December 11, 2005
ho ho hmmmm

Typically starting around my birthday and runnng through the beginning of January our lives get very hectic and now that we are back in California even more so.

In our preparations for the holiday season Brie and I have been doing our best to stay ahead all the while knowing it just isn't possible. This year we have the pleasure of having the kids' Nana and Grandpa plus Uncle Brian and Aunt Danelle all coming over to share Christmas Day with us. But that made us face some hard facts. Our sectional that we bought back in 2002 is trashed. Between the kids and all the dogs we had in Virginia the lining over the springs and the fabric holding one of the back cushions has ripped beyond repair at this point. So with a loan from my mom we were able to purchase a lovely new sectional with the promise that it would be delivered by Dec. 15th. On Friday 12/9 I received a call that though most of the couch was now available from the manufacturer there was some kind of mistake and the right-facing Chez Lounge piece was unfortunately not going to be available until 12/30 at the earliest. This left us in an awkward position, do we dare go out and try to find another couch, or do we just deal with it. After I went looking briefly we just decided to deal with it. The couch I choose (Brie decided to stay out of it and trust me :) is exactly what we have been talking about for years here is a picture I did get a full refund on our delivery fee, but I just took that money and poured it into more gifts. Now we will have comfortable seating for everyone, but we face the problem of not having any chairs for dinner. We are looking into our options, still no idea exactly what we are going to do.

This week is a particularly busy one. 12/12 is my Mom's birthday, 12/14 is the Barenaked Ladies concert in SF that we bought tickets for through the fan club months ago, 12/15 is the Pesada at Keegan's school and 12/16 is the first of what might be quite a few work related Christmas functions Brie and I will attend. 12/18 we go to my Dad's and celebrate Christmas with him and Bonnie. Keegan's last day of school is 12/16, but Seabstian and Maddy (since they just had all of November off-track) still have to go for the first 3 days of the week after. Got that!?!?

This year has been a very challenging one for us, with the move back to California (and all that entailed), our kids on 2 different sets of school schedules, and then getting both Sebastian and Keegan's particular needs met by the school district being just a few of the challenges we faced. But I am happy to say that outside of barely being able to meet our tightest living budget ever Brie and I managed to lay a good foundation to have next year be a year of great growth for us. Of course, that is after we find another house to live in.

I have to be honest and say that the stress of all we have been through this year has at times put more stress on our marriage than I thought it could take. It has been difficult for Brie and I to actually work as a team, we seem to both be putting out different fires all the time. Friday things came crashing down for me in pretty dramatic fashion, but as it always seems to do, the crash actually helped me get past all the surface distractions and figure out the core of my issues. Knowing those I am in a much better place to try to repair and move on.

Some tremendously difficult and sad times have fallen upon some of our friends and family this year. We wish we could have been there for each and everyone one of you more than we were. Our love goes out to each and every one of you and we hope 2006 blesses you all!

Posted by John at 11:07 PM