Lisa Leonard Designs

the good and the bad

January 3rd | family

It’s back to school today for the boys and back to the workshop for me. We had a good break filled with lots of family time. I want to say it was perfect and magical and I soaked up every minute, but the truth is, alongside the beautiful was some challenging and difficult stuff.

We flew to Omaha to see Steve’s family and it was great. Many memories were made with the cousins and we had lots of downtime to relax, nap, play video games and watch movies. One really hard part of our trip was David’s congestion. He was fighting a cold and was pretty miserable–especially in the evenings and into the wee hours of the morning. Some nights he was up until 2am crying and hysterical at times.

My family came to our home for New Year’s weekend and I worked hard to get lots of beds made and the house cleaned. I grocery shopped and planned a few fun activities. We counted down the minutes to their arrival. My sisters are incredibly helpful with my boys {especially David} and everyone pitched in for meals and clean-up. We had some sweet conversations and time to stroll around downtown and shop. We ate at the Apple Farm and saw the movie Tintin {loved it}. But one day into their stay, my twin nieces came down with the stomach flu and threw up for about 24 hours. A houseful of company combined with my germ-phobia made me feel like a stress case and while I was able to relax and laugh at times, I also had moments of feeling like I might come completely unraveled.

On New Year’s Day we drove to Montana de Oro after lunch and enjoyed a chilly, foggy hour at the beach. I love the ocean, it feeds my soul.

So I can’t say it was a perfect holiday, but amidst the craziness a lot of honesty and bonding happened–and if I can let go of my {sometimes} unrealistic expectations, those things bring us closer together as a family. And that is a beautiful thing.

How do you let go of expectations and let things be imperfect?

23 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the sickness that permeated your holiday. I must say, though, your outlook about it is truly uplifting.
    Hoping for a healthier week for you!

  2. Leanne says:

    don’t spend too much time looking back…baby steps forward…in the moment, seek what makes you grateful. some days it is more work to find it, but if you make the effort it will rise above everything else. my motto is “it could be worse”… works in EVERY situation!! :)

  3. suna says:

    happy new year. your boys look so handsome.

  4. awe your boys DO look so handsome, they are both so cute in their fishermen’s sweaters:)))

  5. Linda J. says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday! We learned early on that life is unpredictable and being flexible is a great thing. A great Holiday doesn’t have to be “perfect”. It’s the memories that are the fun part. Being able to say, “Remember the year we went to Aunt Lisa’s and…” In my family we all remember the year my bother Joe had an asthma attack and spent Christmas Eve in the ER then laugh about waiting for him to come home. He was so hyper the family all got out of bed(visiting family included) and celebrated at 2:00 in the morning (Santa came while he was at the hospital). Then we all slept in late and had a great brunch Christmas Day. It stands out as one of our favorite “Remember when” memories….

  6. Amy K. says:

    You just named two of my favorite places ever! The Apple Farm & Montana de Oro. Favorite hotel from when I was a kid!And the beach is very healing for my soul too. Those cliffs are amazing and the tide pools beneath hold such great treasures! I have an extremely hard time with letting go of expectation and not letting disappointment overshadow what does happen, which sometimes is more magical than the original plan. (but the flue bug in your case is no fun at all!) It will definitely be a new years you remember and talk about for years to come!!!

  7. Katie says:

    Can I just say that the boys’ sweaters are adorable?! I hope that 2012 proves to be healthier for your family… sickness is no fun at all. Happy new year!

  8. jenn says:

    how do you let go of expectations and embrace imperfection? if you’re a firstborn who grew up with 2 firstborn parents and married a firstborn and have only 1 child, it’s HARD!! but God used most of last year revealing my controlling sinfulness, and helped me know that HE could change me by transforming my mind.

    we also had family time during the holidays, and the best advice i had given to me by my sweet husband was to “give everyone the FREEDOM to do what they need to do in order to relax”. WHEW! that saved my bacon more than one time and helped me keep my mouth shut. it turned out to be the most relaxing vacation with my family we’ve ever had.

