Merry Magic

MerryMagicIt is that time of year again. The time when holiday magic is so thick in the air you can practically bottle it and save it for the bad days. As a ‘newer’ parent, I have a new found appreciation for how hard my parents worked to make that magic happen. I want everything to be.just.right.

I remember waking up Christmas mornings, whisking my little brother out of bed, waking our parents, and running directly to the Christmas tree! It was always lit, making the darkness surrounding it glow with soft, colorful light – the kind that can only come from Christmas lights. Beneath it, where it was empty mere hours before, were beautifully wrapped presents in gorgeous wrapping paper adorned with our favorite characters and Christmas scenes. Everyone was happy, smiling, and laughing. The house smelled amazing as mom cooked breakfast and whatever delicious dinner she carefully planned that day. The cookies for Santa were half eaten and the milk was just the right amount of gone. It was childhood heaven!

We are a family of tradition. We knew we could count on certain events and looked forward to them! My dad was a correctional officer. He worked many holidays and many different shifts throughout his career. I remember thinking “How will we wake up and have Christmas morning at 4:00 a.m. if dad is at work”? It always worked out! Sometimes, by some small miracle, dad was actually home all day on Christmas. Our daughter has yet to have that opportunity. Her daddy has worked every Christmas of her short existence. Granted, she’s only 2.5 and she is still figuring out what this holiday is really all about, but it still matters.

Her first Christmas was somewhat of a small nightmare. Ryan was working, of course, and I had just come out of a very difficult, unexpected surgery 4 days before Christmas day. We pulled it off and have all the baby fun on video, but I’m glad she was only 6 months old and won’t remember that one! Whew! Her second Christmas was much better, but Daddy was still working. He worked days last year, so we waited until 8:00 p.m. to partake in Christmas activities. Yes, we had small things for her that morning and throughout the day, but we tried really hard to wait for dad. By 8:00 she was exhausted and opening presents was the last thing on her mind.

THIS year will be much different. First and foremost, I’m just thankful that Ryan will still be local enough to be home! I know many of you don’t have that opportunity and my heart aches for you! Reality is quickly sinking in that this will be the last Christmas he is home home for who knows how long. Trust me, I’m savoring every.single.second. Another thing that is different this year is now he works nights. Therefore, as soon as baby girl wakes up she can run out of her room, see her dad freshly home from the rig, and experience Christmas morning like I did growing up. My mommy heart is bursting at the thought!

We’ve talked about it, and it is weighing heavily on our minds as we approach the end of the rig’s time here locally. Since the boom in our small town has happened his rig has always been right here, an hour and a half away at the most. We’re entering unknown territory, and we’re bracing ourselves for the multitude of changes. I admit it, I’ve had it easy these past 4 years of oilfield life (for the most part). I’m a newbie at having him gone gone, and I’m going to need some major support from my ladies that know what this is all about (I know you’ve got my back)!

Christmas this year will indeed be bittersweet. But we won’t dwell on what’s coming. We’ll be happy for where we are now and what we have. We will follow our traditions and keep making memories that we’ll remember years from now. We will embrace our oilfield life and be thankful for what it has given us. And I will be content knowing that I put my all into making everything just perfect that day as my mom did for me (thanks, mom!).

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! We hope you all find your holiday magic!

About ashley

Ashley and her husband, Ryan, have been married for 4 years. They became an oilfield family in March of 2011. They live in Northeastern Pennsylvania with their 2 year old daughter, Anistyn, and two fur-children: Kora (the manic Australian Cattle Dog) and Jaxx (your typical lazy house cat). Ashley traded in her various degrees and certifications to take on her ultimate dream job of fulltime mommy and wife. When not throwing over-the-top toddler dance parties and reading the same storybook 104 times in a row she enjoys reading her own books, baking, writing, meeting new friends, trying new things, and saving every animal in need on the planet!

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