Today started out in a rather ordinary way. We had a loose plan for the day, but many details were not firmed up, which always proves to be challenging with four kids. I find that if things are not timed, down to the minute (probably more like the second), everything goes to hell in a hand basket, in short order, which things almost did this morning.
We had too many plans and not enough hours in the day. I went back to the drawing board a few times in an attempt to squeeze everything in and please the masses (a bad habit I need to resolve to give up in the new year). I finally succeeded at re-working the schedule, with not a minute to spare between activities (but completely forgot to schedule in any time for lunch - whoops!). Who needs to eat anyway?
The day started with Miles and Catherine having a playdate with Duke and Olivia (they are siblings and in their respective classes). They were gracious enough to include Garin, Graham and me as well, so that worked out well. The playdate even included s'mores before lunch. Oh wait, there was no lunch. Dessert for lunch it is!
Miles refused to leave Duke's house (which put us behind on our tightly calibrated schedule) so we moved on without him to Catherine's next playdate at Samantha's house, who lives down the street from us. Lucky Catherine was served a delicious Mediterranean lunch there (she was all to eager to share when I saw her later ) while I drove the other two boys to the library to load up on new books. Graham and Garin without stacks full of books is like fish without water, or worse.
I then headed back to pick up Catherine and Miles from their respective playdates (both were glum when I arrived and all but refused to leave). However, since Auntie Laura was meeting us back at home to drop off some handmade ornaments for Christmas, I had to be rather insistent they come with me. Eventually they acquiesced. Admittedly, leaving a friend's house is never easy.
We had a nice visit with Auntie Laura and her dog Tilly, albeit short. The kids and I opened our exquisitely wrapped packages to find the most beautiful personalized ornaments inside, each with our initials and the year. We gave Auntie Laura some homemade oatmeal cookies to take home in return, which paled in comparison to her magnificent ornaments.
As soon as she left, we scurried to get ready for our evening. We quickly changed into some festive clothes before heading out to grab an early dinner. From there we were off to The Nutcracker! This was the kids' first live performance and it did not disappoint. The tickets were passed on to me from my hairstylist, Daryl, who couldn't use them and the seats were superb (Founder's Circle, dead center). It was glorious and quintessentially Christmas. Miles complained a bit that he was tired and bored (what can you expect from a he-man six year old), but everyone else seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience. It was magical and the perfect ending to our first weekend of Christmas Break.