This year, it's safe to say that in regards to how we were going to celebrate this Christmas, our expectations have been royally shattered. No pun intended.
From our Christmas card, in which our children behaved as children do best - however they feel like - to the past week and up to this very Christmas Eve, things have not gone as planned. If you receive the card my parents send out, you might notice that all the children are posed beautifully and smiling, and there's Dorien with a finger up his nose. Nicely done. You'll notice in the picture below Wyeth is carrying on the tradition.
Our tree, purchased from Home Depot a few days before Thanksgiving, was pretty much dead from the start. And the nice pointy top branch was somehow ripped off in the netting they fed the tree through. In other news, my knee has prevented me from running for almost 6 weeks now, and the full marathon is officially off the table. This makes me beyond sad.
I've been doing physical therapy and running miles on an anti-gravity treadmill, but things are not as improved as they should be.
The new plan is to get my knee scoped, after a dear family friend noticed several potentially fixable issues on the MRI results.
I did manage to get our Christmas cards ordered and sent out in a somewhat timely fashion (before Christmas feels pretty great..) and all my gifts ordered and received (all my little boxes checked off on my Gifts Ordered List), and I even got all my Christmas stocking stuffers purchased Monday - and usually that is a seriously last minute affair. We even managed, by efforts of my glorious sisters-in-law, to throw my mom a 60th Birthday Party on the 19th - which was actually the date of her birth! She knew about the party, but not about a couple key out of town guests who showed up. We filled her house to the brim with lots of her dear friends, fed them lots of yummy food, ate a fantastically beautiful and delicious birthday cake (yeah, Lindsay!!) caught up and chatted for hours.....and with that final party checked off the list, it was time to really let the plans play out.
We had intended to go to Fayetteville Sunday night to spend some time with one of my best friends up there and then spend Monday and Tuesday with Kyle's family. The plan was to return home Tuesday with his younger sister, Kara, who was going to spend Christmas with us and fly out Friday morning. My sister Rachel was going to house sit. It was all ready.
The operative word being "Intended."
I feel a little like the Jewish nation right now.
Things have happened, but they were NOT how we intended for them to unfold this year. Some tears may have been shed. Some Tamiflu may have been dispensed.
Oh yes, folks. Kyle woke up at 3am Sunday morning to a puking Brooklyn. To spare my friends in Fayetteville what we thought was a stomach bug, we postponed travel till Monday. At which time, we woke up to Brooklyn, August and Dorien all running high fevers. Only B had been throwing up, but the rest looked like abandoned sock puppets draped about the furniture. I have never seen August or Dorien lay so still for a 24 hour period.
When we woke up Tuesday morning and Brooklyn was 103.5, we called our doc. Shocker, they were booked solid for the next few days and closed Christmas Eve. We are blessed to serve in our church nursery with a doctor who works at a walk-in clinic near our house. And praise God, he was on duty. We hauled our febrile crew over there and spent $75 ($25 per kid) in co-pays to find out our kids were all big ole POSITIVE for the flu. I think I live in a bubble sometimes, because I had no idea flu was so rampant. Uh, it is.
Nearly $200 later I left Walgreens armed with a different kinds of holiday goodies....Tamaflu, Vitamin C, a family sized box of Oscillococcinum, Echinacea and Pedialyte. At the time, Kyle and I felt fine and opted to not spend another $100 on Tamaflu before we had anything. By mid-afternoon, Wyeth woke up from a nap running 101.2. Our quiver was all sick.
There went our trip to Fayetteville and our plan to host Kara through Christmas.
To sweeten the deal, over the next few hours, I learned via group texts with my sisters, with the exception of Beth and Michael (who'd already dealt with their own bug time), someone in each family was laid low with the flu.
In our family, it is a bedrock tradition that we spend Christmas mid-morning at my parent's house and then have a huge family celebration. Except.....all of us were sick. In an unheard of turn of events, our family Christmas has been moved to New Years Eve, giving everyone hopefully the chance to fully recover.
To further make this whole Christmas a page turner, I am scheduled to have my knee scoped Friday morning at 5:00am. But I can't be sick. I can't even take Advil for 7 days prior to the surgery. And I am so looking forward (as crazy as that sounds) to this surgery because it could very well get me back on the road running in 10 days time! This makes me insanely happy!!
I have felt fine up until this morning when I woke with some aches...and I now have a fever. I'm dosing myself heavily with Vit C and every homeopathic thing I have, and praying to our Healer God to let my body fight this out by end of tomorrow. Because I can't even cancel the surgery until earlier in the morning day of surgery. And just to rub salt in the wound....if I get this surgery in before 2015, I've already met my deductible and just have a co-pay. If it falls after, I'm pretty sure my deductible will replenish itself in need and I'll have to write a hefty check. Which is just dandy.
As I sit here on my bed with Wyeth nursing, the kids downstairs watching a movie, I listened to a couple of videos that my friend Carol posted on her blog...videos of music so lovely that I know angels took notice, not to mention our Savior Christ. I let the music wash over me and my eyes filled with tears. Nothing about the Savior's birthday went as anyone anticipated. Least of all Mary and Joseph. Who wants to give birth in a cave where you're surrounded by animals after traveling miles and miles on the back of a donkey. Not as she intended.
But, precisely as God intended. He was not a bit out of sorts or upset at how the events of the birth of His son unfolded. I have no doubt he sat on the edge of His seat, his heart bursting with pride, love, anticipation and excitement along with the hosts of heaven. What the Jewish people expected and wanted were so vastly different from how God intended them to be, and as always, His extraordinarily unique plan was the perfect one.
The stage was set beautifully, quietly, solemnly and lovely, every detail attended to by Him. Everything as it should be.
So, as I sit here achy and worried about how things will go on Friday, or even tomorrow if both Kyle and I are sick...I also rest in the knowledge that the last few days have been part of God's plan all along. The upcoming days are as well.
It might even be that spending Christmas quietly at home, without a grand meal or room full of exploding wrapping paper, is the most beautiful way my family and I could spend this holiday.
Meditating on unexpected events, God's sovereign and masterful plan, and the earth-shattering birth of Jesus Christ - the son of God and the Savior of all humanity.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
May God find you cherishing this holiday and truly celebrating the birth of His Son