I had taken some time off this week to help me get prepared for Christmas. I am always amazed how fast the hours go between dropping children off at school and time to pick them up. An errand and an at home project is about all there is time for. So naturally, I haven't gotten nearly as much done as I had thought I would. However, on Sunday I realized Christmas was two weeks away and I had done nothing. That isn't a "nothing" where I really mean I have only done a few things. Literally nothing. No lists made or ideas solicited. No baking, no shopping, no planning, no getting ideas to the grandparents. Nothing. Well, I take that back. We do have the tree up and the lights out front but those are really November items, not December. I am starting to worry about what I am going to forget in this process. Making my lists and checking them twice. So my Tuesday morning was spent beginning that process. I got to have lunch with Rich two days in a row. I love little unexpected dates. They are always filled with good conversation and laughter. Lots of laughter. Have you met my husband? Tuesday afternoon, I had a hair appointment. I have decided that getting my hair washed with a head massage has to be one of the best things ever. I think I almost fell asleep. No, seriously, hoping I didn't snore. The evening was supposed to be more check marks on the to do list but I got distracted by those crazy kiddos. Our only evening activity got cancelled at the last minute so we had friends over, hot chocolate, dance parties, and space. Unexpected free evenings have to be one of my favorite things.
Today's post: Pure Joy
K is such a little performer. Not uncommon for a youngest child or someone related to me. But I have a series of pictures from this little dance party of one. She is in the stage where she dances with all of her. Sometimes I dance around like she does because it looks like so much fun. Cool? No. But SO. MUCH. FUN!
When did we lose that? And why doesn't it ever come back? Or maybe it does when we are old and wise enough to not care what others think anymore.
Big B had some friends over too. These two live close by and travel between the three houses as much as they are allowed. We are the central location and they land here much of the time. You can tell from the picture how serious they are all the time. We should really try to get them to loosen up a bit. ;)
I was trying to get a picture of them chatting and negotiating what activity they were going to do while they had time together. They insisted on posing.
Enjoying the fruits of their labor. These two have been buds for a long time. They bring out lots of fun and silly in one another. But they also encourage each other's kind side. Together, they are a force for good; looking out for the little guy probably while composing some skit along the way. Feeling pretty lucky about the kiddos my kids surround themselves with.
Someone else enjoyed that hot chocolate too. Here she is about to dunk her hand in there on the hunt for marshmallows. Good thing we don't make our hot cocoa too hot! Sometimes the impulses driven by a delightful marshmallow just trumps the 10,000 times you have been asked to quit sticking your hands in your drink. Happens to the best of us.
A lot of love and fun fits into an evening that has become unexpectedly free of obligation.
Day 14 is pretty short and sweet as far as pictures go. Part of my day 13 was spent working with two other moms to put together an impromptu bridal shower for B's teacher. She is getting married this week and we couldn't let that go without a proper send off. In true Hoffman form (and perhaps the form of my partners in crime as well), we put it together in record time - but that is how little time we had. Today, we spent the morning leading fourth graders through a bridal shower. Very entertaining.
Then this evening, my sweet mom in law came up to watch the kiddos. I never seem to have my camera out at family gatherings anymore. Could have something to do with how many little beings I am chasing around, getting rations for, and making sure they haven't completely dismantled the home of whatever sweet family member was foolish enough to invite us. Or it could be that people around to distract my kids gives my mom brain just a moment of reprieve. And it doesn't want to take pictures. It doesn't want to do anything except maybe nap. So before Rich and I went out on a date, I snapped a quick picture of her with the kids. It was my only picture taken. Winner by default. I love it so much, it would have likely been the winner anyway. :)
You will have to stay tuned to find out more about the surprise and why I can't share anything about it now. But this was something my husband did for me in recognition of the work I do to try to keep our immediate and extended families organized for holidays and birthdays. At least I think that is what he said. He had some pretty kind words for me that I can't remember now because my brain was stuck on the "this is weird" loop. But it doesn't matter. His actions were speaking a message that I will never forget. He loves me, he sees me, he appreciates my role in our relationship and in our family, and he spoils me. None of this is necessary because I don't do anything anything special. But that is Rich, he goes above and beyond with thoughtfulness for those he cares about. He is better than I am in so many ways and showing love through action is one of them. I am so glad to be partnered with someone who makes me a better person every day by just being who he is.
My parents, Kevin, and Rich's mom all played a big part in this. They took time orchestrate it and surprise me with it. They were exceptionally generous. I was so surprised. I am so grateful. So humbled because I know that I don't deserve this surprise but they can't take it back. I am too excited about it. :) I am surrounded by such kind and loving people. I am not entirely sure how I got so lucky.
Days 15 and 16 are coming. . . .maybe in the morning. Maybe...