Sunday, December 13, 2009


I feel like I can finally breathe. Ahhhhh:)

Since we came home from our Virginia Thanksgiving we have had some incredibly busy weeks. It has been crazy and it is driving me out of my mind!

I feel like I haven't seen Dave for longer than 30 minutes since we spent 15 hours in the car together. I hate that.

And all of this is happening while I'm trying my darndest to have a stress-free, peaceful Christmas season. Ugh - what happened?

Dave has had Christmas parties for one organzation or another throughout the last couple of weeks. Chamber of Commerce. Rotary. Give Something Back Foundation. Open houses for the businesses of his clients. Etc. etc.

Meanwhile, I've been doing my best to get all of my shopping completed. And I'm finally finished. But I ran into a couple of problems: because I have preschool & kindergarten bus schedules to adhere to, I only have short stretches of time to get things done. So I couldn't get everything done all in one shot, I had to go for a little bit here and a little bit there. In addition, we had decided to buy the girls a wii as their gift from Santa, but a week later we decided to return it and get something else. So that process added a couple of more trips to Target. I feel like I am quite intimate with Target at this point:)

And to go along with all of that I am a biscotti making queen. I decided to make little biscotti packages for some of Dave's clients this year, so for the entire month of December I practiced and I tweaked recipes until I decided on my 3 flavors & recipes: Cinnamon Hazelnut drizzled with cinnamon chocolate, Gingerbread drizzled with lemon white chocolate, & Chai drizzled with ginger white chocolate. They are GOOD. But they are time consuming - one batch of each flavor yields approximately 36 pieces, which makes 18 bags (2 pieces of each flavor in each bag). I need to make 75 bags before Christmas (50 clients + teachers, neighbors, aunts, friends), so I shall be making biscotti all day every day this week (I need 4 batches of each flavor... so 12 batches total... this is going to be a big project this week. Crap.)

So all of this is leaving me feeling like I haven't been able to enjoy Christmas and its going to roll right past me and I'll miss it. Which is exactly the opposite of my intentions.

BUT, we had our extended Dykstra Christmas party yesterday and we're having our celebration with Dave's parents, sister and niece & nephew this afternoon. So the house is clean. The gifts are wrapped. The gingerbread houses are complete. We're ordering pizza for dinner. Sooooo, this morning I will be drinking my coffee in relative peace and relaxing for the first time since Thanksgiving. This time will be cherished:)

I needed this post so I can look back at it 11 months from now and figure out how to do things differently so I don't feel like this again. I think I'll be feeling better over the next two weeks because everything else is done - all gifts are purchased and just a couple remain to be wrapped, decorations are up, I will be working on streamlining the biscotti process today (I'm measuring all dry ingredients into gallon plastic bags so when I am doing the baking I can just dump it in - much quicker), and most christmas obligations are out of the way.

How is your season going so far? Do you feel overextended? Or have you been able to enjoy the ride?


Skooks 12:37 AM  

I try to do most of my shopping online, or in store before December 1. I hate the stressed out feeling of knowing what I want to get for someone, going to the store, and realizing it's the middle of December and people are CRAZY.

With that being said, Christmas has been pretty peaceful this year. Nate and I decided on a limited gift-giving exchange in our family, and we're keeping things simple with extended family.

I've got to remember next year to start planning for Christmas activities (and crafty ideas!) that i want to do back in September/October. Just make a list of things and get it all organized so it's even breezier next year. Now that Naomi is getting older, there is more we will be able to do together.

The main thing, I think, is to take inventory early (like November) on what things/traditions/foods/activities/etc are important to the immediate family and look for ways to include those things. And not stress too much on the rest of the expectations that everyone else seems to put on the holiday time.

Skooks 12:38 AM  

P.S. I saw this and thought of your girls. Since you guys do the Santa thing. :)

Amy 9:25 AM  

Your biscotti projects reminds me of the year I made all those "cookie ingredients in a mason jar" for everyone. Last year I did care packages for all the college students in our church and I was constantly baking cookies for three days.

This year was very, very careful on how much take on with having a baby. I already skipped out on two Christmas parties. I am excited that Rob is cooking the WHOLE meal for the Council Party and I don't have to do any of it. I am going to our Small Group Christmas Party tonight and a cookie decorating thing with our preschool group tomorrow. So I am not skipping out on everything.

Wish we would do another Vander Wall gathering one of these years. Maybe if we all relocate back to the Midwest someday!

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