Earlier this week I came across these words from yoga teacher Janet Stone through a Facebook share from a friend who has been reading here for years (hi Pam!).
“Ending well is an honoring of what has been, what is, and what will be.”
ENDING WELL grabbed me and the idea of honoring what has been, what is, and what will be really resonates with me right now. I’m still doing a lot of deep work to process WHAT HAS BEEN but I feel like I solidly have my feet on the ground with WHAT IS and I’m optimistic about WHAT WILL BE. <3
I took some time away from blogging towards the end of the year to give myself a break and to enjoy the holidays. Before I jump all the way into 2023, I’d love the opportunity to look back and share a few photos and special moments. <3
SANTA DATE NIGHT WITH FINN
I started a tradition of taking Finn to see Santa when he was a baby and it’s now become a fun “Finn + Mommy” date night.
The Santa visit was our first stop!
And the rest of our evening featured a Chick-Fil-A dinner in the food court, a little Christmas shopping, driving around and looking at lights and then an ice cream stop at Ben & Jerry’s.
CHRISTMAS WEEK IN FLORIDA
I think Finn had asked me every day since Thanksgiving if it was time to head to Florida for Christmas. We were both delighted when the day finally arrived and were all smiles heading to the airport for our flight.
We arrived on the 22nd and were able to stay for six nights, departing on the 28th. We made the most of our extended stay!
Finn got tons of hang out time with Mema in.
My grandmother is the BEST about playing with the grands even through she’s mostly confined to her chair and can’t get down in the floor with them. She was a first grade teacher for many years and truly has a gift when it comes to connecting with little kids. It’s so sweet to watch the way she and Finn play together.
We ventured out Christmas shopping to pick up some last minute gifts.
We spent some afternoons at the park with my mom.
Finn was the best little workout buddy.
It was FREEZING cold for most of our visit but the last few days warmed into the 50s. Finn was brave enough to swim in the heated pool (it actually as very warm as long as you stayed in it) and had a great time!
And of course we did a whole lot of snuggling. I’ve said it before but Finn’s love language is physical touch. The kid loves to snuggle and I’m here for it for as long as he is!
Christmas was truly something to celebrate this year. It was the first holiday that we have all been together for since my mom got really sick in May of 2021. Last year my parents were living in a hotel in Durham and my mom was on the waiting list to receive new lungs. We really made sure to spoil her this year.
It was the best Christmas gift to have BOTH of my parents healthy and here with us. <3
On Christmas Eve we baked homemade chocolate chip cookies for Santa. We leave Santa’s milk and cookies by the sliding door because that’s where he comes in since there’s no chimney. 😉
And then my grandmother did the reading of The Night Before Christmas. It’s a copy she’s had since my dad was Finn’s age.
Once Finn was down, I got to wrapping. I was up until midnight getting everything ready but I love doing it. I turned on a Christmas movie and went to town.
Out of all the gifts Finn received, I think this giant Reese’s and a $9 Mario figurine set were his favorites, haha. I lost track of how many Reese’s my child ate over the next few days but ’tis the season, right?
We spent the day eating delicious food, opening gifts and playing with new toys. I joked on Instagram that the Marble Run was not only a good STEM toy for Finn but for me as well. I had to use a lot of brain power to figure out how to build a good run and I have much room for improvement.
I was also able to get out of a gorgeous Christmas Day run. I did three miles around the neighborhoods and three miles on the beach. It was just perfect.
My parents offered to ship Finn’s gifts to Charlotte so he could open them when we got home but I was determined that Santa was coming to Florida and we were having a big family Christmas. Getting everything home proved to be something else!
I had brought a huge second suitcase to pack the gifts in. It turns out that fitting them wasn’t the problem but the weight of the suitcase was. It was over the limit and there was no way I was paying the $100 fee they were asking for. So I took out a stack of the heaviest toys and carried them in my arms through security. Luckily, we were the only ones in the entire security area and it gave TSA a big laugh as they put each of Finn’s toys in a bin and sent them through the x-ray machine separately. Once they cleared, one of the officers offered to put them in a black trash bag for us which was so kind. I laughed at myself as I struggled to carry the trash bag, our coats, my backpack and snacks through both airports but we made it and we were smiling! 🙂
Once we arrived home, Finn took off for a holiday week with his dad and I got settled back in.
I am full of gratitude for a beautiful ending to the holiday season and 2022. This year was difficult in many ways but it was also full of lessons, blessings and miracles.
I’ll end this post with one more thing that has stuck with me this week. I took a Barry’s class on New Year’s Eve and as we were wrapping up class, Coach Chelsea said “the hardest years can make way for the best years.”
Big love to all of you. Wishing you a new year full of health, adventures, abundance and joy!