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Darkest Night of The Year 2011

Adriene took a new job this year so she did not have very much vacation time. The girls are in preschool so this week I’ve had the whole house to myself during the day. I gotta admit, selfishly, it’s been incredible. I love my family but I don’t get much time to myself anymore to stop and reflect so I’m finally taking some time, on this darkest night of the year, to look back a little bit.

Halfway through this year, I was pretty sure it was going to be a bad year. Things were not going well in multiple aspects of my life. Thankfully, autumn arrived and with some changes my outlook on life improved. During the first half of the year, I didn’t do very much socializing and I started to let my job and caring for children start to smother me. I’m such a paradox, I don’t really like doing stuff with people every night, but it’s also emotionally damaging to spend too much time alone. I’ve tried to balance things out a little better in the second half of the year and it has been beneficial.

Raising two three-year olds was not easy this year, but it was a whole lot easier than raising two two-year olds last year and in September they turned four. So far, four has been even better. I hear we are entering the “golden years” for little girls where daddy is their hero and they haven’t become teenagers yet and boys and phones and makeup all become bigger priorities. I hope so. I’m not going to lie, the last years have been hard. Maybe one child would have been easier, but twins have felt like riding out a hurricane. It has gotten steadily easier year after year and I like the trend, but make no mistake, I still haven’t fully recovered from the first couple years. I am still very tired most of the time. We’ve had some fun but I’m hoping for even more fun in the next few years.

I miss some of my big Christmas traditions. I used to go see Over the Rhine or Andrew Peterson in concert, but neither came near Atlanta during Christmas and travelling is not as practical as it used to be. We tried to drive around and look at Christmas lights, but the girls were over it within ten minutes. What they really love most is to put Christmas music on the stereo and dance around the room. Each Christmas has been one of firsts and this is the first year that the girls have started to get a grasp on Advent. The Incarnation is still a little above their minds. They know that Christmas is birthday of Jesus but right now God is somewhere on the same plane at Santa Claus. I don’t want to blow their minds too much, there’s plenty of time for philosophical discussions in years to come.

So, for the time being we’re starting new traditions. Rocking around (quite literally) the Christmas tree, lighting candles, and drinking tea with my little Snow Princesses. Next week I’ll be home alone again and we’ll renew the annual Playstation Smackdown, I’ll rundown my favorite albums of the year, and clean out my office which will no doubt spur nostalgic moments. The year is slowly closing to a good end and we’re going to try and start 2012 as well as 2011 is ending.

The Days Only Become Brighter From Here
December 21, 2011

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