I was feeling so good. I was feeling so jolly. I was feeling peaceful.
This past weekend Todd decided to take the kids and head up north since I was stuck in rehearsals and concerts and wouldn't be home much of the time. It was the perfect opportunity for me to try and tackle some of the items on my mounting To-Do list I had been fretting about all month.
Despite the nasty snowstorm that hit our area I managed to plow myself out of the driveway and get most of my Christmas shopping done. It was quite the feat, running from store to store to store in the icy snow with only a few hours to spare before my concert but I succeeded! And I managed to score some HUGE deals. When you have a child who asks for things like "a tornado stuffed animal" and "a tornado pillow" shopping can be difficult. But between some specialty toy stores and some very cool finds online I think all of my kiddos will be surprised and delighted with their loot this Christmas.
The concert went beautifully on Saturday night. It was powerful and for me it was emotional too.
You may not believe me, but I'll tell you anyway. At one point during the concert my dad made an appearance and sat with me. It happened when I was onstage and I asked my dad to help one of the soloists with her solo (she had been struggling awfully at rehearsals all week and I was so nervous for her). I always said my dad had the voice of an angel and I knew he would love to help another singer. The minute I asked my dad for help I saw his smiling face and heard him say, "Oh honey. That's so nice of you to ask me!" He was so honored and proud that I would think to ask him to help someone. I told him that I didn't know who the patron saint of singing was but for me he could do the job.
I felt my dad all around me. Behind me. Beside me. As the soloist sang her solo (beautifully) I saw my dad singing the words with her. It was all so overwhelming that I had all I could do to keep myself from breaking down and sobbing on stage. I thanked God for allowing my dad to be with me and giving souls the opportunity to continue to love and help each other.
I was very emotional after that and when we got to the Hallelujah Chorus and the entire audience stood throughout the whole song I was so choked up I could barely sing. As I said, it was a very powerful and emotional concert.
I left that concert feeling such a high. Not only was the concert fabulous, I cherished the visit with my dad. I was so happy and full of the Christmas spirit.
The whole weekend was a success. I was so happy and excited to see my family when they came home on Sunday afternoon. I was rejuvenated. Heck, the Packers even pulled off a monster of all come from behind wins!
And then school began again on Monday. It has been madness every single day. All that shopping I thought I had gotten done was just a mirage. More and more items got added to my shopping lists. I'd forgotten this and that and the errands seem never ending.
I remembered the teacher's gift cards, but I'd forgotten their little treats. I remembered my Christmas cards, but I hadn't ordered enough. I addressed all the cards, but I forgot to buy stamps. I ran out to get juice for Grace's class party only to find out the next day that I had to go back to the store and get a snack for Joey's class party. Joey let me know last night that he had a reading for mass this morning and I definitely couldn't miss that. And I had just enough time to go to mass and then run to the store once again for a last minute necessity for Ben's class party before I had to get to Grace's gingerbread house making party. I wrapped all the kids' presents (the earliest I had EVER done it- usually it is done on Christmas Eve eve) and then realized that the shoes I had bought Tommy and Ben when they were on sale a few months ago were already a size too small. Back to the store I ran.
Then Ben came home from school missing a mitten and his lunch box. Add that to the pair of gloves he lost up north this past weekend. Today I brought Grace home from school and unloaded her backpack to see that she was also missing her mittens. Add that to her missing snowpants I looked for for 20 minutes at school earlier in the day.
The last straw was when Tommy came bounding in the house after school today with no backpack. Apparently he left it on the bus. So, that's good. Or, not. I tried to track the bus down but the only option I have is to pick the backpack up at the bus station between 4:30 and 5. I guess I can fit that in when I drop Joey off at basketball practice at 4:30 and it should give me enough time to pick up the backpack and get Ben home in time to get ready for Boy Scouts at 5:30.
This is such a beautiful time of year. I know that. I witnessed it this past weekend and I'm trying to hold on to that feeling. But sometimes, sometimes I just want to throw my hand up in the air. I surrender!
Luckily, we only have two more days of school and then the majority of the madness will all fall away. Then we will be able to focus on Christmas. The real Christmas. Not the Christmas of plays and concerts and class parties and errands and presents and running and shopping and decorating. Not the Christmas crazy. The Christmas that is family and togetherness and love. That Christmas.
That is the Christmas I look forward to.