Love it BF! Thanks for stopping by. I read your thread and yes, we follow a very similar path don't we?

I had some frustration trying to plan my Christmas with my kids, my family's Christmas in which they also wanted to see my kids, and my H's family and my H. That's four different Christmases to wrangle, and yes I know, I focused primarily on making sure my kids' and my needs were met while considering the others as much as reasonable. It's hard because no one seems to want to commit until the last minute to a specific plan with times identified. For my own serentity I like to have that, since I have a lot of competing obligations. Anyway...

Ended up that only I had the kids Christmas eve, which has been our traditional quite family celebration with our presents to the kids and candlelight church service. My two boys gave me the gift of attending church, on time, and then followed the family tradition of misbehaving all through it. In my head I apologize to all the families around us but in my heart I was enjoying their antics very much. My presents to them were necessarily small, so I made sure ahead of time that they understood it wasn't going to be an xbox. S16 had been out shopping with my credit card and he bought me a gingerbread scented candle, what a great kid he is.

Christmas day H came for lunch, by himself bc his mom wasn't well. I spiffed up the main level of the house, put a nice red tablecloth out, and made spaghetti and meatballs and his favorite pumpkin pie. He gave the kids big gifts. S14 said later, hey mom now I love dad more than you. Ho ho ho, I was glad to hear him joke like that.

I bought for him from the kids really nice leather touch-screen gloves, on S14's suggestion that he likes his fancy car so maybe some fancy driving gloves would be good. I thought he might really like a nutribullet like mine so he could have healthy quick breakfast and not take up much of his (shared) counterspace. The kids and I had different opinions about whether it was a good gift or not something he would want or over the top $. So I waited till he was here and hinted about how much I liked mine, would he use one if he had one, and he said yeah so I got it out of the garage. He did seem to be pleased with it.

After he left, the rest of the day was with my extended family and then quick getting the kids packed to go with H to Pittsburgh right from our my-family's dinner at a local nice restaurant. The restaurant was slow and the dryer wasn't drying so we weren't ready for them to go at the stroke of 7, so H got cranky and was kind of a jerk. I shrugged it off because life is easier if we don't all add to the crankiness, but basically the kids ate steaks and fries in under one minute and I left my just-placed dinner to drive them 1/4 mile to our house to their dad because he had already been to the restaurant and wasn't coming back since I had suggested he go to the house to hit restart on the dryer to speed things up. S14 ran so fast into the house that he went flying over the step and hurt himself. We all were bending over backwards to accommodate H's pickiness.

Once all that was over, it sounds like they had a nice time with H's family and friends in Pittsburgh and I enjoyed my very first voluntary two nights without the kids in two years. Of course, my house was still full of visiting family so I didn't get to break out and do something wild or crazy.

So, many good things this Christmas.

Adinva 51, S20, S18
M24 total
6/15/11-12/1/12 From IDLY to H moving out
9/15/15-3/7/17 From negotiating SA to final D at age 50
5/8/17-now: New relationship with an old friend
Happiness is a warm puppy.