Wednesday, December 24, 2014

the worst christmas

This is not how I pictured the boys' first Christmas. Logistically, it's probably been the worst Christmas of my life.

There is no snow outside. In fact, our yard is more green than brown.

Harriet, Louie and I have all been struck down with influenza. This, my friends, is not fun. Fevers, chills, everything is sore. Even my teeth hurt. Therefore, Christmas celebrations were canceled for both sides of the family.

The chocolate turtles I made for my dad and father-in-law were a big, fat disaster. My chocolate seized. The caramel was goopy. And they're just plain bitter. At least we made a quadruple recipe. 

Out of the five books I ordered for my mother-in-law, four arrived damaged.

The gift I ordered for my mom was delivered to the wrong address.

Our Elf on the Shelf, Salt, has been stranded here for about four days.

I've gotten about six hours of sleep total in the last three nights. Poor Harriet has had an awful time sleeping.

I haven't showered in two days.

I have no voice whatsoever, and Harriet doesn't believe me when I tell her I can't speak up. "Just GET louder, Mom!" she says.

We've been distracted much of this Christmas season by Gus's MRI, which happened yesterday. I was crushed to not be able to go with, but it went really well and we got wonderful news. He has benign hydrocephalus and doesn't need a shunt. Thank Jesus.

Our house is...big surprise...a disaster. You can almost see the flu germs crawling amongst the piles of laundry and toys.

Andrew and I have been anything but merry. In fact, we had a big fight last night. More accurately, I blew up and spewed all kinds of mean things at him while he sat there. And I didn't get him any presents.

BUT...if you would have told me four Christmases ago, when I was drowning in grief and fear, that I'd be spending this Christmas pushing through my own deliriously feverish, overtired haze to comfort and snuggle my three children, I would have cried a ocean...of shock and joy. So although many of our presents remain unwrapped and we're feeling far from festive, beneath this droopy-eyed, slightly sweaty exterior is a heart bursting with Christmas cheer...and gratitude. Especially gratitude...aimed at a God who has been unthinkably generous with us.

Merry Christmas, friends.


  1. Merry Christmas, Em. Hope y'all feel better soon. And I love that you can find gratitude in the tough times.

  2. Merry Christmas! So glad you can find that joy despite everything that has been going on!!! xoxo

  3. Very sorry to hear you and the kids are sick. But am wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

  4. Oh man, that is a rough Christmas. I'm sorry it's nothing close to what you envisioned. But yes, thank god for those kids who you didn't know you'd have during your darkest time. It's always amazing to look back and remember those impossible times and holidays.

  5. Just wanted to say I get it. I don't have kids but my family has been struck with the flu (including me) and our Christmas has been "canceled" as well. My sister is actually in the hospital with it. I want to let you know that I am praying for you and your family. May the Lord bring a quick and full healing to each of you from this horrible stuff. In Jesus' Name!!!

  6. I'm sorry you're all so sick! Hopefully everyone is feeling much better very soon.
    Ok, so as a mom living with a baby who was shunted, what on earth is benign hydrocephalus? Thank God he doesn't need the shunt! Brain surgery is no joke.

  7. Merry Christmas, Emily! I'm sorry to hear your Christmas was not that merry and bright, but so glad to hear that Gus is doing alright. We love you all!

  8. Merry Christmas, sweet friend. Prayers of thankfulness and for healing continue. (And, PS, I think you look beautiful)

  9. Merry Christmas! I hope you all feel better and can have a better 12 days of Christmas than the days before and on. Glad you got good news and hope things look up everywhere else, too!

  10. You do such an amazing job writing the truth in love - such a great example!

  11. Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing.

  12. Merry Christmas. Next year has to be better?

  13. It's ok. The boys won't remember their first Christmas anyway, right?! It's inspiring that you are so open and grateful.

  14. That's inspiring and encouraging. I hope that I can remember that perspective next time I'm struggling!


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