December is always a hectic time in my home. Beyond the normal holiday stuff, we have birthdays, businesses and a slew of other activities that fill our time and space. This year, rather than overdoing it on the presents, I was committed to being present with may family and friends.
The month started off with an incredible experience In Washington, DC, when I assisted at the Landmark Forum for the first time. I completed the Forum myself this past may in Los Angeles and it left me totally transformed and completely empowered. I was thrilled to be a part of creating that for a hundred and some other people. I traveled to DC with a very good friend of mine having no real notion of what it would be like to go through the Forum again, in a different role. My commitment was to help cause the space for transformation, but what I got was unexpected, and so much more than what I gave. I also had the privilege of sharing that experience with one of my best friends, Brad, who was participating in the Forum that weekend. It was remarkable to see him grow, transform and take on his life in a way he’d never been able to before. I came back to Pittsburgh with an emboldened sense of freedom, power and love for my life and the people in it. What goes on in those rooms, for those taking the forum and those assisting, is truly indescribable. If you haven’t yet taken the Landmark Forum, I urge you to do it. It will change your life.
A few days after I returned, I celebrated my 37th (yikes!) birthday. The number had far less meaning than the people I spent it with. I had lunch with both of my parents, which was so wonderful. I don’t get to spend time with them very often and to be able to have some one on one time with each of them was a blessing. My son, my love, my best friend and my cousin also celebrated with me. It was a perfect, low-key week with my favorite humans.
My son was lucky enough to be born in the beautiful, busy month of December as well, so I jumped right into party-planning mode. My aunt graciously offered us her home to host a superhero birthday party with all of our friends and family in celebration of Micah’s five years of life. We created a day of fun and gratitude and the day was just that.
And, before we could clean up the cake and pack up the car, it was time to get ready for Christmas. Since the year I was pregnant with Micah, I started putting up the tree around Thanksgiving. It’s just easier to get it done and have it to enjoy in the midst of the December madness. So that was one thing we didn’t have to do. Still, all of the Santa shopping, wrapping, gift making, cookie baking and other holiday necessities needed to be taken care of. So we got to work. Micah and I have made gifts for everyone each year, in part as sentiment and also to teach him the real meaning of Christmas. We’ve made all sorts of ornaments in years past, but these year I decided to step things up and make candles. I enrolled Brandon into helping us since it was such a zealous undertaking. It turns out, we had a knack for it.
After making candles for our family and teachers, B and I decided to start a little candle business. He owns a landscaping company so this time of year, he has plenty of free time. So we went for it, thinking we would sell a dozen or so candles for Christmas and see how things went afterward. To our huge surprise, everyone loved the candles. We had people coming back for more and began scrambling to meet the Christmas demand. It’s been a whirlwind, but completely amazing and so much fun. We are tremendously grateful for how much love and support we’ve gotten with the candles. Each one is made with care and love. To check them out, find us on etsy.
The most extraordinary experience of this magical month was taking a trip to downtown Pittsburgh with Micah, Brandon and Adam, Micah’s father. The four of us spent a wonderful evening together in celebration of our son. Micah and I are so blessed to have two men who love us and who are committed to being a whole and complete family. You can read more about our coparenting Christmas here.
We went to church on the 23rd. It was a powerful and moving service with so much musical greatness. We spent Christmas Eve with both my family and Brandon’s, and awoke Christmas morning to beautiful suprise, snow! I can’t recall the last time we had a white Christmas here in Pittsburgh. It was just the sort of thing to remind us of the true miracle and meaning of the season. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
As we wind down, there are just a few days left in the month, and in the year. It’s been a wild one, with both woe and wonder. And I wouldn’t change a single moment.