Today marks the end of the longest vacation I've had since I was in college. Outside of maternity leave (and let's face it--that's no walk in the park), I haven't been off from work for two solid weeks in 14 years. More important, it was the longest time our little family has ever spent together. And it was glorious. Was it all roses and happiness? No. The kids argued, and we got frustrated with them, but overall, it was just nice being able to spend so much time with them and with Jeremy. We haven't been on a vacation together as a family in a year and a half, and even then that was only for about 5 days. We opted not to do a vacation this past summer so we could afford to go to Disney World. And it wasn't until this nice break that I realized how much I've missed my family. It's hard being a working mom. It's hard feeling like the time you spend with your kids is reduced to a couple of hours a night. So, I decided that I was going to enjoy this time, and that's just what I did. Granted, those two weeks were in 2012, but today was the end. So I'm letting it count for my "new things" in 2013. You all will forgive me, right?
I woke up this morning sort of dreading that this time was ending. I tend to drift toward the pessimistic side of the spectrum, so I had to mentally slap myself in the face and choose to be thankful instead. Thankful that I got some much needed rest. Thankful that I got to enjoy seeing my kids and husband all day every day. Thankful that I got to stay up late with Jeremy and relax rather than running the usual rat race of making lunches, packing backpacks, ironing clothes and getting ready for the next day. Thankful that we got to spend our mornings in our PJs rather than waking up and rushing out the door everyday. I even took a break from my usual fury of cleaning. I figured I had two weeks, so there was no reason to spend all my time working in the house. But we got so much accomplished. We cleaned out several closets, the kids' rooms, our room, but it never felt rushed. And that was nice.
It helped that we had exciting things to look forward to like Christmas, family gatherings and New Year's. My in-laws kept the kids one night, and Jeremy I got to go to the movies and dinner. And my parents are keeping Anna tonight (since she's out of school until Monday), so we got to spend some great time with just Alex tonight which is a wonderful and rare treat. He's such a great kid, and he never gets our total attention. So, I was glad to be able to let him experience that fun.
I was thinking today about the part of the Christmas story in Luke where it says "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart" (Luke 2:19), and I couldn't help but smile. As a mom, I totally appreciate that feeling. There are times in life that you just want to take a mental snapshot of something precious and keep that memory forever and dwell on it when you have a quiet moment in your life. I will definitely treasure these two weeks and ponder them in my heart for many, MANY years.
Aaaaand now, it's time to shut down the computer and make lunches for work tomorrow. And make dinner for tomorrow night. Spaghetti--it's easy and all. Gotta dip a toe back in the water, you know?
Happy New Year!!