Remember that post about messiness, in which I said that I was able to keep my house cleaner now? And how I said that I wouldn't be less of a person if my house were messy again due to life circumstances? Well. Life and its circumstances have happened. But I think that it's far more important to show you this adorable photo of Elvie "doing the laundry" (yes, those are dirty socks she's wearing on her arms) than it is to wipe out the evidence of the leak in our laundry room, the cats' half finished dinner, and the sheets that are supposed to be folded and stored.
The creatively wrapped gifts get a pass, because Zinashi bought that paper and tape (and one gold bow!) with her own money, then found things to wrap up as Christmas gifts. In fact, I probably shouldn't have blurred them out so much, because how adorable is that? And kind and loving and giving? Before now, you may have been thinking that it was too early to be thinking of Christmas, but can you say that now? Can you look my generous seven-year-old in the eye and say that it is too early to be planning for the gifts that go under our tree? I bet you can't. You'd better just get started with your holiday shopping and decorating.
I have actually done most of the holiday shopping for the girls already. As much as I am looking forward to being in Ethiopia again, I am also looking forward to being back in London and enjoying the holiday season as a family, with all of the big happenings of this year behind us. So I took care of what is, for me, the most stressful part of the holiday season, so that we can come back and focus on the tree and the decorations and the holiday lights in the city and simply being together in a time that is not rushed. Because so much of our year has been rushed, and right now in particular feels like we are in a big rush.
Tomorrow is our big packing day. Monday we will get the house in order and do hair. Tuesday we will fly out in the evening, and on Wednesday we will find ourselves in Ethiopia. It's getting real.