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December 19, 2023

Hanukkah is Finally Over

YESSSS!!! I feel mostly past the “do things in preparation” stage and into the “actually enjoy the holiday” part of the season. Hooray! I told Josh I felt like we were limping to the finish line. But at least we’ve arrived. (No DNF like we basically had in 2020!)

Both of us would love a few days to “do nothing” but honestly, that is probably not going to happen for a long time. We are just not in the “do nothing” stage of life. But I am excited to generally do less for a couple of weeks. Even with some travel I think it will be generally relaxing. And I won’t be in the office doing clinical work until January 3rd! That is a nice long break and in fact probably the longest I will take for years (I need to watch my vac balance because it’s getting precariously low).

Things I want to pay attention to:

  • SLEEP. I feel like this will be such a nice stretch to get enough sleep. The kids are a bit older AND the weather is cooler so I don’t necessarily have to run at the crack of dawn right now. I really want to feel rested at the end of this break.
  • FOCUS. In my Media Manifesto I outlined some habits I want to change and I have already started working on them. I am going to try to stay on track and practice really good digital hygiene (is that a thing? I mean not distracting myself with ‘checks’, going to scroll, etc) over these two weeks. Thus far I have been tracking my media which is kind of interesting!
  • STUFF. I have mentioned decluttering a lot without a lot of progress to show for it. But on the days I have at home, I am so ready to dive in. Since we are headed to PHL, I am motivated to bring toys/clothing for my niece who is the perfect hand-me-down age.

Past weekend . . .

Now after going forward, a brief look back because last weekend was great!

The Nutcracker was really fun. We drove down in rainy gross weather in two cars (because Josh and Cameron went to a Miami Heat game that night!!) but it was worth it. The kids really enjoyed it too. G got a little antsy towards the end (and I should have brought a snack!) but everyone survived. They all kept singing the music afterwards.

G’s bday party (Sunday) also went really well. We did it at the gymnastics gym where A+G go, so that felt nice and familiar. It was a smaller group (we just invited the Kindergarten portion of her class + 2 other friends – maybe 15 total came?) and I felt like the parents seemed really relaxed too. Cake was an ice cream cake from DQ.

We also had a family Hanukkah party at Josh’s parents, and now everyone has way too many presents. Finally – this school picture came home with G. I can’t figure out why she looks 10 here. Maybe it’s the teeth (my kids are early tooth losers, esp both girls).


  • Reply Coree December 19, 2023 at 6:05 am

    Yay for crossing that finish line! I’m so close I can taste it (signing off at noon tomorrow, and by noon on Thursday, I’ll be sitting on my parents’ porch with a book). I’ve got my list of everything to do, and I think I’ll just about make it. Last night, I was sitting in the airport panicked that I’d lost my new boots… they were on my feet.

    The Nutcracker looks great. We went and saw The Snow Queen in a gorgeous theatre, and really enjoyed it! There was a little comedic relief in the form of a very camp unicorn and T and I haven’t stopped seeing “I’m a horse with a horn… I’m A uni-corn!” since. We’ve even made up a dance.

    I think a chill birthday party is what’s needed. Sometimes I look at these extravagant parties and think “yeah, I’m not sure the kids are getting anything out of it!” We went to one with FIRE DANCERS!

    So many missing teeth. T didn’t get his first until way after 1 and now at nearly 6.5, his teeth are stubbornly in place. He’s bitterly jealous of his pals, and groaned when the dentist said “Oh by the end of next year, he’ll have lost a few…”

    • Reply Heather December 19, 2023 at 6:37 am

      “Limping to the finish line” — I was on a work call last week and used almost that exact phrase to express how I felt about trying to wrap up year-end projects! I don’t know why 2023 has felt especially hard, but I’m definitely ready for 2024.

      Also wanted to say thanks for this space, and the tips and encouragement you always share. Happy holidays and cheers to a new year!

      • Reply Heather December 19, 2023 at 6:37 am

        Sorry, meant a new comment and not a reply!

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 20, 2023 at 11:50 am

        thanks so much Heather!!!

