After 5 straight days of Ainsley being under the weather and yet another 7 hour car ride through three states we made it home safe and sound.
Our house smelled like home, Ainsley's big girl bed was just as exciting, and the house was relatively clean (thanks Ian!). Then I spied it, the HUGE pile of mail (i.e. BILLS) on the front table.
I remember coming home from long trips as a child. We'd run around the house making sure everything was in its place, jumping on our beds, unloading our travel bags, and rummaging through what was left of the pantry. We'd pick up where we'd left off, carefree and easy going. When did that stop?
Monday was near horrendous. Almost overfilling the cart at Trader Joe's to restock the empty fridge and pantry set the mood for an adult-duty-filled day. I spent Ainsley's naptime calling health insurance and the hospital to straighten out even MORE debacles with Louise's hospital stay. (Really, could there BE a more inefficient system?) To top it off poor Ainsley has yet to completely lick this virus she got and was not a happy camper.
The day wasn't a total wash. Seeing as I've been itching to decorate our house for Christmas since I swallowed my last bite of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving I made a point to pull out what child-friendly decorations I could and enlist Ainsley's help in achieving the wonder that is Christmas in our little home. She marveled as I plugged in the row of small village houses I placed on our buffet, peering into the windows to see who was home. She snuggled the wooden "Baby Hesus" as I explained the nativity to her while we set it up on the front table. I then pulled out her fisher price version that Grammy gave her for Christmas last year and she danced around to "Away in the Manger" while all the stable animals gave the Christ child kisses.
There is something magical about this time of year, and no, it's not just the online shopping and great deals. If a simple nativity scene and Christmas village set up can turn around an otherwise lost-cause-of-a-day, then anything is possible.
After Ainsley's nap today I plan on setting up our TJs+ gingerbread house. We'll see how much of the candy actually gets glued down!