see so many people selling things near the road.

Photos taken from the car…not ideal!

Even though I enjoyed traveling through this part of the country I am still happy to be living in Nebraska. There may not be mountains, big lakes, or tree-lined roads, but it’s clean, safe, and there are never pedestrians on the interstate (I’m talking about you Missouri).  I think about how much I have yet to discover about Nebraska and then I think about the rest of the country and I get overwhelmed.  I really hope the whole “buy local” trend expands to traveling. We all have so much to appreciate right where we are.

Driving into Nebraska.

It turned fall while we were away!

S-NOW you’ve done it!

Snow Baby

Just a few days ago I posted about how wonderful the weather has been. Well, we finally got some winter today and an opportunity to torture our child in the snow.

Snow mound in the face!

The great thing about snow days is that everything seems to stop. It’s like you get a pass from your everyday life.  We didn’t worry about cleaning, or doing running errands.  We woke up and made bacon and eggs, then just laid around watching movies, took a family nap, drank cocktails, and ate pasta. Luckily, last time I made spaghetti sauce I made a lot of it and froze the extra so it was even a low maintenance dinner.

Snow Angel

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Family Nap-time!

Today was just lovely. It reminded me of my favorite Christmas a few years ago when Brent and I were stuck indoors. We spent Christmas together drinking lots of wine and eating some make-shift spaghetti from ingredients we had lying around.

True love

So, as much as I claim to hate winter, today was a great day. Snow days are peaceful and necessary. Nebraskans need these winter breaks so we can fully appreciate our wonderful springs, summers, and falls.

Winter Wonderland