December is basically one big ugly outtake

I walk around my house and in every corner of every room, under every chair or table, I find abandoned toys. Lego bricks, tinker toy sticks, lincoln logs pieces, paint chipped hot wheels and little plastic barbie shoes. All the toys, all the places. Yesterday I tried to shove my foot into a boot filled with Playmobil pieces. Everywhere I turn, clutter and disorganization consumes me.

Side tangent: my cat just barfed on my sock. Like, right now, as I was typing this. I now have a pile of kitty vomit to deal with. 


Sometimes I fantasizing about walking out of this house with just a few simple possessions so I could avoid dealing with all the crap. I think it would be blissfully liberating to wake up and have the weight of my family’s crap disappear.

And it’s this time of the year the weight of all the stuff is the heaviest, and I can’t help but wish for January. I don’t know what it is, but my mood isn’t exactly merry. My mood is filled with anxiety – anxiety of the mother I think I should be, but am not.

I should want to: buy my kids toys, bake sugar cookies, let them stay up late watching movies, spend money on Christmas decorations, take my children to see Santa/live nativity/singing carols to old people/learn to ice skate.

All these things other mother’s love to do – I suck because I really have no desire.

Remember that one time I tried that stupid elf thing? Yup, not gonna do it ever again. And the kids are already asking where Edward is hiding.

Don’t get me wrong – I love Christmas. But I don’t love my kids making lists a mile long of toys they really don’t need or want. And I don’t love having plans every single night from now until 2014.

I want to just be. Be present, lay low. Snuggle on the couch and read a book with a hot cup of tea. Go with the flow – have room to breath a bit.

Maybe that’s what January is for.

Yesterday a friend asked me if I would be sending out Christmas cards this year. Given that only one of my four children even had a birth announcement sent out, the answer is probably a big fat not gonna happen. But the thing is – I love getting cards!  I display them on one of my favorite antique mirrors right next to my guest bathroom off the living room.

So given that it’s better to give than to receive, last night we tried to take a picture for a Christmas card.

11194206334 f4a65ffba6 December is basically one big ugly outtake

See that DVD box on the floor? That’s the Charlie Brown Christmas movie that I bribed them with. Obviously worked like a charm.
11194178745 42cb2d15db December is basically one big ugly outtake

Yeah no.

You guys, I don’t know how other moms do it. How they manage to keep up with daily life and still manage to fit in all the other awesome holiday stuff.

Ok, I’m done. Gage is on his third showing in a row of a My Little Pony (the movie), I need to clean up cat puke, and Piper has an eye doctor appointment in less than an hour and I have no idea what anyone will be eating for dinner tonight. This is real life, and today there’s no room in the schedule for salt ornament crafts.

Let me know when it’s time to sing Auld lang Syne. I’m ready…

*I promise, I do love Christmas and my children. I just need a nap or something.




  1. Lady, I am right there with you. I need someone to do a clean sweep on the Apartminium before I go insane. Almost all my pantsless Sundays are requiring pants in December. I’m barely taking care of me and the cat, I don’t know how you do it with your entire family.

    Let’s leave them all behind and go see a movie.

    Also, if I got a Christmas card that had that second photo on it? I’d display it year round.

    Just Shireen recently posted..Books You Must Read Now Right Now


  2. Thanks for posting this, I needed to read that I’m not the only one wishing it was already January. Even though I don’t have kids, I’ve had one hell of a year with my family and it seems like the holidays have been about everyone else but myself and John (OUR family). This year I vow that holiday cards from our family will forever include our dogs… and only our dogs ;)
    Sara C recently posted..Cranberry Shortbread Tartlets


  3. I can. NOT. handle elf on the shelf.

    The only thing I am gearing up for this year is baking cookies and that is only happening this year because I need to write a post about it. Otherwise. I am DONE. I’m tired. I’m still up in the night with baby 3. I can’t even see my living room floor this week and I was not about to attempt cleaning it during sacred naptime. I feel so guilty for surfing the internet the ENTIRE naptime. But it is what it is.

    Merry Christmas ;)


  4. I say send out the second picture (email or card, whatever) & have it read “Wishing you Peace this holiday season (because I sure need it.)”. :) Hopefully you can find a day to sit, drink tea & enjoy the afternoon soon.


