When All Else Fails, Take a Nap

Each morning I get up early, while the house is quiet, and  make an overly optimistic “to-do” list.  Earlier this week, I got up one morning, picked up the tablet with the list from the day before, and realized I didn’t need to make a new list because I had only accomplished two things off the list from the day before.   Yesterday I had my minor meltdown moment; I called Russ at work and told him it wasn’t humanly possible for one woman to put on Christmas for a family of fourteen.  Then I realized I was nearly alone in the house, so I laid down on the sofa and fell asleep for fifteen minutes. I felt much better.

The Game-A-Day Challenge is harder than I thought!  I find myself running from one task to another and not slowing down enough to play with my kids.  I already wrote about Days 1 – 3, where I would have missed Day 3 if Sunshine hadn’t gotten out of bed and come downstairs. I missed Day 4 completely!  Yesterday was Day 5 and at 9:00 at night, after we got home from a great evening with friends, Russ said, “Have you played a game today?”  I couldn’t miss another day, so rather than get ready for bed, I went to the kitchen where Ladybug was baking cookies and asked her to play a game.  She took pity on me and chose a short game, Operation.  Russ came into the family room and joined us on the floor, and you know what?  We had fun.  It was short, sweet, and we all laughed – then I collapsed in bed.

Andrew and Mimi leave for Texas early tomorrow morning, so we are having Christmas Eve Eve dinner tonight with them.  I’ve planned and printed the menu for the next three days and it is hanging on the refrigerator where everyone can sign up for the foods they would like to prepare.  I’ve done this for several years and it really takes the pressure off of me to cook most of the food myself, or try to rope people into helping as the days go on.  If each person commits to making a couple of things over the three days, it becomes manageable and I am much more relaxed.

I hate to confess this, but I still have a few small gifts to buy, I have not wrapped a single thing, and my Christmas cards are still sitting on my desk!  I am tempted to freak out just a wee bit, but I am resisting the urge.  I have a feeling I’ll be taking lots of deep breaths today.  I have to remember to play a game, too!

The sun is coming up and the sky is a beautiful rosy color – so happy and peaceful.  The photo above was taken earlier this week on another great morning.

#591 – 600 giving thanks

gathering with friends last night

listening to stories of life in Uganda

orphans loved and cared for in safety

a long letter from a friend in New York

a new book for me

childhood friends together, Sweet Pea, Mimi, and Detchy

laughter while playing with Ladybug

cookies baking

grocery shopping done – by Noah and Honeybee

more cookie baking today – and Almond Roca, my favorite

Have a busy, satisfying, and full day; Christmas is almost here.

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This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Kim
    December 23, 2011

    oh, the goodness of a much-needed power nap. 🙂 merry merry Christmas to you and yours!

  2. Jennifer
    December 23, 2011

    you can do it!!! keep asking for help. I would be there in a minute if we lived closer. I will stop complaining about the piddly amount of work left for me before Christmas.

  3. Becky
    December 23, 2011

    I love power naps too! They completely recharge me. I cannot even imagine buying/wrapping gifts for 14 kiddos! Perhaps one of the kids can be your assistant and do the wrapping. Grant took on that role this year and has had a total blast being "in the know" and wrapping everyone's gift! He's very into it! The wrapping isn't perfect, but what a relief not to have to do all of it by myself. Many blessings to your sweet family this Christmas!

    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 23, 2011

      Becky,Great idea! I think I'm going to ask the older kids to wrap for the younger, which will save me loads of time. Merry Christmas!!

  4. Courtney
    December 23, 2011

    we did that! we (older kids) wrapped gifts for the younger and i remember LOVING it!

    praying for you, friend. ENJOY the next few days!!!

  5. Mama D's Dozen
    December 23, 2011

    I love my power naps, too. 🙂

    I'm done with shopping, but haven't begun to wrap. I kind of like the late-night-all-by-myself wrapping session.

    I addressed 100+ cards last night, and now just have to lick the envelopes and put on the stamps. (It's been years since I actually got our cards mailed before Christmas. We usually send New Years cards.)

    My sweet husband is actually amazing in the kitchen, and he loves to put on the holiday dinners. So, I'm just kind of is assistant that day. He even insisted on going into The City for the grocery shopping earlier this week. I do all of the baking on Christmas Eve, and he does the majority of the cooking on Christmas. It's a good deal.

    We will "only" have 8 kids home for Christmas. So sad. We are definitely missing our Big Kids this year, as 4 of them are living across the country. They have all received their boxes of presents in the mail from us.

    Hugs! May your week be BLESSED!

    Laurel 🙂

  6. Kylee
    December 24, 2011

    Growing up, I LOVED playing board games. I would often times pull out a game of Life or Monopoly and pretend to be 2 or 3 people, sitting for hours, playing by myself. The times when we had "family game nights" or when my mom stopped to play with me were always so much fun! All of these years later, I still smile thinking about the fun times I had playing games with my mom. Don't get discouraged in this, you are investing into your kids in such a huge way with this challenge!

    Hope you were able to get some wrapping done and that you have a fun, stress-free Christmas!

  7. Emily
    December 25, 2011

    Christmas lasts twelve days. As long as those cards get out before January 6, we count them as Christmas cards in our house. 🙂 It has helped many, many Christmas cards actually hit the mailbox in years past.

    I am praying that you will have peace in the now and not feel oppressed by that list. Merry Christmas! He is Immanuel.

  8. charity
    December 27, 2011

    merry christmas my friend…you make me smile! here is my suggestion (though the crunch of the holiday is mostly over now) i had baby #8 (Molli, a few weeks early, 5 lb 10 oz) on dec 6th….and darling husband used two full days while he was home after the birth on family leave time, to finish the christmas shopping for the 11 in our house… he enlisted the older ones to do the main wrapping, and grandma took over the stockings…and i stayed in bed! just sayin…you could have a december baby, and instantly, people realize you need HELP! there is an automatic excuse for not sending out cards in advance, though, as she wasn't born yet…i think ours are going out on valentines this year, so she'll be big enough to be in the photos…love your menu sign up for cooking…and i had to smile that someone was up at bedtime in your house baking cookies in the first place…you win! glad you are getting to enjoy a few fun memories in the midst of all the work of pulling off a fun holiday! have a wonderful new year!

    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 27, 2011

      Charity, congratulations on Molli's arrival! I was wondering when your baby was due to arrive. I was just telling Russ that I am totally jealous of my sister-in-law who is having a (very) surprise baby; I love babies like crazy. I'm very, very thankful that the Lord gave me Eby and Little Man when I thought my baby days were done. I'm so glad to hear from you, thank you for taking a moment to write. Oh, and I have books for you!

      1. charity
        December 29, 2011

        i'm glad you're happy we stop to write, some days i feel like i am adding one more thing to your already long list by writing…i know you'll have to find time to READ all these replies…but it does make for some nice connections during days that are filled with demands and children…and not enough other women! I would love those books, whenever you get to that:) not that either of us has time for just sitting and reading around the holidays anyway~i had a surprise day with no kids after christmas as they stayed overnight with cousins…and i speed read 3 books my girls were hoping to read but waiting for me to preview…much harder to find time for that as the family gets older! thanks


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