Christmas Photos for 2015 and an Update

Chris and I have a lot of big changes up ahead. We have our house on the market in order to downsize and possibly be mortgage free, Chris did not win re-election for City Council so we will have our Monday nights free soon and be less a few extra dollars, and we decided to cut way back on Christmas spending and spending, period. That means we are not sending out Christmas cards with a letter this year. 

Normally I wait to post our family photos until after our Christmas cards have been sent, but since we're not sending cards, I decided to post them now.

In order to keep things simple, low cost, and with the least amount of stress, I just drug my camera/tripod/remote right out to the backyard after hurriedly got everyone dressed (yes, matchy-matchy outfits). We took all of maybe 10 minutes to snap everyone's photos and take a few family shots. The kids didn't lose their tempers and neither did we. Success!

I adjusted my manual settings to get the right amount of light that I was looking for in the photos, and then put the lens on autofocus so that all I had to do was push my remote to take the family shots.

Headshots were even easier since I didn't have to use the tripod or remote.

Lately I've been scrambling to keep up with our normal every day life. Being involved in two homeschool co-ops/homeschooling, frequently having house showings, two Birthdays back-to-back, potty training, back to running a few miles a day, the close of Chris's campaign, and finishing up my 3rd year of law school, has had me a little low due to lack of sleep and high stress.

I don't know if it's the addition of a fourth child, my need to please people, worrying about final exams, or the prospect of losing this house that I love so much - but I'm finding myself not able to handle as much as I think I used to.

I have a lot to work on to get back to my lower stress life, but in the meantime I'm letting things go that I used to keep a priority, and recognizing what changes I need to make to avoid taking out my stress on my family.

Getting early morning runs in with a friend has helped quite a bit. I'm looking forward to running a 4-mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving and a half marathon in the Spring.

My family has been amazing putting up with my high stress behavior. In fact, recently CJ thanked me for trying to only study in the evenings so I could be with him during the day, because he knows how hard it is for me to stay up late these days!

But Chris has been the real unsung hero of my life. Continually being optimistic when I think the world is ending, and helping me out with the kids and my chores when I think I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Cecily is still my little angel, sleeping 12 hours a night easily, but due to a cold and teething, she keeps me on my toes during the day. She nurses every two hours and usually just cat naps for me. Thankfully Capri taught me how to do everything one handed because she had to be held at all times, so we're back to that routine.

Potty training Capri has not been half as easy as it was with the two older children. My goal is to have her potty trained within the next couple of months, but at the rate she's going, it feels like it will take forever.

So there's my little update, complete with my dramatic take on life. Hoping this is just a short season and I'll be back to handling our little lives with ease again.

But in the meantime, I'm on my knees, having to take one day at a time, asking God for strength and peace. I guess that's a good place to be after all.