  5. Thank you. Seriously. I needed that. I also need to put Pinterest on a lock-down during the month of Dec (or, really, all year long if I”m honest). Even with only the 2 kids, I still can’t manage any of it. I have a huge list of things to do/make/buy/bake this season, and so far the only thing that’s materialized is a crazy amount of coughing, snot, and doctor visits. We still have the faux leaf autumn wreath (Target clearance last year! Woot!) hung on the door and a pumpkin (uncarved) on the porch. Lucky us, we live in the neighborhood where everyone seems to get their act together and hang the tasteful and festive holiday decorations immediately after Thanksgiving :/


  6. Yes. I have a love/hate relationship with this holiday season. No matter how much I try to scale back and not get stressed, I always am. I think it is my nature to not be peaceful. So, there is that. Hang in there and maybe spike the hot cocoa to get you through to January! :)


  7. I think your plan of no plans and snuggling on the couch is good. And other mothers must drive themselves batty trying to do ALL that stuff. I’m good if we do just a few holiday things. It is getting a bit easier as my kids get older though. Hang in there, sweets!

    Also, I think those pics are awesome. I posted an outtake of ours last week. They really do crack me up. :D

    Elaine A. recently posted..Thanksgiving Snapshots


  8. I LOVE Christmas cards but I have never managed to get the family together for a cute Winter picture. Instead, I use Shutterfly and pick a collage and put in our favorite pictures and important events throughout the year. Easy Peasy and I get to show off my darling family without threatening everyone to smile and hold still and stop drooling, etc.

    Also, we are not doing any Pinteresty things this Christmas but have decided to try to do one Servant activity for the 24 days leading up to Christmas. Some are easy and things we are doing anyway (Angel Tree from Church, Food Drive at School) and some are things I’ve always wanted to do: WE ARE GOING TO BE BELL RINGERS FOR THE SALVATION ARMY!!!! But, I have also built in some quickies like driving through Starbucks and treating the person in line behind us (Bonus: I get Starbucks!) or giving a few dollars to the Library so someone can pay off their fines. My boys are 8 and 6 so this is so much more doable this year and I think it will put the focus on Jesus’s birthday. Or it will just be more stupid stress for myself, but so far so good. (Note: It is only the third day).


  9. I send out Christmas cards (send me your address if you want one!), but I outsource the cookie decorating to a friend who loves to do it, my husband and the kids are in charge of decorating the tree, and I will never, ever elf my shelf. I really like KateB’s idea about doing small kindnesses. Last year Starbucks sold a book of $5 gift cards, and I bought one and handed them out to random strangers and it was a lot of fun.

    Also, I do love that second picture.
    Nichole recently posted..#Griswolding


  10. Stephanie says:

    My daughter, only a couple months younger than Paul, looks exactly like Paul in that first picture. She will not still. Ugh. Toddlers! We have the tree up, and she’s worse than the damn cat at running over and pulling on every ornament in sight. Is it going to be an endless loop of yelling at her to not touch the tree for the next 3+ weeks.

    And I disagree – I think either of those pictures would make a great Christmas card!


  11. I was feeling very festive until I got sick. And then Marshall had a terrible, horrible day at work that broke my heart. And then realized that I accidentally threw away a Christmas box last year that had some of my favorite Christmas things in it. And…sigh.
    We do the elf but he’s limited to things that take me 2 mins or less to set up. We do the live nativity thing because it’s right by our house. We ride around and look at Christmas lights but in our pjs and mostly because I need them still (aka buckled in) or I’ll lose my mind.
    But today we went out and bought gifts for our angels tree(gifts that foster children have requested specifically) and my kids were SO excited that it was hard to not lift my spirits a little.
    It might not sound like a simple Christmas, but nothing is ever really simple with 4 tiny humans around…and at least it’s simpler than last year. Baby steps, I suppose.
    Bridget recently posted..Resolve : Cracked


  12. Other Moms Don’t Do It. And who cares if they do. You family is uniquely yours. I cannot even get myself to the grocery store in December because I’m “less than enthusiastic” about crowds. I don’t ever send Christmas cards because people will look at them and then throw them away. I’d rather give them a $1.50. ;) Personally I adore the pictures.
    Cherie Lowe recently posted..Free Event: Home Depot Kids’ Workshop Dec. 7th


  13. This is exactly where I am this year. My exact words tonight were: “Thank you Lord for the rain tonight! Now I don’t have to take anyone to the parade!” Yup, I pretty much suck right now.


