The past few days have been wonderful for family time. Ray automatically had off of work with the city and this was also our holiday off with our job making reservations.
It was truly nice to take our time & just be. There was an elevated level of patience in our home and it was quite relaxing. You see, for the past several years, most of our days are scheduled around 6:00pm. At 6:00 either Ray or I will get on the phones in the back office and take calls until midnight. The job requires silence in the rest of the house or we can get in trouble with our supervisors - which also adds to the stress, especially when the kids have meltdowns before bed time.
Beginning work at 6 also means a very early dinner for all of us. It also means we don't make plans with anyone or go out to any events together. I'm not trying to sound depressing or down or anything, we've just had to grow quite accustomed to planning our days so that they wrap up by 6.
Which, honestly, it now feels very strange when we have a "free" day when we don't have to be at home & in the office by 6 in the evening.
Yesterday was just such a day & we took some time in the morning to go to the park together. Kate had just discovered this hat &, despite the warm weather, insisted on wearing it.
Addison & Ray played "follow the leader" with Addison as the leader. I don't know where she gets some of these poses!
The girls were not too keen o the lizard that Ray caught. Clay, being a typical boy, had no qualms about trying to grab it in Ray's hand.
Later in the day we all went to Target so that the girls could get a special birthday drink from Starbucks. They thought they were hot stuff walking around with their own whipped cream topped drinks!
And, then, as the magical six o'clock hour rolled around we didn't have to go home, but, instead, went to the mall to watch the Christmas tree light & music show. Luxurious!
If you look really closely in this photo you might be able to see "snow." Yes, even though it was 79 degrees outside, we will make it snow! The funny thing is that all of us Floridians totally love it and the crowd "oohs" & "aahs."
Once at home we put the kids to bed and had one of our eat-junk-food-&-watch-a-movie date nights. In this case, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on the sofa at 9!
Tonight it was back to the early dinner, make coffee, get Clay to bed & start work at 6:00 routine. I'm really ready for us to have flexible evenings not solely dedicated to work, but there's a part of me that thinks it will take a bit of adjustment to get used to that freedom & new routine when the day comes.