Holidays and everydays

 The annual and obligatory "Christmas jammies by the tree" shot. 

So here we are, almost two weeks into the new year, three weeks from Christmas Eve and a week or so back into our regular routine again. A change of schedule always throws me off a bit, and Christmas break seriously gets me off my game. But mostly in a good way. Espen had two weeks off school, and Nick was off work from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day (which was pretty fantastic, let's be honest), so instead of running on schedule like a piece of well-oiled machinery, we stayed in and wore our pajamas a lot while watching movies and playing video games.

From a trip to the aquarium.

While I have to admit that I am the first member of our family to get cabin feverish and ask "so, what's the plan?", it was really nice to shut the world out and focus our attention on us a little bit. The kids really needed a little time being center stage and not having to fight for our attention. And even if we got a bit lax with regulating their screen time, there was also lots and lots of unstructured play, especially once the snow finally came on Christmas Day.

Happy New Year!

One of the unexpected, but very much appreciated side-effects of our Christmas was that I felt like making what we wanted to of our own celebrations and traditions, somehow solidified who we are as a family. This may well be me overthinking things a bit (I do that, you know) but even deciding that our big, formal Christmas dinner is on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day (when dinner was nice, but a lot simpler and lighter) or having a New Year's party with hats and noisemakers for just the four of us helps us to know what kind of a family we are and really solidifies our identity as a family, Our North Family Brand, if you will. Does that even make sense outside of my head? What I do know is that having a glow stick dance party with my little family on New Year's Eve was really all the fun I needed to send off the old year, even if there was the odd tantrum and pouty face throughout the evening.

Now we are more or less back to normal again. Christmas is all boxed up and back in the basement (except for the Christmas cards that I keep forgetting to take down and the outside Christmas lights that we'll get to... eventually), and I am enjoying putting everything back in its proper place and restoring a little order after almost two weeks of Christmassy sloth.

Showing off my impressive hamster cheeks.

Not every part of getting back to normal has been fun and therapeutic. I had my last wisdom tooth pulled last Thursday (what 34 year-old still has their wisdom teeth?!?), and between the stitches and the painkillers that make me sick and the giant bruise on my jaw from having to break the tooth into four pieces to get it out, I've been thrown for a bit more of a loop than anticipated.

So here I am at the beginning of a new week, planning and shopping for the meals for the week ahead, catching up up on the weekend's dishes and gearing up to tackle all of the laundry that didn't get done while I was out of commission. No matter. This week will be better than last week. New beginnings come all the time, don't they? New year, new month, new week, new day. The time for making those changes that didn't happen last time is always now.

Happy new week!


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