  14. I had this vision of having the most beautiful Christmas cards this year – because it’s Christmas and I just got married and I’m so happy, right?

    But between keeping myself and that husband fed, I’m pretty much wiped by the end of the day. Hugs. And that Christmas card would be awesome with grumpy babies and all. Tis the Season, right?
    classyfabsarah recently posted..Shouldn’t Be Like This


  15. I’m not sure how and why we’ve convinced ourselves that we can cram 3 months worth of holiday, parties, decorating, gifting, and eating into one month … and keep our sanity. Every year I scale back more and more – less decorations, less gifts, less events, and every year I seem to enjoy the holiday a little bit more. Last year was the best. Our house was on the market, so I only brought down ornaments, stockings, and the nativity set. I said no to the cookie swap I always host, breakfast with Santa, and traveling. We cut gift-giving way back and instructed others to do the same for us – I didn’t want to pack anything I didn’t already own! And it was wonderful and the kids didn’t know any better. Emily, it also helps that my kids are older. Every year they age it feels more manageable, and I wonder why on earth I ever thought it was a good idea to attempt decorating cookies with people who can’t even reach the counter and are only interested in eating sprinkles with a spoon. Do what you actually enjoy and don’t be afraid to ditch the stuff that stresses you out. You’re a great mom with awesome kids no matter what the Internet tries to convince you of otherwise.
    Angie Six recently posted..She’s Ours


  16. I’m with you. December can suck it. It’s freaking dark and it is cold and there is SO.MUCH.STUFF! Also, So.Many.People. With all those people and the coldness and the confines of being merry indoors come the germs. I have a crazy phobia of Zombies and with all that coughing I start freaking out that someone is going to speckle me with Zombie juice and boom.

    I am a homebody and quite lazy. I don’t like have event after event this month. Not at all.
    Twice this past weekend I threw yet another pair of my daughters shoes down the hallway. They always end up right where I do not want them. The damn shoes. And the paper, and the toys, and she sat and cut up a little pompom ball the other day when she should have been purging the crap from the playroom to make room for yet more crap. So there was little bits of this fluffy-ness everywhere.

    I need a couple decent margaritas and a nap.

    I did appease the girl last night – we bought a gingerbread house for her to decorate and it came assembled!!! All she had to do was ice and decorate. It was a lovely 2 hours of me not having to deal with it. THen she told me all about the eating party she is planning for 2 weekends from now when her cousins will come over and they will break into pcs and eat the stale thing.

    Merry Happy.


  17. Personally? I think that first picture is PERFECT for a Christmas card. I LOVE it. Also? No mom has it ALL together. It just looks that way from the outside. December is always a big old massive anxiety producer. No matter how much I try to simplify it seems to get busier and crazier every year. Not so much with presents but with obligations and events and concerts and parties and Secret Santa gifts. And the kids are getting older and joining basketball and now there are practices and tournaments. BAH! It is never ending. Never mind all the other stuff like Christmas cards and teachers’ gifts and visits to Santa and all that other stuff. Madness. I just pray that I can take it one day at a time so it doesn’t look as bad as it really is. ;)
    Kat recently posted..For All The Animal Lovers


  18. December certainly seems to be the worst month and this year it seems to be doubly crazy because Thanksgiving was so late. We seemed to go right from an enjoyable, somewhat relaxing but still hectic Thanksgiving right into, holy crap there is so much to do and get done and no time left in the year to do it!

    The first picture is great. No one is perfect, everyone has their own struggles and I think it is the people like yourself, that show their vulnerabilities and imperfections that are the most courageous of all! Thanks for sharing.
    Jessica recently posted..Linden Method Reviews – Anxiety Cure?


  19. I don’t worry about a perfect Christmas. I do the things I enjoy. I create our holiday card from snapshots throughout the year. The rest can suck it.
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