my stress level is climbing

Did you know we’re under two weeks until Christmas? We have two Christmas countdown things and everyday Bailey reminds me just how little time I have to get a whole lot of shit done. This morning I sort of yelled at her and told her I didn’t need to be reminded! I immediately apologized of course.

I think it is a combination of complete lack of sleep for the last 6+ weeks and an insane amount of soda, no water and possibly an overdose of vitamins as I try to combat the crap I normally put in my body that’s put me in a crabby mood. The mood comes and goes though.

Taking over Fresh Art is finally and really starting to sink in. It has me up late at night stressing out. Which does not help the few hours I actually get myself in bed. Terrified doesn’t even begin to describe it. It’s not helping that no one is booking right now.

Oh Christmas. December started off so strong. Our house is decorated, our tree is beautiful, our lighting scheme is working and almost every gift is purchased. Oh and our Christmas cards are all out. I should feel ahead of the curve. But I don’t. I feel like I’m drowning in needing to wrap gifts and class parties and Fresh Art cards needing to be addressed and teacher gifts to deliver. Every single year I’m up until 3-4am on Christmas Eve finishing my wrapping and I’m so scared that will happen again I’m working my ass off right now. And yet every night I crawl into bed wishing for just a few more hours in the day.

Back to Fresh Art. My to do list is what’s keeping me up. Oh my gosh you guys. Re-inventing pricing and packaging and ordering and web presence takes freaking forever. Finishing up orders so clients have them for Christmas. Seriously, I have to stop writing because it’s giving me a migraine.

Money is hard too. I mean, it’s ok right now, but the slow winter months freak me out and now we have a mortgage to pay. I need people to start booking. And fast.

If I could stop working for one week and just tackle my to do list I think I would get it all done. As if that is going to happen. I’m just so tired of tackling it all from 8pm-1am I could scream. Give me 9am-8pm three days in a row and I’d feel SO much better.

Our Elf on the Shelf, Elfkin, is driving me insane too. I can’t tell you how many nights I’m drifting off to sleep and OH SHIT FUCK SHIT I FORGOT TO MOVE THE DAMN ELF! Sorry. But that’s seriously what goes through my mind as I haul my butt out of bed to go get creative throw him in the first place I find. Twice already I’ve forgotten him and you should see my kid’s faces. It’s like I just told them Santa isn’t real. Does this little tradition stress anyone else out?

Oh and I’ve sucked up our Advent calendar completely too. I had all these grand plans and big lists of kindnesses to do for other people. We’ve done about four together and everyday I forget I try to do just something myself to make up for it. The sweetest thing we did was buy, wrap and deliver earrings to the woman that sells me my soda every morning at QT. She wears big dangly earrings everyday and the kids love her so we surprised her the other day. Her face totally made up for all the times I’ve just forgotten.

I didn’t budget this year at all and while I wouldn’t say we’ve gone overboard on the kids, it’s all the other outlying people that feel like they’re costing an arm and a leg… but I keep thinking of someone I forgot. My love language is gift giving and this season is really hard for me and our bank account.

The kids made their Santa list a couple of weeks ago and Bailey specifically asked for no toys. Seriously? She’s 6. She wants a new bike and jeans and books. How can she be growing up so fast?

Ok. It felt good to vent I guess. At least some day when my girls are moms and feeling stressed around Christmas I can show them this and encourage them to simplify the hell out of everything!

10 thoughts on “my stress level is climbing

  1. Honey, I don’t know you from Adam, but I read your blog and I worry about you! I know you say your “love language” is giving gifts and crafting, but I bet if you didn’t do any more crafts or activities with your kids except for sitting on the floor playing with them every night or letting them pick an extra story to read before bed (not to mention getting 8 hours a night of sleep and being fresh for the day)… those are the things they will remember so fondly and that will “speak love” to them. And you might feel better too. I hope you don’t take offense at this — just consider it a different perspective. Sending you a hug from the west coast.

