After all the anticipation and the counting down the day arrived. With excitement and as much energy as we could muster at 5:30a we got up with the kids. I made scrambled eggs for the boys and I was able to put together a veggie omelet for myself. Parker was still sleeping and was the only reason why the presents weren’t mauled the moment we hit the living room. Preston kept pulling down gift, after gift… he would examine it with his pudgy little fingers and then caress the bows. After a thorough examination he would would look over the bow one last time and then rip it off. I was saddled with a pile of bows in a matter of seconds.

I totally get the excitement over Christmas when you are a child. But, this time around. When I am the parent or “grown up” it seems to be even more exciting. I thought that I would be bored, but I was the one reading off the gift tags and handing out presents. Then to see their little faces light up when they got a gift they really, REALLY liked, it was like Christmas was that much more fun. Peyton would dance around with the present he got and show it to Parker who was sitting in he high chair. When it was Parker’s turn to open a present, Peyton would be the first to volunteer to “help her” (cause we all know he practically opened it up all on his own) and then get all excited over it. Preston on the other hand went to all presents and would take it to Ben and say, “Dad open, peeaaassss!” Everything was “open peeeaaaaasssss!” until everything was opened and assembled. After all the kids gifts were open Ben and I just kinda finished opening ours on our own. After all, the kids had much more fun and less practical gifts. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

All those nights wrapping and all those rolls of wrapping paper gone in a matter of 20 minutes. Of course it was worth it, but it was still a hot mess of bows and wrapping paper. We filled almost two garbage bags full of just wrapping paper and bows. Parker made the bows worth it because she allowed me to stick one bow on her head for the majority of the morning. It was quite adorable. We got to FaceTime my family while they watched the kids open their gifts and they were able to open their gifts from us as well, so it didn’t feel completely lonely. I liked hearing from my parents and brothers. It made me miss them so much.

At the end of the day as much as I missed my family I know that the decision to come out to Texas was well worth it. Ben and I are starting to feel like Texas is home and not some foreign area that we are just visiting. I think this first Christmas on our own was an eye opener. We can do it. It’s not easy and it has its moments that you don’t particularly like, but I felt like we (my family from afar and Ben and I) still made it special for the kids. That’s all we really needed.

It’s the start of week 4 on Whole30. I have completed a full 3 weeks and am on day 22. Our Christmas meal was all Whole30 compliant and delicious. I made this rump roast and it was perfect. The garlic and the thyme and rosemary I added was delicious. But, the instructions on how to cook it was perfect. It wasn’t dry or tough. It was nice and tender and even as leftovers it was still moist and juicy. I loved it and it was cooked to perfection. I made my Brussels sprouts and butternut squash, baked sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli and garlic green beans as sides. All that food made for some incredible leftovers. I finally polished off the last of it yesterday in a salad.

At the beginning of this Whole30 journey I thought I was going to be completely miserable. I thought that I would be regretting doing it through what is arguably the hardest time of the year (all the foods and sweets around). Now that I made it through Christmas successfully I know that I made a good choice. I was able to plan and execute a great Christmas dinner and I have been able to avoid all the copious amounts of sugar. I am glad that I am getting closer to my 30 day mark. It begs the question if I will continue it or go into the reintroduction phase. I suppose the closer I get the more clear that answer will become. I am already leaning one way, but I will leave that to another blog, another time.

I have noticed some more things about my Whole30 adventure. I have been having minimal to no cravings, which is new for me. I have also been noticing my skin is clearing up and is a more even, bright color. I have been sleeping much better. And TMI warning: My period came and went without a hitch. No severe cramping, no intense bloating, my mood swings were at a minimum and I felt like I had more patience with myself and the kids. It seemed like my eating has changed some things pretty significantly. I am happy about the changes I have been seeing in my emotions and skin, but physically too. I have noticed my midsection is smaller. I don’t know if my body is burning fat differently or maybe re-proportioning some of my weight, but I have definitely noticed it in the mirror.

I have 9 more days till the 30 days are up. I am excited and very proud. I know I can do it and I feel empowered to make things last. I did however get a pretty weird dream. I was having lunch with my parents and everything was Whole30 except some crutons! HAHAHAHAHAHA! I freaked out over the croutons and went to get some alcoholic beverage with Bailey’s in it. I even purchased a whole bottle of Bailey’s to bring home and recreate the drink because I was wallowing in my misery of the croutons. HAHAHAHA! Oh my dreams… but either way, I will keep you all updated on how things are going. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday season. On to the New Year!

What are your plans for the New Year? How was your Christmas? Are you planning anything big? Do you have a tradition that you do regularly?

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