Getting Through the Holidays (Follow-up) and Closing Out 2018

Given that the girls have returned to Arizona and we have had our Christmas together, I wanted to do a quick follow-up to my previous post on getting through the holidays (spoiler…  we did!).

But our National Parks did not.

To go over my three recommendations, I certainly stayed busy during the holidays and did not focus on the depression that was being alone.  I played with my starships (as my girls call them), hung out with friends, and kept the house in a state of utter spotlessness.  First goal accomplished.

Reading Gabriella’s favorite book in her bed
Hosting a tea party in the girls’ playroom
Playing the girls’ favorite bingo game with some of her toy friends
Of course, Elaina asked me why he did not eat all of the cookie.  Kids, right?

Needless to say, the Elf on the Shelf got into some shenanigans while the girls were away.  I documented it all and sent them daily pictures.  They loved it.  I also kept them aware that Santa visited, including him eating the cookies and drinking the milk I set out.  Second goal accomplished.  While I have no accompanying pictures (and who would want to see those anyways?), I kept in shape while they were gone and ate healthy.  Third goal accomplished.  Successful single dad holiday alone.

This is gonna hurt…

So I received a text from their Mom that she wanted me to pick them up on the 26th of December, which was a day earlier than planned.  While it forced me to be on the road all day on Christmas (and subsequently eat gas station pizza for Christmas dinner), I am never going to say no to picking up my girls early (and a quick note to anyone involved in a current or future custody fight, I would highly recommend never say no to doing this or giving up any allotted time with your children).  On the drive home from Texas, we were planning to stop by Carlsbad Caverns National Park and White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, but they were both unfortunately closed due to the government shutdown.  While the girls and I were initially disappointed, they were happy because they got to open their presents two days early.  We were all very happy because we made it back just in time to catch the snowfall in Southern Arizona, which was my Christmas gift because I really missed the snow from our holidays in Washington.  And at Elaina’s request, we also built and painted a puppet theater for playtime, which was a fun family experience that I will save for another post.

Two Christmases and travelling by plane and car is exhausting

So we all made it through the holidays, had a great Christmas, and closed out a terrible year.  After New Year’s, we really just rested before we head off to Walt Disney World for our family vacation.  2019 is going to be a truly amazing year.  Thanks again for checking in with us.  Cheers!

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