When I looked at my December 2015 calendar, I thought I was setting myself up for a stressful, panic-attack filled month. I am not trying to make light of a serious disease, I’ve only had one little anxiety attack in my life that I was able to get through very easily, but I have also be known to get very overwhelmed very quickly…especially during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
My December started off with a head cold…and I’m still sick. I distinctly remember my nose starting to run like a faucet on December 2nd and wondering how I was going to participate in a panel at the Farm Forum Event in Saskatoon the next day. Luckily it subsided enough to get through that event and I flew to Saskatoon and back in a day to make things easier on my family. I then hosted my brother’s family that weekend and some girlfriends went to the dinner theatre that Friday night and had a lovely time! Then I worked a night shift and babysat my niece/nephews after I woke up, and took off to Saskatoon again (for the 2nd time in 7 days), to speak at the Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan Conference on December 9/10. I left the conference right after my presentation to catch a flight back for Braden’s first school Christmas concert and to help with our playschool bake sale that night.
The next day I worked a day shift at the hospital and on Saturday Braden had a hockey game in the morning, and then we took the boys to the Polar Express, which we all absolutely loved as a family. Sunday brought us to Rosebud for their annual community Christmas concert, and Monday Jay took me to The Wheatland Band concert and out for supper in Three Hills. On Tuesday I had my anatomy scan in the morning and was back at the hospital for a 12 hour night shift. The next day Ethan had his Christmas concert in which he covered his eyes from the whole time, but he was extremely cute! Then I headed for my monthly prenatal appointment, in which all was well.
Friday night was the community Christmas kids dance and the boys had a BLAST! Jay took Braden skiing to Lake Louise the next day on Saturday and I FINALLY had a day off!!! I was almost going to stay at home and do nothing, but Ethan and I ran to town to buy Papa’s Christmas present and it was a lot of fun, just me and him. Sunday we celebrated my in-laws’ 40th wedding anniversary at the farm where Laura and I made pizza for everyone and we enjoyed a beautiful cake. I worked an eight hour day shift the next day and on Tuesday we attempted to take the boys for Santa pictures (clearly the only day I had available the whole month!) but didn’t want to wait the 1.5 hours in the line up. We still had a lot of fun at the mall with the kids.
I started losing my voice that day and it got to the point of not being able to speak above a whisper on the 23rd when my family arrived that afternoon, but I was still feeling fine. On Christmas Eve morning around 3AM I woke up with extreme nausea and was NOT feeling good. I woke up to try and make breakfast for my family, but was so lethargic and nauseous I let my brother take reign and thankfully he stepped up to make pancakes and bacon for the crew. I tried to rest on the couch, but retired to our bedroom and fell asleep again.
Luckily I had done most of my food prep the day before, so lunch was taken care of, as were the veggies for Christmas Eve dinner. I dragged my sorry butt out of bed and got the prime rib into the oven and was feeling slightly less nauseous so I had a bath and went back to bed. After every nap I felt better, but still not good enough to eat my favourite meal of the year: prime rib and lobster tail. I got the prime rib out of the oven, the water boiling for the lobster and started to heat my veggies when I had to retire to the couch because the smells were making me so nauseous. My mother-in-law really stepped in to get dinner on the table and the rest of my family was such a big help too. My husband washed almost all the dishes by himself, I’m so grateful and thankful that everyone had such a good time, in spite of me feeling like I got all the energy sucked out of me. (Don’t forget, I’m 21 weeks pregnant now and cannot take a darn thing for my symptoms!)
Our Christmas Eve tradition continued with opening our presents after supper is cleaned up. I felt good enough to sit on the couch and snap a hand full of pictures and watch the kids have a wonderful time. I prayed that night that I would feel healthy enough to eat on Christmas Day and to be able to participate fully with my family (and to spare everyone else from my disease!) and luckily God provided. I was the first up at 5:45, brewed some coffee and watched It’s a Wonderful Life, waiting for the kids to wake up. I had a wonderful Christmas Day at the farm with all of my family and Jay’s and was able to enjoy food again!
Braden got a BB gun from Santa and was THRILLED. He will learn to use responsibly and with supervision, fret not! (Life is a bit different when you’re a farm kid on an acreage!).
Matching cousin jams! I can’t believe we’ll have a baby 1 month younger than Hank at next year’s Christmas!
Hank’s first Christmas morning…I need to use my Speedlite more to get these tough-lighted shots in our great room!
Braden got, and built, so many Legos on Christmas Day. He probably spent a good 5-6 hours happily building Legos!
Speedlite batteries are out so it’s grainy/blurry pictures…but better than nothing!
I was supposed to work on Boxing Day, but wasn’t feeling 100% so I called in sick on Christmas morning, just to give them plenty of time to find a replacement. I’m glad I did because I spent most of Christmas night coughing and didn’t get much sleep. I enjoyed a lazy Boxing Day at home, we spent all day in our jammies watching movies and building Legos and cleaning up from all that Christmas threw up in my house. It was heavenly.
Then on the 27th I started work again, a 4 hour shift on a very very busy day in the ER then I worked nights on the 28th and 29th and worked a 12 hour day shift yesterday and go in for one last 12 hour night shift tonight. Days, nights, nights, days…if it wasn’t such a significant day today, I wouldn’t know what day or time it was!
In the midst of my crazy December schedule, I just prayed daily to focus on the meaning of this advent season and on Him. It really, really helped keep me grounded and level-headed, I don’t think I could have gotten through it otherwise. Take the busy of life day by day and focus on the blessings of a busy life. I never knew how busy my December was going to be until I was living it. I didn’t take into account all the kids’ sports, school concerts, bake sales and community events. Next year I will know and plan better!
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and will have a great 2016!