I'm finally, officially, on winter break...thank the Lord. I've been looking forward to the next few days with such anticipation for weeks, now.
Tomorrow afternoon Mike and I are having a date day. My parents are coming over to watch the Meemers, and Mike and I are going out...just the two of us. The last time we did this was two weeks before Charlotte was born. I'm not kidding. ...well, there was the 45 minutes we went out together to pick up her ashes...but that doesn't count, I don't think. We're going to go have lunch together (at one of the new places in Stonebridge), we're going to go do stocking stuffer shopping at Target, and we're going to do Charlotte's Christmas shopping. I know we waited a little too long for that, and it's not quite a date day activity, but I'm still looking forward to it. Finding the positives.
Tomorrow night we're going to make Christmas cookies and watch Christmas movies. Mike's never made Christmas cookies with me before...and, while I don't think he'll REALLY enjoy it, I think he'll enjoy the spirit of it. Mia will get her first chance to sneak some cookie dough. :-) I need to remember to take pictures with my real camera, not just my cell phone.
Sunday afternoon we're having lunch in Occoquan (a cute little town chock-full of little independent businesses) and going to the Golden Goose to pick out Christmas ornaments and a new piece for my village. This is always one of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season...everything just feels so full of expectation and excitement.
Sunday evening we're going to see the Bull Run Festival of Lights. We've done this the last 5-7 years or so. Mike doesn't always get to go, but we've scheduled it for when he's not working this year. We're going to be turning Mia's car seat around for the occasion so that she can see all of the fun lights as we drive through.
Monday is Christmas Eve, which is actually my favorite holiday. It's all about family, and being with the people you love, and being grateful and peaceful. I want to try to go have lunch near the mall...to see all the men panicking and doing last minute shopping for their wives. I may or may not get to go to church with my parents, and then everyone is coming back to our house to get Chinese food. That's one of our family traditions, since restaurants used to close on Christmas Eve. As the sanctity of holidays has wandered, other restaurants are now open on Christmas Eve, too...but we'll stick with Chinese.
And then Tuesday is Christmas. We get to do presents at home first...stockings and Santa and our gifts and all of that. Then we're going over to my family's house for a few hours...more stockings and gifts and brunch. Then we're going to Mike's parents house in the evening...again, more presents and Christmas dinner.
Oh, and Mike's birthday is Wednesday....so I'm going to be (at some point) planning and executing a special meal for him, complete with chocolate cake/cupcakes, as they're his favorite.
In the midst of all of this, it's also the week when we would find out if we got pregnant this cycle. I'm a little worried that if it's a no it will put a huge damper on my mood. I'm trying really hard not to think about that, as I'm still in the foolishly optimistic phase that I go through every month at about this time, but in the back of my head I'm worried. Luckily, I won't know for SURE that it's a no until next weekend...so I'll get through Christmas with at least a shred of hope. I'm really hopeful that I'll be able to give Mike a REALLY good Christmas gift, but it seems like as soon as I start envisioning that things go downhill, so I'm trying to put it out of my mind.
I'm so excited for Mia to experience all of this. I know we're in for a VERY busy few days coming up, and I know we're in for some overtired, overstimulated meltdowns along the way, but the best part of these holidays, for me, are watching my daughter do all of this for the first time. She sort of gets it now. She knows who Santa is. She realizes that she's seeing her family members more often. She gets that we're excited. She can eat the cookies. She can unwrap the presents...
...how wonderful and amazing is that??