  9. Meg says:

    My in- laws, sil, bil etc visited us for the holidays. My oldest came down with the flu. He was miserable for 36 hours. My in -laws were less than helpful. They still expected three meals a day plus entertainment. What I did was breathed and tried to enjoy myself. That helps the most just breathing.

  10. Emilee says:

    I always love the photos you include with your posts, Lisa! So sorry you had some sickness mixed in with the holidays. To be completely honest, we were all healthy, but I let fear of sickness ruin my mood more than once over our holiday break. Stomach flu has been running rampant in our community, so I was a ball of nerves worrying that one or all 7 of us would get it. I can relate to your feelings, and don’t have much advice other than continually asking God for His Grace to cover my family. His Grace is sufficient.

  11. Rachel says:

    Love the pictures :) When I need to let go of my expectations , I tell myself, “This is not a crisis”… Then I stop and breathe and pray… I try (and fail many times) to not let myself get worked up over the small things.

  12. Sue says:

    When I first became a single parent, I really struggled with my expectations. I wanted the house as clean and the bank account as full as they used to be. I also wanted some ‘free time’ like I used to have. In the end, I had to realize that my life had changed and needed to accept my limitations and make the best of it. (It sounds much easier than it actually is…I still struggle). But I also have more gratitude than I used to, more grace for myself and others, and I’m much better at laughing at myself. I’ve gotten quite comfortable with being perfectly imperfect.

  13. Linda says:

    Wow, sounds like a packed holiday, but also lots of great bonding time. I hope you and your husband are able to take a getaway soon!

  14. Kelli says:

    I keep that little nugget of time I have coming that is quiet (naptime, bedtime,etc) in the back of my mind and try to enjoy the chaos. But I’m not very good at it! I felt like I spent the break following people and picking up their messes :(.

    The stomach flu came to my house, too. Ick. I spend most of the time caring for my kids thinking, “Please don’t let the grown ups get it!”

  15. Philippa says:

    Hi Lisa, bless your heart, you remind me so much of me sometimes. I also have a germ phobia (especially in terms of food hygiene with chicken and pork etc) and the one thing I know I don’t cope well with is stomach flu (no matter which end it involves, giggle). Crikey, it just makes me want to turn and run for the hills.

    I’m not terribly good at letting go of expectations (especially when it comes to needing my hubby to do something ”now”, not when he’s ready) but the one thing I am good at is realising when I can’t fulfil other’s expectations (like housework, which I am completely useless at no matter how hard I try). I just try to accept that I’m not good at it and if they don’t like it – THEY CAN DO IT, lololol. Big hugs!

  16. Jen says:

    I once read a quote along the lines that stress is what occurs when our expectations do not match with reality. I try to remind myself of this when I am feeling out of control in a situation and it often helps me to adjust my expectations in any given situation.
    So sorry to hear that your holidays were less than perfect, but soon enough the trying moments will fade into distant memory and you will be left with a rosy view of the holiday season spent with loved ones! :)

  17. LOVD says:

    Therapy. Just kidding. Love David’s sweater!!!

  18. aimee says:

    I needed to read this today. Mainly to know I’m not alone. I’m glad you had a beautiful holiday despite the sickies. You have such a sweet family!

  19. Claudine says:

    What a beautifully honest post Lisa. When these “special” times come but once a year and expectations are easily so high, it is hard to let go of them. Especially when life continues to happen as it always done. I don’t have a solution certainly, but it has helped me to pare back little by little each year, and sometimes pick sleep over some of the special extras.
    I admire your honesty and wish you a beautiful 2012.

  20. Karyn says:

    Did you take Matthias to see Tin Tin? I’ve heard mixed reviews on it for kids and would love to know what you thought. Kid movie or not for kids?

  21. EricaG says:

    Sounds like our holiday. Between wiping runny noses and trying to set aside my own intense fear of all sickness, we had fun and enjoyed time together. Happy 2012!

  22. Michelle says:

    Thank you for your honesty and candor, and for sharing real life. Not all moments or holidays are “Hallmark moments”. I love your attitude, and appreiciate your wilingness to “keep it real”.

  23. karla says:

    I love it “How do you let go of expectations and let things be imperfect?” Perfect!!! Thanks!!!

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