I think we have started a new tradition that I hope we do every year. Last night was the second annual "Evening of Gingerbread Mayhem" with our dear friends the Mayfields. Last year Misty was just a week or so away from delivering their fourth child, and spent the evening vomiting, due to the stomach flu. Good times! This year we each had two gingerbread projects, she with a train and a house, while I had a tree and a house. We made many jokes about not wanting to let our kids help and thus ruin everything. We did manage to let the kids get into it a little bit, but with their "help," a crying 1-year-old, chatting dads, plus one large trumpet/kazoo in RAP's mouth, we decided to cut the evening a little short. We really did have a good time, though. Next year I think we'll let the kids totally do one house, glopping it up with as much candy and frosting as they want, symmetry be damned, and then then Misty and I can stay up late all by ourselves and make our perfectionist little houses just like we want to. Is it a plan, Mist?
By the way, my mom gave us a cool advent calendar a couple of years ago that is a Noah's Ark scene, and every day one more animal gets hung up on it. CTP is loving it - it's been one of the only things that is helping him understand when Christmas is actually coming. What I love is that he never forgets each morning to place another animal on the ark. He'll often get up first and take care of it quietly before any of us even know about it. It's not very ceremonial, but a little job he thinks about each day. He never tries to put up more than one animal, either. It's been really fun this year. I think I'll try to find another one for RAP next year so they're not fighting over who gets to put up the animal each day. Or I guess I could try some parenting and encourage them to share, take turns, all that baloney.
This week has been INSANE - packed with morning and afternoon playdates, school-time playdates for R, church parties, gatherings with friends - literally like 4 or 5 things a day. I think C is starting to show the strain, and I'm looking forward to a quieter weekend. We don't have that much going on next week either, but knowing me, I'm sure to pack it in. What it's all making me think about is how blessed we are in friends and family. We don't have enough time in the day to spend with all the people we love, and all the ways we want to celebrate this beautiful season. I couldn't be richer if I had the world. I'm so grateful for the people in my life.