Also on the subject of oxygen…

That last blog post title has an ironic ring to it, given that I spent the night with Lina in the ER, getting her breathing treatments for croup that spiraled out of control. Poor baby had terrible stridor and was having to use her whole body to suck in enough air.

So, this was our night:


We finally got home and back to bed at 4 a.m. Baby girl is sounding much better, and with the steroid they prescribed, hopefully we can avoid future ER visits.

Good thing we were all so well rested. (Oh, wait…) But truly, just thankful this morning that she’s okay and for a day with family, who are braving our germs to celebrate the holiday. Stay healthy, everyone.

Finding the oxygen

The holidays around here are a mixture of delight and insanity. I spend the last week or so before Christmas totally under water. This year, my cards are likely to be post-Christmas greetings for a fair portion of my list. I paid someone to deep clean my house on Wednesday, but by today, my floors were already gross again. There is an extensive list of items I was supposed to complete today that never happened. Half the string of lights beautifying my living room burned out, just in time for our first family event here tomorrow. 

It’s 6:10 p.m. My sweet husband is preparing supper, because I have had zero time for food prep. Lina is sitting in my lap, wheezing with every breath, thanks to a nasty cold she got from yours truly, who got it from Corin, who is still coughing. Someone in this house has been sick since September. I don’t understand it, but I will tell you that after the holiday, we will be purging this house of sugar, going to bed early and avoiding anyone who appears to be thinking about sneezing. (As if that last one is possible.)

So yeah – when we have a moment to surface for air, we find ourselves wondering, like so many of you, how this became the pace of our lives. I don’t exactly know the answer. I am finding some ways to start simplifying, thanks to girlfriends who are reminding me to lower my expectations. Like, really lower them. I’m trying.

And also, there really are so many moments of magic crammed into these crazy days. It’s how I can still love this time of year. There was making gingerbread cookies with Corin yesterday (admittedly followed by over-tired tantrums). There are the repeated readings of favorite versions of the Christmas story. (Mortimer’s Christmas Manger is currently Corin’s favorite, while Humphrey’s First Christmas continues to be mine.) There was Corin’s excitement about delivering packages of cookies to the neighbors earlier this evening. There is Lina tangling herself up in Christmas lights and exploring the ornaments on the bottom of the tree. There is the music, which I love so truly. Those moments are the deep breaths of oxygen in these underwater days.

So, here we go: The Christmas home stretch. I’m going to try to find a little more of this kind of wonder.


Christmas time is here


The decorations are (mostly) up and the Christmas season is in full swing around here. Every year, Corin understands more and gets more into the anticipation and joy of the season. Now we get to watch that process unfold with Lina, too, who I know is going to totally dig the wrapping paper this year. I look at our holiday traditions and decorations in a new way, hoping that I am creating for my kids the kind of magic I remember from my childhood Christmases.

We have daily conversations with Corin about why we celebrate Christmas, and it’s awesome to see how much he absorbs. Truthfully, every year I absorb more of that greatest story, the shocking truth of God in helpless, newborn form. I know there is a lot about modern Christmas to lament – rampant commercialism, hectic schedules, extra stress… But this past week or so, as I’ve talked to Corin and read him various versions of the Christmas story, I’ve thought a lot about what that night in the stable must have been like. Teaching it to Corin has made it so real to me. Omnipotent God became one of us, purest love from first division of cells to ultimate sacrifice. You could easily spend a lifetime trying to wrap your head around that one. I dislike “reason for the season” cliches, and really, I don’t have the words for what the Christmas story means to me. I can say that I love this time of year.

I owe Thanksgiving pictures, but they are a bit sparse this year. My camera battery ran low and I forgot to pack the charger. We are left with Thanksgiving 2013 via iPhone and Instagram. There was a mild stomach bug for Corin and me, but it was still a very enjoyable holiday weekend with family in North Georgia. My mother-in-law puts on an enormous feast, and I pitched in where I could. It was lovely.