Saturday, January 1, 2011

Beautiful Exhaustion

Happy New Year everyone!

If the true judge of whether a holiday was a success is your total lack of energy at the end of the holiday, I can say that the Mahoney Christmas holidays were a huge success.  I think every family member is going to crawl up and collapse tomorrow in a state of beautiful exhaustion!

When I think back a couple of weeks, I realize how much we have done!  No wonder we are tired.  We were doing just fine until Christmas day and then it all went a bit haywire.  Kelly got the stomach flu that hit hard and fast and kept her up all night long.  No one was safe from that moment on, in quick succession the flu hit TJ and me and then sister Katie, only Michael and Jehnna were spared.  Rachel's family had the bug the week before Christmas and we all thought it was dead and such luck. That flu took the wind out of all of us, we were a crew of hurting cowboys, cowboys who had to saddle up and ride to Baton Rouge to visit all of our family there.  We bring you tidings of comfort and joy....oh and a nasty stomach bug.  Merry Christmas!  Still hoping the beast does not rare it's ugly head to any of our family there, so far so good.

Katie and Kelly, pre-flu happiness

Still feeling good, reading to Christopher and Daniel

Our major source of beauty and exhaustion are sitting in Kelly's lap here.  Daniel and Christopher, our grandsons, are in perpetual motion when they are awake.... and they wake up early!  Is it just me or is 5:30 a little early to start your day?  I guess when you go to bed at 7 or 8 p.m., 5:30 or 6 a.m. isn't an unreasonable time.  I never got to bed before midnight and that meant morning came early, I admit, I was not on the wee hours of the morning shift but I did listen to the chaos outside my room for a while and then roll over for another hour before I entered life for another day.

Daniel at Christmas dinner wearing his crown and playing with his treasures from the popper
Michael and Jehnna enjoying the Christmas dinner festivities

More crowned Christmas dinner guests

Christmas dinner was a lot of fun.  The food was delicious, we had a few Lithuanian traditional dishes compliments of brother-in-law Andrius, popped the fun English poppers and wore our crowns and read our cheesy jokes.   We were all smiling and festive....then it hit.  Man down!  The next two and a half days were spent getting the flu, having the flu, or getting over the flu.  O Tidings of Comfort and Joy! 

These two did not get the flu...they continued to find interesting places to play, like the pantry!  Here Grampy is hearding them to safer grounds.

Christopher on safer grounds!

On Wednesday after Christmas we decided to brave it and continue with our plan to infect, I mean visit, Baton Rouge.  Most of our family there have never met "Christopher of the beautiful blue eyes" so a trip was needed. We loaded up two vehicles with almost everything in our house and eight of us drove five hours in the constant pouring rain to Baton Rouge.  Can I just say one word about the weather?  Ick! The first stop was dinner at Aunt Meg's house where Nan met her great grandsons for the first time!

Nan meeting Christopher for the first time.  I just love Rachel and Dave's expressions in the background, priceless.

The next day, we needed a plan.  How can we entertain the boys while sticking to their eating, sleeping, playing schedule, visit five different families, eat some great Cajun food, include as many people as possible in our plans and be home for dinner at six ....and still be sane?  No problem....

All you need is a Tiger! 

Daniel and I up close and personal with Mike the Tiger at LSU!

At first sight Daniel said, "I want to go in there with him!"

Rachel and Daniel

We managed to see all the sights, visit all the relatives AND get home in time for dinner! There might have been a point during the course of the day that we either cried (Daniel and Christopher) or wanted to cry (Rachel and I, out of sheer exhaustion) but hey, no one is perfect.  It was beautiful exhaustion! 

On Friday the holiday visiting was over and it was time to say goodbye.  Our ten days of family togetherness came to an end.  I venture to say that we all had a great time together and we are all glad to be in our own homes once again. 

A few more pictures, because they are just so darn cute!

Who knew the dog bed would provide such entertainment?!

Toy construction, it takes a village!
Daniel reading The Night Before Christmas to Sadie....too cute!

Being "still" for the camera!

Matt checks out his new book and Sadie's head got very heavy

Hey Mommy, my Happy Meal came with a hat!

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