I made it through November! Yay! :)
Now the fun begins, because I love December. I love all the Christmas stuff and I especially love that I have almost two weeks of uninterrupted family time to look forward to at the end of the month. Shawn always saves some vacation time for Christmas and he takes off the week between Christmas and New Years (and sometimes a little more) and we pretty much lock ourselves in the house for a week or more of family time.
I literally wait all year for that week. It's my favorite time of the year. I love Christmas, but it's the family games marathons and movie nights and silliness that follow it that I love the most. I think we have something like 12 days this year. When New Years falls in the middle of the week he usually takes a few days of next years vacation time to stay home the rest of that week, so he doesn't go back to work until the kids go back to school. I'm super excited about it! Out Christmas staycation is my favorite thing every year. So I have that to look forward to and that makes me happy!
Today we sent all the kids back to school. Clarissa has been home for the past month because she goes to a year round school and November is her track break, and the boys had all last week off for Thanksgiving break, so we've had a full house lately. It took me a bit to get back on schedule this morning. After having Clarissa home for a month I've forgotten how to do the bus schedule and I had to think a minute to remember what she needed to take with her today. We have to reorient ourselves to a schedule again! But we got everyone off to school, Shawn went to work and for the first time in a month, my house is quiet again.
My project lately has been working on planning a summer vacation for next year. It's starting to occur to me that we don't really have all that many summers left with Josh at home! After he graduates from high school in three and a half years, he will most likely be off to do missionary work for our church for two years, possibly in another country. So we really only have three, maybe four summers left with him before he's going to be gone for a while and that is starting to panic me a bit! And the older and busier he gets the less time he has in the summer to hang out with us. This summer he's planning on taking two online summer school classes to further accelerate his schooling, he'll be taking drivers training (yikes!!) and he'll be going to a church camp. There is pretty much one week this summer that he isn't busy or we aren't busy with something else, so I'm doing everything I can to make a big vacation happen that week.
We're thinking of renting a beach house on the Oregon coast for a week. We haven't been to the Oregon coast in years, and it really is one of our favorite places. So I've been researching beach house rentals all up and down the coast for the past week. I know it's early, but places start to fill up after the first of the year and I don't want to miss out on a good one. I have a bunch saved that look great and now I need to go through them and decide which one will work best. I love the Oregon coast because it's a vacation that can be as busy or relaxed as you want it to be. There are fun things to do there, but there is also a lot of quiet, open, beautiful space to relax. I generally like to vacation in the middle of nowhere vs. a really busy, crowded place, and the Oregon coast has lots of quiet, wide open spaces. So I'm looking forward to this trip. It will be in mid July, so it's still really far off, but it will give me something to plan and look forward to for a while!
And in the meantime I also have Christmas to plan! I'm not putting a basement TV room together this year (thank goodness!) so I actually have to plan a normal Christmas. I've already gotten most of my shopping done, thanks to Amazon. This week we're going to get the tree up and get into Christmas mode. December is such a fun month and I'm looking forward to all the excitement ahead!