Like so many people I have a love/hate relationship with the holiday season. Actually, hate is too strong, it's more of a love/rolling my eyes-here-we-go-again relationship. I love how the weather starts to chill off from the humid summer heat, I love the smells of sweet potato pies baking, my family getting together, the baking. But the rushing around, the hectic nature of the holidays, and managing the expectations of family and friends (are you coming here with the kids? What should we get for so and so? Are we spoiling the kids with these presents? Are they old enough to Trick or Treat?), and no matter how much I try, I always go slightly over budget.
Everything I love about the holidays are improved by John being my right hand man as I navigate the season. And everything I roll my eyes at is reduced by his gentle way of making sure I take breaks, and reminding me we don't have to please everyone all the time.
So this season, I was already apprehensive of how celebrating would look since he is not here. I have to be honest, there was a lot less partying and drinking without my main party buddy in town. Don't get me wrong, there was a little adult beverage festivity, a very conservative amount, lol... But since I was in Florida for the holiday season, there was a lot more family time. This was wonderful. I really have a great support system in my parents.
We spent the week of Thanksgiving with my dad in Jacksonville, Christmas with my in-laws and cousin's family in Tampa, and for New Year's my mom drove the six hours from the Panhandle, and she is still in town helping me with the kids. The week of Christmas was touch and go because Emerson came down with stomach flu, and that made it's way through Gabriella, myself, and my in-laws are still sick!
But overall Christmas was nice. John even enjoyed himself a bit, he told me the boat had docked and he and his co-workers were able to go explore a new city and have a nice Christmas dinner together.
The deployment is still flying by, and now that the holiday season is complete I'm looking ahead to preparing our family to go back to San Diego to meet John. It's still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning for a cross country move. ;) Next month a surprise I've been planning will come to fruition, and I'm so excited to finally be able to share that with ya'll.