  • Reply Omdg December 19, 2023 at 6:20 am

    I have kind of an obnoxiously busy stretch these next two weeks (OR x5, 24h call, stacked meetings this week… barf) followed by some travel which I *hope* will allow me to unplug. The vacation is designed to be restful, god I hope it is. I should probably remove my email from my phone… I think mostly I need to let go of unrealistic expectations about finishing various projects within a certain timeline which is basically inpossible.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 20, 2023 at 11:51 am

      Oh mannnn I very much hope you get to unplug and relax during the vacation!!! Love the idea of getting email off of your phone. And just letting go and reminding yourself that doing work during that time is just not the point of how you want to use the days! Curious where you are going!!

  • Reply Gillian December 19, 2023 at 6:54 am

    I am excited to be in your position holiday-wise…but I am not quite there yet.

    As for the Nutcracker, my youngest fell asleep during the second act (it was well after bedtime in his defense). As someone who danced seriously through high school and has been in a ton of Nutcrackers, I am just going to say right here that the Waltz of the Flowers is too long! G, I get antsy. The music from the pas de deux at the end though is really some of my favorite classical music.

  • Reply A December 19, 2023 at 6:56 am

    G looks so grown up! My son is about six months younger than her, and I have really noticed how much he is changing (physically, emotionally…) since starting kindergarten.

    “Limping to the finish line” here too. We are in the midst of moving to a new state, kids are finishing school before break, and my husband and I are both sick. Hoping to catch up on sleep and relaxation in the next couple of weeks. Feels optimistic, but we’ll see.

  • Reply Elisabeth December 19, 2023 at 7:19 am

    My mouth may have dropped open that 15 kids is a small party for you!!! In my house, a BIG party is 8 kids and on the “small” years, they’re allowed a max of 4. Yikes.

    Love the Nutcracker picture of the whole fam. So sweet and a nice memory. I also get antsy during the Nutcracker (I was listening to the Girl Next Door podcast this morning and they mention that a children’s picture book is the PERFECT length for telling the Nutcracker story and I have to agree!).

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 20, 2023 at 11:50 am

      haha I think this is a very regional/cultural thing. GIANT parties (often outdoors, often with kids of all ages) are normal here. G’s class which is age 3-6 has 33 kids in it (3-4 teachers) and in other years I’ve invited the whole class – this year I just invited the 14 kindergarten kids + 2 other friends so that was definitely a downshift!

  • Reply Emily December 19, 2023 at 8:00 am

    I also LOLed at 15 being a “small” party! It must be a south Florida thing 🙂 Our “big” parties are in the 10 kid range. Oh my gosh G looks sooo grown up—I did a double take at first that it wasn’t A!

  • Reply Lisa's Yarns December 19, 2023 at 11:01 am

    Wow, G does look so grown up! I think it’s the loss of teeth plus a more mature face – but she is almost a year older than my Paul even though they are both in the same grade level. Her pictures turned out great!

    We are prety much ready for Christmas here but we do not buy a lot of gifts so that makes life much easier for us compared to others. But I am just crossing my fingers that we can celebrate Christmas as planned. We will test the boys for covid on Saturday morning. My MIL is 80 and we do not want to expose her to covid, even though she’s boosted and in good health. So we’ll hold our breaths while waiting for the test results. If either is positive we’ll probably just have a quiet Christmas with the 4 of us…. And it will be sad but it will be ok. I’m trying to talk myself into believing that sentence. That sounds melodramatic but there’s a Christmas Eve party at my husband’s cousin’s house that is SO MUCH FUN. And I will be so sad to miss it. But if we miss it, so it goes. It’ll be like 2020 redux without a nursing infant/sleepless nights…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 20, 2023 at 11:49 am

      Didn’t realize Paul is so young for his grade! A is the youngest “for her grade” in our fam with an April bday. Sending healthy vibes!! Maybe you could schedule a do over (same event just held at different time) if everyone is too sick?

  • Reply Sarah December 20, 2023 at 7:13 am

    This was the first years in a few that we actually lit the menorah every night! gold stars! Honestly, this was my least favorite timing for the holiday– I like it closer to Thanksgiving OR overlapping Christmas– **chef’s kiss for the next 2 years**

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 20, 2023 at 11:47 am

      Hahaha we were doing okay until our decade old lighter ran out of lighter fluid which is actually pretty ironic for Hanukkah since that oil was supposed to last 8 nights!!!!! ahh well 🙂 It’s over and we made it to the other side and now I can NOT worry about it for about 11 months!

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