So I was writing a caption on Instagram for this picture anddddd I kept writing and writing and felt the need to go ahead and make a blog post about the holidays. I have been having so many conversations about how different the holidays will be this year. Many of these conversations are started with a negative tone. I’ve been doing my best to change that because there’s no room for negativity here! Yes, we are in the midst of some of the most challenging times of our lifetimes, but joy is not always found; however, it can be created! Today, I was reminded of how simple it can be to create joy.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a pretty busy lady. Starting fresh after a cross-country move, there’s always something needing to be done to make this house our home. But of course, houses don’t pay for themselves, so off-to-work go my husband and me! I work at a veterinary hospital, but I also spend a LOT of time creating content for companies. If I were being honest with myself, you could say that I’m doing both full-time. Not ideal, but we all chose our battles and I love both, so that’s what I do.

In between my jobs and us being in the midst of a pandemic, there’s not a lot of room for socializing. Our friend circle here in Arizona is pretty small, but lately, I’ve been getting pummeled by everything. Naturally, I’m always grateful to have so many obligations; but draining nonetheless. Much like this.

See what had happened was…

Last weekend, a friend of mine texted me trying to hangout. Yes, for sure! Guess who got caught up in a photoshoot, furniture shopping, and about 50 million other things and forgot? ME; because I’m the worst. It literally took me until this weekend to remember that I didn’t see them. Forever trying to do better, I texted her saying we should hang this weekend. She agreed and then I stopped replying because… that is who I am as a person and I was doing stuff.

When we got up this morning, I knew that we had a million things that we needed to do, but my plan was to knock those things out and then finally see my friend and Lariah see her friends! Determined, I started washing our hair pretty earlier to try to get done as soon as possible. Meanwhile, I still had not rectified a key part of this plan: THERE WAS NO PLAN. We never figured out what we were going to do. Luckily, my friend knows me well and was already plotting. I missed her first call because I was in the shower, but I called back and she had already bought stuff to bake cookies and was heading my way! WHEW!

I was hoping that she would come to us, even though its a 34 minute drive, because I had other stuff I needed to do while we were hanging. Yes, I am forever multitasking. It’s a blessing and a curse. Thankfully, she knew what to do and all I had to do was clean up the kitchen so the kids would have a cooking space!

throwback to a previous hang with 2/3 of her besties.
The fun as arrived!

I didn’t bother telling Muffin that her friends were coming; I figured it would be a nice surprise! AND it was! My girl was moved almost to tears because she was soooo happy to see her friends. In all honesty, it had been way too long. I am definitely ashamed.

Anywho, the kids wasted no time deciding where to start destroying my house, so my friend and I took to the kitchen to figure out what we would need to get this cookie party started! Ironically, my husband discovered that our milk was expired this morning AND we didn’t have any eggs. So he went on a trip to the grocery store while we took on a different task. I ordered a new desk for our office a bit ago and I was waiting until this weekend to put it together! I spent the majority of yesterday assembling a dresser for Muffin’s room (which I’ll be sharing soon), so I had not gotten to the desk yet! It wasn’t for content, so it wasn’t a priority. That’s my philosophy.

Thankfully, it did not take much convincing to get my friend to help me put it together. Hilariously, she ended up doing most of the work herself because as most parents know, quiet children is almost never a good thing, so I had to go save my house from our kids. From scrubbing paint off of the wall to cleaning smeared poop off of the toilet to even washing hair styling gel off of one child’s hands, there was no shortage of fun being had, even if it was at the expense of my sanity!

It’s time to bake some COOKIES!

Finally, Brad came home with the ingredients and the baking could begin. I have never been into cooking or baking. I often like to remind people that I was banned from the kitchen as a teenager because another friend of mine burned a pot of rotel in the kitchen and my mom was done with us. haha. That’s usually my excuse for why I never want to cook: I didn’t learn how because I was BANNED.

If you have never seen a bunch of children cooking ( one 5 year old, twin 4 year olds, and one 2 year old: it is very stressful and causes lots of involuntary cringing. From the bickering to the coughing and sneezing indirectly and directly into our cooking space, it’s a lot! My friend reminded me that it’s not about the actual cookies, it’s about the experience.

The kids all got to help mix the batter and then they were sent to play, AKA destroy my house, until it was time to decorate cookies.

EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS MADE ME CRINGE AND UNCOMFORTABLE. I was so out of my comfort zone. All I could think about was the mess that was going to be left behind. Initially, we were very controlled in how we let the kids decorate their cookies. They got to pick the icing and sprinkle colors, but we helped them apply it. As they got more comfortable with their art projects, we gave them more creative freedom! The mess continued to grow, but I started to care less and less about the mess because they were having so much fun! It certainly helped that the mess was control by being in one particular space, but by the end of it, there were sprinkles and icing everywhere! And I enjoyed it!

What did I learn today?

The moral of the story is this: we can make our own joy for the holidays. It’s okay to do things that make you uncomfortable or are out of your comfort zone. You may find that you like it! I’m not saying that I’m going to go out of my way to bake cookies again because my kitchen is still a wreck and I’m currently hiding from it, but I am saying that I’m grateful for the experience and I enjoyed the process more than I thought I would!

Yes, this holiday season will be different. We’re not traveling to see loved ones like we normally do because we’re all being careful. We’re in a new city trying to create new traditions with no family close by at all. There’s so much uncertainty, but one thing that’s for sure is that different doesn’t have to be a negative thing.

It was on my heart to share this with you all, so I did. I usually put it off and then it never gets shared because I have 50 million other “more important” things to do, but not today!

I hope you enjoyed the read! Check out my previous posts and be on the lookout for something new later this week!

Happy Holidays Friends!

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