Sunday, December 28, 2014

Fasten Your Seatbelts Folks, We're Just Experiencing Some Christmas Turbulence...

Four years old! 12/22/14
This entry appears to start off as another installment of the Alexander Show. But we have to update his birthday celebration!

Here is our silly 4-year old Iron Man, the morning after his fun little birthday celebration we had with friends. That mask came in one of his birthday cards.  

As for Christmas, bear with me as I pull an Uchdorf and use an aviation analogy. 

Ever experience air turbulence? If you've flown in a plane, you have. I loathe turbulence because no matter what the facts are, I am freaked by it and convinced that we're all going to die. 

Yeah, apparently I fall in the category of those lovely anxious passengers. Just be thankful you've never had to fly with me.

But moving off my ridiculous personal anxieties that come from flying through turbulence, the fact of the matter is, except in the rarest circumstances, turbulence is not going to bring the plane down. For all intents and purposes, a plane cannot be flipped upside-down, thrown into a tailspin, or otherwise flung from the sky by even the mightiest gust or air pocket (even though I feel like it will...).

My point? These metaphorical air pockets and turbulence aren't going to bring us down either. 

But it sure makes for a bumpy flight. 

This year's bumpy Christmas flight? Well, first of all, Christmas itself was quiet.  Big Hero 6 was playing in the little one-screen town theater, so we took the kids to see it on Christmas Eve. Alexander started off comatose when we arrived too. He woke up eventually, but we still managed to enjoy the movie.  That was one of the calmer parts of the "flight". 

Christmas Eve arriving at the theater...
But sadly, that morning, the engine in our 15 year old truck decided it didn't want to be alive anymore.   I knew it was only a matter of time. It has over 250K miles on it. Now to figure out if we replace the engine or get a new truck. That's not an easy decision, as we had to replace our Mazda 5 last summer (in the middle of the move!), and this time, the suicide truck engine occurred in the middle of the holidays.  When you start crunching numbers and talking dollar signs, the feeling of ulcers forming in the belly suddenly become apparent. And that isn't the only air pocket of turbulence (and worrying about dollar signs). It looks like we need to find new tenants for our house in Queen Creek by March 1st. Fun times. Fun turbulence.

Christmas Eve pizza at Quorris!

I also allowed nostalgia and missing old traditions creep into those bouts of turbulence. 

I think back of the tradition growing up when we'd spend Christmas Eve with family. We'd go to my grandparents house in Phoenix. That's what Christmas felt like. And traversing the hills of their neighborhood to and from the house, seeing certain familiar homes on the hills (In the Piestewa Peak/Dreamy Draw/Stoney Mountain area of north central of Phoenix) with their towering outside Christmas tree decorations added to that "feeling".   

Sure, my grandparents house wasn't decorated with lights, but my grandmother always had these simple candle decorations in two upstairs windows. 

That's what Christmas felt like. 

The tradition of Christmas Eve at my grandparents has been long gone for almost 20 years. One would think since the same amount of time had passed that I enjoyed the tradition in the first place, different feelings of Christmas added to the "feeling". But there is something about childhood that just stays there. Plus, my children haven't been able to enjoy a stable Christmas tradition that they can count on year after year like I did. Some years we've traveled for Christmas. We've spent Christmas in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon. Other years we've stayed home. And when we stay home, Christmas is usually very quiet. That's how it was this year. I miss being around family at this time. Maybe the distraction of people is needed. I don't know. One thing I've concluded is that I need to go to the temple this week. Of all the feelings of worry and Christmas blues, when I think about going to the temple, I feel at peace.

And of course, THIS is happening (below). No reason to fret very long about air pockets when the airplane is en route to this destination! It took forever to get the plane off the ground.  I am grateful we are finally on our way, despite the turbulence.  My friend Katherine was here in town today and we showed her our land. The walls for the basement will be started this week!

Anyway, we have survived Christmas. I do look forward to it next year in our new home. Sure, it may be another quiet Christmas, but each year and each celebration are memories for our children.  Who knows - maybe in the very far off future when Chris and I are grandparents (so very very far off future), we can start the same Christmas Eve tradition for our children and their families that I enjoyed as a child. 

I would end this post with a Happy New Year, but I hope to end 2014 blog posts with another art update! Stay tuned!

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