The Best Christmas Gift of the Day

The Best Christmas Gift of the Day

The Best Christmas Gift of the Day

I really struggled with The Sickness today. At one point after cleaning up the mess from Christmas Waffles, the room started spinning. To say that I didn’t feel well ranks as a gross understatement.

Still, it was the first Christmas the boys and I spent at home, so I wanted to make a tasty Christmas dinner.

I worked hard over a roast, mashed potatoes, and other side dishes. Writing this now, I just realized I forgot to make one of them, and I blame Medicine Head for my forgetfulness.

Right before we sat down to eat, I started to worry. I felt overly warm due to spending hours in the kitchen and thus my frustration level started to rise too. What if the boys complained about dinner? What if the meat was tough? What if my mashed potatoes were too lumpy? Or too runny? Would I be able to hold it together and be patient despite feeling so awful?

After we sat down to the table and prayed, the boys started to inhale dinner. INHALE.


About five minutes into the meal, BigBrother made me cry.

But good tears.

“Mommy, this meal is so good. It’s like the best present of the day.”

LittleBrother agreed. They both started to go on about the meat and the potatoes and how yummy everything tasted. This all came hours after they declared my waffles for breakfast the “best waffles ever.”

I attempted to lift a bite too my mouth, but my vision blurred. I set down my fork and blinked back a few tears. I didn’t consider that the tears I might shed at the dinner table would be caused by my boys’ big tummies and big love. I didn’t even imagine that they’d declare my meal the best gift of the day.

It took me awhile to clean up after dinner as I hand-washed my grandma’s china and then loaded the dishwasher with the rest of the evening’s dishes and utensils. But I did so with a heart so full of love and appreciation for my family. I also did so with a chest and sinus system full of congestion, but I didn’t feel so awful anymore.



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52 Weeks of Brotherhood: The One with the Deliveries

The One with the Delivery

The One with the Delivery

Yesterday the boys dressed up in their Christmas Eve finery. Together the four of us happily walked outside into the 52 degree weather, the sun shining brightly as we walked our street.

If we only delivered cookies and cards at one house, the first stop would make it all worth it. Our older neighbor oohs and ahhs over the boys every single year, and this year was no exception. She hugged both of them and thanked us all for our yearly gift of homemade cookies.

The joy on her face felt contagious.

We stopped at a number of other neighbors’ houses, spreading good cheer while simultaneously thanking them for putting up with our noise and dog and kids and weird running selves. That thanking part might not have been spoken, but it was certainly understood.


We ended our walk at a newer neighbor’s house. They’re enduring The Sickness as well, their kids similar ages and attending the same school as our boys. They looked overjoyed by the simple gift of a few cookies.

As we walked back to the house, the weirdly warm December air on our faces, I smiled. This marks the third year the boys have dressed up and made deliveries to the neighbors. We keep adding more houses to our delivery route. I wonder what it will look like ten years from now, the boys 19 and 17.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

The One with the Delivery


Reading Makes Everything Better

Booey Reading to Me

Booey Reading to Me

The boys ended up sick last week. They still have a lingering cough this week, but found their normal energy levels. They’re bouncing off the walls with excitement for Christmas despite their coughs and drippy noses.

My husband felt kind of icky this weekend, and is fighting a stuffy nose. He felt drained yesterday, but seems okay today.

And me?

I just started to feel it last night. A feeling of exhaustion washed over me, which isn’t terribly out of the ordinary a few days before Christmas. But I knew this wasn’t just the Christmas Tired.



My throat started to feel a bit scratchy, like I swallowed some rocks. The roof of my mouth started to itch—a tell-tale sign of sickness for me. And my chest felt tight, but not anxiety-tight. Sickness tight.

I fed the boys leftovers and crawled in bed for a little bit. They eventually made their way to me with Christmas books in hand, and these two little boys took turns reading to me. They took turns reading a book to me, pointing out illustrations, and adding their own color commentary.

I cuddled under the covers, my two boys sitting next to me on the bed, knowing that some form of The Sickness waited for me sometime during the night or the next day or soon enough. But I felt relaxed and loved there in that moment. These two little boys know how to love, how to give with their whole hearts.

I woke up this morning with the beginnings of a chest cold, but I woke up this morning with a smile on my face.

BB Reading