  2. The bookings will come. You JUST announced two new kind of photoshoots that you are going to be offering and it may take some time for the Holidays to pass but the bookings WILL come. So, if no one is booking right now why do you have to stress out about getting the packaging, pricing and new FreshArt stuff done right now? Can’t it wait until after the Holidays? I know you WANT to get it done and if I know you, you probably want to start 2012 off with all new stuff and a new feel for the new FreshArt, BUT does it really matter if it doesn’t happen until Jan 10 or Feb 10?
    TAKE A VACATION! Get what absolutely HAS to get done for clients before Christmas done. Set up an automatic response on your email to everyone else that says I am taking FAMILY TIME during the Holidays and will get back to you at the beginning of January.
    You have always believed in God’s power to provide in your life. His timing has not always lined up perfectly with what you had envisioned for your life but He has always worked it out. He will continue to provide and work things out. The bookings will come, the mortgage will get paid. Just give it over to Him! And then get some sleep!!!

  3. Hey- set your iPhone alarm to go off every night around 10:30pm to remember the darned elf! A friend suggested that and man is it a life saver. Goes off every night and boy am I glad it does as it’s saved my tush a lot! Also, let go of all the gift stuff, especially with the teachers. I’ve been one and am close to tons and I tell you, they don’t want ANY of it! Give them a gift card and call it a day. All those cutesy, handmade personal things with their name and apples and the kids, etc end up in a closet and eventually in the trash. Sounds terrible I know, but could you imagine getting a dozen personalized picture frames year after year after year? Give them a gift card to Target or Starbucks and a cute handwritten card (from the kids!) and they’ll be THRILLED! Cut yourself some slack and know that a quick note is just as much a love language as anything.

  4. We didn’t even put ornaments on our tree this year. Or lights on our house. OR take the elf on the shelf out! So you are winning. ;)

  5. You have 364 OTHER days to thank and appreciate all the “fringe” people in your life, and that will go further if you aren’t trying to cram it in just because Retail says you should. Give yourself a break!

    Not every meal needs to be an event, it just needs to be a meal. The same can be said for holidays and birthdays and other events in one’s life. You can’t force a “memory” any more than you could control the color of your children’s eyes or hair, so just go with what you are given and quit letting Hallmark tell you what to do. It’s soooooooo much easier, and your children will have memories — of whatever was special to them (which isn’t necessarily what’s important to you).

  6. The teacher gifts could be the first thing to go. I was told by a teacher one year (when I was stressing out about how many different teachers my kids have and how many different gifts I had to make for them) that gift cards are their FAVORITE. So we started giving gift cards and it’s soo much better. We spend one evening making cards, the kids sign them, we stuff in a gift card and we’re done. No stress. Remember that you don’t have to do it all. You don’t. I tell myself all the time “There’s a time and a season for everything and this is NOT my season for…(fill in the blank. whatever it is that’s stressing you out that really isn’t going to matter in the grand scheme of things.) I get the stress. It sounds like you are carrying so much on your shoulders that it’s crushing you. Cut out the crap that doesn’t matter. For reals. Sending lots love your way!

  7. You need to read this woman’s blogs about her Elf on the Shelf fail and the crazy people who go way overboard with it. All of the laughing will help your stress level :) peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.​

  8. *love* your blog.
    I do the “ohshitfuckshitfuck” elf song & dance too. This morning I raced downstairs while the kids were brushing their teeth and tossed him into the freezer. The kids were in awe that he was in such a frosty place and thought Christopher (our elf) must miss the North Pole. whew!

    Last year we were up till 4am on Christmas Eve putting together an indoor mini-trampoline. WTF were we thinking?! It has been super awesome to bounce the sillies out during the loooong, snowy Chicago winters though. This year I made certain we didn’t purchase anything that needed assembly. Grandma, however, bought a train table. I’ll pass the hubs the allen wrench and a cold beer at midnight next weekend :o ) Merry Christmas!

  9. forgot to move the elf last night… explained to maddie that Archibald told me that there was a terrible snow storm and that it was too dangerous to travel, so he just didn’t go back to the north pole, and decided to stay where he was for the night.

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