The Advent season started out rough, that's true, and it got rougher still. But in the end we had a lovely Christmas Eve, an even lovelier Christmas Day, and have been dwelling in the suspended bliss of no work or school for an entire week now.
I gained a new sense of independence and confidence, out of frantic Christmas shopping necessity, and it was glorious. I got to attend an English Mass, which we haven't made it to in a couple months, and that was also really nice. So much like home to be able to follow along, understand the Homily and pray with everyone in my native language. My one and only Christmas gift under the tree was an entire series of one of my favorite shows. I cried a little when I opened it. Martin and I used to watch reruns in the evening back in Austin at the end of a long day, and it's nice to have this little escape again. Santa knows me very well. He also knows that I needed some sort of winter shoe so I don't slip every which way from the parking lot into the grocery store and beyond. Done! New winter shoes (I chose myself)! Nothing fancy or pretty but entirely functional, just like I like it. The boys received bikes, which neither of them know how to ride, and I am excited to teach them. And Lina has stepped into the expansive and expensive world of Sylvanian Families/Calico Critters. They have all spent hours playing with them, so it's slowly paying for itself. Kacio was just happy to be a part of everything. Martin and I spent several evenings chatting long into the night while baking over 12 dozen cookies (all from the same recipe) to give to family as gifts. They are all asking for the recipe, so I guess they were a success. And we had some good quality time to talk over some important decisions our family will face in the future.
I am hopeful that this new year will bring the beginning of construction on our new house, a new understanding of the Polish language for me, and of course, little surprises for everyone, which have yet to be seen.
Tomorrow is our last day to have Martin off from work and the children will slowly start resuming their studies, but all in all, this much needed break was fruitful and, in the end, peaceful. Which is all I was really hoping for.
I hope the same can be said for all of you. You have all been so helpful and encouraging over these past couple months. Even going so far as to send me personal emails of understanding, which have helped me to know that I am not alone and better yet, that I'm not crazy. Thank you.
I am wishing you all a (belated) Merry Christmas and a Happy start to the New Year!