Sometimes the Holidays Aren’t So Holly

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” But is it? This year, call me Mrs. Scrooge.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love the days from October 1st until the New Year. These days in our house are filled with all of the foods, the activities, and the memories I’m making with my family. However, there are some parts of the holidays that aren’t so holly.

For one, does anyone else hate how busy EVERY.SINGLE. store is from the week before Thanksgiving through Christmas? I’m just trying to get my normal everyday groceries and I’m having to wait in line for what seems like an eternity. I hate it.

But most importantly, this year, the holidays just kind of suck.

I am beyond thankful that the Army has allowed Aric to be home this year for all of the holidays so far, but I am missing the rest of my family. Every single member of my family that I am close to lives 1,900 miles away in little ole West Texas. Living so far away does not allow us to go visit or them to come visit us very often. Me and the boys haven’t had our feet on Texas soil in 16 months and Aric hasn’t been home in almost 2 dang years.

It’s super hard to visit or make any plans for visitors. Flights are stupid expensive, driving 1,900 miles is stupid far, and Maksen only has short windows of time that we can visit. (and of course it’s always peak season for flying, which jacks those flight rates sky high.) We also have a ton of responsibility here with the dogs, Maksen’s taekwondo training, etc. etc.

We could have easily made the trip to Texas over the summer, but we chose to use our time and money to see Aric in South Korea. I was torn about the situation, but I felt the kids needed to see their dad, I needed to see my husband, and I mean, that is kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m super glad we made that decision, at the end of the day.

I’m so very thankful the amount of times my parents have come to visit, my brother and my sister-in-law came last year after Christmas, and my Nana has made the trip once. That’s it. None of Aric’s family, no one else. It sucks. I try not to let it bother me, because it is part of the lifestyle, and it normally doesn’t too much, but I guess because the holidays are all about family, I am a little bit more sensitive lately.

My niece, Maren, is six months old and we haven’t had the chance to meet her and we probably won’t get to until next summer when she is one. My grandma is closing her store, this week. This one is hard for me and Maksen both. After my parents divorced and we moved back to West Texas, we lived in that store. When my Daddy-T passed away, I worked in that store on and off for 6 years. Maksen spent the first 3 years of his life going with me dang near every single day, in that store. Everyone in the surrounding Snyder area knows of my grandma’s store and it is such a bittersweet moment of her closing the doors. I wish we could have been there for her retirement party over the weekend and just given her a huge hug.

But… this is the life we are living. So, I guess I have to suck it up and celebrate everyone from a distance and hopefully we will get a chance to see everyone soon!

I am, however, extremely thankful that even from a distance my parents love my kids like they lived right down the street. We talk every single day, most days multiple times. My mom sends the boys gifts and little things all of the time. They spoil my kids and my kids in turn know how loved they are, even if they are 30 hours away. They also spoil the crap out of me, even at 28 years old.

Although we will not be with family this year, I am thankful that my husband will be home and has two weeks off, our kids are healthy and happy, and we will have some amazing friends to spend our time with.

I all hope your holidays are spent around the ones you love and that you stay safe and, of course, eat tons of great food!

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