"Try a little harder to be a little better." -- President Gordon B. Hinckley

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas, New Years and life threatening illness…

It seems so long ago that we actually sat around the Christmas tree with our families and celebrated the birth of Jesus, but that’s probably because we have spent the past week holed up in our home sicker than sick.  It seems as though everyone I talk to is sick right now, but I still maintain that our sick is SO MUCH sicker than your sick!!  Lol!!!  But really it feels like this sickness that is going through our family literally feeds and fuels itself off of each other’s attempts to regain any sort of health.  Abby started with it and she is on day 6 of fevers, chills, headaches and flu/cold like symptoms.  Every time I think she’s rounding the bend towards recovery she takes another hard fall back to a spike in fever and major loss of appetite.  I feel so bad for her!  Noah has it, Elias just got it yesterday, Mike has been sick for the past few days and I haven’t been sick like this since I was pregnant with Elias.  This is a BRUTAL sickness.  I guess I will add this past week to the ‘pro’ side of that list I mentally compile each year when I consider, then neglect to opt for the ‘flu shot’ that’s all the rave these days.

But on a more positive note, our Christmas was a wonderfully busy and eventful few days of celebration!  We spent Christmas eve and Christmas morning at our house with my family.  Christmas eve was a mess of my mom’s famous ‘pre-cursor to the event’ gift opening for the kids (Christmas Eve pjs to wear, a new Night Before Christmas book to read before bed and a super cute plate and mug for Santa’s late night snack), ushering our unwilling children into restless slumber, a rousing game of charades (our team won), and then a 2 hour ordeal of Mike and my Dad piecing together a massive train set while the girls watched season 6 of Reba.
The Train Set (It makes noises... oh yeah)
Merry Christmas!!!

We ended up in bed just after midnight only to be woken at 4:30am by the light ‘tap-tap-tap’ of an eager, yet patient 5 year old and her mightily impatient 3 year old sidekick.  I sent them back down to their room which held strong for about 15 minutes.  They were then invited into our hugely accommodating queen size bed to rest for a while and after 15 more minutes of being kneed and elbowed where no man should ever be kneed or elbowed, Mike resigned to failure and at 5:15 am he joined in all the excitement with a “well I guess we might as well see what Santa brought”.  So 5:15am we were up.  And by 6:00am Noah had succumbed to a full out melt down and was back in bed fast asleep.  Haha oh Noah.

Noah starting to lose it as Mike was reading the story of Jesus' birth!


My parents and Shawna and Kirsten came back over at 8am and we opened a mountain of gifts for the children which were all so wonderfully thoughtful and extremely well received!  We ate soufflé, bacon, toast and the Willmott family Christmas morning favourite “Cheese Dreams” (naming rights may actually be reserved to the Wright family, I’d have to check into it further) and had a really comfortable Christmas morning amongst all the chaos and carnage of Christmas past.  Elias had a beautiful first Christmas morning.  It was really fun to see him tearing at and later trying to eat the wrapping paper.  He’s the oldest any of our babies have been at their first Christmas and it was really a joy to watch him engage in the whole atmosphere.  It doesn’t take all the magic of Christmas to point out how amazingly blessed Mike and I are, but it sure helps to make it hard to forget!!

Andrew and Kirsten... What?! you can't see him??
Elias in his monster sweatshirt!!! 
Yahhhh Kung ZHU!!
A lotta Barbie!!
Just before noon we packed up as little as possible (we made sure we had each child but that was about all we really had room in our minds to ensure) and headed for Mike’s parent’s house.  We needed to make it there by 1pm so we had enough time to get everyone inside and settled for the 1:30pm date the Willmott household had with a certain missionary!  That’s right, Elder Willmott was calling home at 1:30pm to wish his anxious family a Merry Christmas.  Now I have never been present when a family has been in waiting for a call from a son/daughter on a mission, but I’m sure that if I ever get the chance to be around again when it happens I will jump at that opportunity.  It was such a beautiful thing to visibly see the anticipation and love each member of the family has for Elder Willmott.  I watched as a mother worried and fussed around a kitchen just to stay busy until she could hear the voice of her youngest son for the first time in four months.  I watched as a father milled from room to room studying the faces of each member of his family, concerning himself with the proper placement of his scriptures.  That gesture, in that instance symbolized strongly to me the link between the careful placement of the gospel in your home, to ensure the righteous success of your children.  I watched as a brother was unable to hide his smile knowing that soon he would spend a few minutes gaining insight into the intensely different life of a man he had grown through so much with.  And I watched as sisters who had been outwardly joyous about their chance to speak to their brother all week, fixed their hair, changed their clothes and prepared themselves physically the way any girl does when she’s about to participate an anticipated event.  It was so fun to watch everyone take their turn talking to Elder Willmott, laughing listening and immediately crying once they said goodbye.  Until this Christmas day, I had never understood the joy that hid in the stories people told about talking to their missionaries on their ‘phone home days’.  As much as I was grateful for my chance to speak with Elder Willmott myself, I was even more thankful to watch him touch the hearts of his family from across the country as he spoke to each of his biggest fans.  Missionary work is so beautiful in very obvious ways and absolutely breathtaking in ways I never could have imagined.  I am so grateful for Elder Andrew Willmott and the influence he is to those he serves, but so unexpectedly grateful for the influence his example has been right here in our lives. 

We had such an amazing Christmas.  It was a great first for Elias, third for Noah, fifth for Abby, 25th for me and 27th for Mike.  That’s 41 different potential Christmas memories between all of us and I definitely will put this one down as #1 on my list.  Christmas eve and Christmas day were amazing days because we were surrounded by our families but unmistakably because we were surrounded by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I sincerely hope that you all had the Spirit in your heart and your homes as you celebrated Christmas this year! 
Abby and Noah pointing to the leftover piece of 'Tim Horton's Donut' Abby insisted Santa
would appreciate more than cookies!!  They split the last bite... sickos!!!
How much did you loves these as a kid??!?!

New Years Eve:

Not much to report on this front.  We were sick as an emergency room.  I changed the clocks from 6:20pm to 11:40pm while Mike created a diversion since Abby conveniently chose last week to start learning how to tell time.  We YouTubed a countdown, enthusiastically wore hats, glow necklaces and bracelets and suffered through a lousy internet connection as we bumped and jumped our way down the count down, ensuring our kids every time YouTube struggled to load the next number that we were just ‘waiting for all those people in the world to catch up to us’.  Once we hit ‘1’ we yelled and air kissed our nasty, germy “HAPPY NEW YEAR” then quickly shuffled our sickies off to bed.  I was asleep by 8pm and Mike by 10pm.  We are that cool.  So at 3 days past the mark of a new year, I can sit without falling over for long enough to type out a meager HAPPY NEW YEAR to y’all!!

Sorry I have been lacking in posts lately.  I will resume my ‘Sunday strategy’ next week.  Again I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope nothing but the best for you and your families in 2011. 

Love and Joy, Peace and Happiness!

Love from the Willmotts

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