Ben and Michael playing in the hallway. Michael is enchanted by the remote controlled Lego car Ben is driving
Ben and Michael playing in the hallway. Michael is enchanted by the remote-controlled Lego car Ben is driving

It has been a busy month. I’m pretty sure that December is normally a busy month. But, we made it extra busy. Why? Because it is more fun this way! Not really. It wasn’t really our planning, it just happened. It has been a good month, but next year, we will try to keep it a little less busy.

We didn’t even have time to set up a tree. The only reason the house has any lights is because Susanna doesn’t mind the cold and put them up a couple of weeks ago. Or rather, she minds the cold, but minds a dark house even more. I couldn’t feel my fingers after working outside for 15 minutes, so I decided to not help decorate at all. She even climbed on the porch roof to install the lights. That is dedication when it is 20-degrees out (or just crazy).

The rush started with Susanna flying back to Sweden over Thanksgiving for her aunt’s funeral. It finally feels like things are slowing down now, a month later.

Will and Ben playing in their new rec room/play loft. They named the space "Club Naribithia," and will add a sign tomorrow (and make club rules).
Will and Ben playing in their new rec room/play loft. They named the space “Club Naribithia,” and will add a sign tomorrow (and make club rules).

I was able to clean out the boys’ rec room/loft over Thanksgiving weekend. The boys were here almost every weekend since Thanksgiving, so I had to get the project finished early. Plus, it is more fun to try to drag heavy crap up the stairs to the loft by myself. No point in waiting for help to return home.

Susanna was singing in the Church of Sweden Lucia concert in New York City. That took up every Sunday for 2 months for rehearsals. She had to leave in the mornings after breakfast to get to the city on time, and returned late after dinner. And then there was the concert in mid-December. We all braved the snow to drive to New York for a weekend and to enjoy the concert. It was a blast. Will even said (without me asking), that it was the best trip away he has had in a very long time.

A week after the concert, Susanna and I drove to Florida to visit my mom. The boys got to spend Christmas week with their mother. The trip down was great. We planned two days driving each way, but traffic heading south was pretty heavy so we took 2 1/2 days driving to Florida. We camped the first night in a canvas tipi North Carolina. The second night we bailed after dinner in Jacksonville.  We stayed in Florida until the 26th and began our trek back home. It was much easier driving north, except (of course) traffic around New York City. Though, next time, I think we will fly. Or just wait long enough that we forget how long of a drive it is.

Susanna singing to Michael in the living room.  I'm pretty sure I need to tune the guitar, but Michael didn't seem to mind.
Susanna singing to Michael in the living room. I’m pretty sure I need to tune the guitar, but Michael didn’t seem to mind.

We had a great Christmas in Florida. We went out on the water the afternoon we arrived. It was warm enough to go swimming (for an adult to go swimming, Will and Ben will swim in almost any weather). Christmas Eve we enjoyed a light show at the state park. Christmas day we headed for a walk, and even stopped by the beach for a bit.

The past two days have been all about the boys. They came home yesterday morning and we had our Christmas. I was hoping that we could open presents in their new rec room/game loft, but the weather was too cold, and I didn’t feel like dragging the heater from the workshop up to the loft (though I think I will have to for New Year’s Eve). Susanna and I gave the boys empty fish tanks (they both have talked about getting fish for a while), and we even had time to go to the pet store so they could buy fish for their tanks. We had a nice surprise and got to babysit Michael Matkovich for the night while his parents took a date night.

Today was chore day.  Ben got his stitches out (he got two stitches in his upper lip on Christmas Eve when wrestling with his brother) in the morning. We worked on cleaning up bedrooms for an hour in the afternoon. We didn’t quite finish, but progress was made. Hopefully we can finish tomorrow. We spend a while in the rec room/loft with the boys. It is cozy up there, but does need some real heat (so does my workshop, and I’m pretty sure I’m putting good heat in my workshop first). We got a couple of foosball games in before the boys had to head to bed.  I need to level the foosball table (at least that is my excuse for losing most of the games).

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