Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a planner. Its in my blood. I am maybe a little overyly obsesive about planning. But those who know me well, mostly all love me anyways. :)
So, I had all my plans laid out for today, Christmas Eve, weeks ago. Sure, there were a few loose ends that had to be tied up in the past week or so, but for the most part it was all neatly orchestrated in my head. Sometimes though, no matter how well you plan, even if its down to the tiniest detail, things happen... life happens... and your plans get blown away in the wind.
Today was one of those days, that plans just didn't really matter. I had planned to have my brother and his family over, as well as my mom (who has already been staying at our house since having her big surgery) for a nice Christmas Eve dinner tonight. The plan was to serve a good 'ole Cajun Christmas, just like the ones I grew up with my MamMaw making (whom I miss more than I ever thought I would), with some serious Gumbo and Muffalettas. What I did not plan was for my week to be so crazy and busy that I wouldn't be able to find time to go to the store until the last minute. Once I realized it would be, however, I did plan to go to the store when I got off work last night. Only I didn't plan to be so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open. So, my new plan was wake up first thing this morning with London Paisley and head out to the store. This wasn't too big of a deal, seeing as how it was already in the plans to go into town to take the kids to see the Jolly Old Man.
Sounds easy enough, right? Christmas Eve, wake up super early, run around and gets erronds done, be home by 10(ish), start the gumbo, have relaxful time with the family until lunch, have light lunch, get the family ready and head out to our church's candle light service, be home by 3:30 and finish getting ready for the dinner tonight, and finally have our big Christmas chindig. Yep. Easy enough. As of last night, that was the plan that was completely mapped out (down to what the kids were wearing all through out the day (yes... with three outfit changes each.. I know, I know).
What I did not plan, I could not have. It snowed. A lot. A whole, whole lot. And messed up ALL of my plans.
My day went more like this (hold onto your seat, its a lot to follow!):
Got up at 6:30 with London this morning, acording to plan.
Had some unplanned, but much loved, girl time with my mom in her bed, snuggling up with London. This is when I found out about the snow.
Panic sets in at about 6:45 when I realize that my brother may not even be able to make it to our shindig tonight, and we can't change our plans to tomorrow, because we already plan to make our trip to Mississippi at about noon.
We go round and round about how we can work it out.
I finally decide at about 7:30 just go get done what has to get done, and leave the grocery shopping for last, that way we can see if the plan works out or not... also known as this strange thing some people do, "playing it by ear"-I for one, am NOT a fan of this method.
Get the whole family dressed and finally get out the door a little before 8.
The next couple hours, take a little longer, but do not involve any snow, and go quite smoothly... almost like they were going according to plan.
Then, wile we are still out, it starts to snow a little. And my brother watches the weather channel to find out that it is going to actually be snowing a lot.
We decide to move the get together up to "12pm to 1pm"- depending on traffic, due the pesky, beautiful snow.
Panic set in because its already 10:30(ish) and I still have quite a bit to get done. And gumbo is out of the question because there is not enough time to cook it. And I don't really have plan b. I don't really do those.
I gather myself and decide we will do some fanastic finger foods. We decide on WingStop. I decide that we need a little something extra, because thats just not enough food, and decide to go to Walmart. Plus, the baby really needs diapers.
11:00am, I have two hours (or one... depending on traffic) to get to Walmart and Wingstop, which should not be a problem because they are ony about 15 min away.
Really LONG (because, really... this is already a long enough story) and EXHAUSTING story short, It takes me much, much, much longer than I had planned to be done with my "quick run out" and I get home about 15 min after my brother's family has arived. And I bring cold wings and fries with me. And some very yummy dips.
Brother has to leave in a bit of a hurry because he has to drive back in the weather, which is only getting worse at this point. So, my nice sit down dinner party (with gifts to follow) tunrs into an "eat quickly and open presents fast" thing.
Once they leave, we hang out for a bit and play in our unplanned for snow and get ready to go to the later candle light service. Once we are all dressed, and walk out the front door, we realize that this crazy storm has blown in a TON of snow in the past half hour, and we can not (or did not) drive in it to church.
So we scrap that plan, and the rest of them too, and just hang out and play in the snow and with our new toys.
Nothing went as planned. Really, pretty much nothing.
But you know, after the initial craziness of my plans getting blown away in the... snow... Today was one of the best Christmas Eves that I have ever had.
I had planned to have a little time to relax with the family this morning. But instead I had a ton of time to relax with them tonight. My kids got to really play with their things and enjoy them, and each other.
I surely didn't plan the snow, but would have cancelled every plan from now until the New Year to get to see the looks on my kids faces when they walked outside into our Winter Wonderland. They sounds of their giggles were worth more than all the money in the world to me.
I was a bit sad that we didn't get to have much of a Christmas gathering as a whole family, but I am glad my brother and family were able to get home before the weather was too bad.
Lesson learned this Christmas Eve; While going with out a plan is not something that I am usually very comfortable with, it is not always the worst thing in the world. In fact, "going with the flow" can actually turn out to be quite delightful. Very delightful, in fact.