Lucky Seven Family

Tag Archives: Holiday


It’s Christmas Eve and I am enjoying a quiet evening alone.  Yes, alone.  It sounds sad and lonesome but don’t worry about me! I’m not sad or lonesome… I am GRATEFUL!  I’ve spent the weekend in Vermont with my husband and his children; celebrating his BIRTHDAY.  We spent the day making Christmas cookies, sausage cheese balls (a Gatlin family favorite, inspired by many childhood breakfasts), and had a scrumptious meal and cherry cake to finish off the day of festivities.

My children are with their dad and his girlfriend.  My son called me to tell me he loved me.  My daughter called me to say the same.  I am GRATEFUL for an ex-husband and his girlfriend that love my children and care for them deeply.  Importantly, I am GRATEFUL that we are able to share our children’s lives in a loving and kind way without petty bickering or hateful interactions.

Tomorrow is Christmas and I will be surrounded by my family; enjoying breakfast, opening presents in front of the fire, snuggling with our pups, laughing and smiling.  Tomorrow I will be GRATEFUL for the wonderful life I have.

Tonight, I opened a GRATITUDE JAR that I started in early 2017.  We weren’t great about writing notes but there are a few that make me laugh and smile.  Here are the things LUCKYSEVENFAMILY was GRATEFUL for in 2017 (at least the ones that someone wrote down!  There are SO many more things we are GRATEFUL for every day).



I am grateful for LuckySevenFamily and all the complexity and richness of life it brings to all of us!

I am thankful for the sunshine, for my children’s laughter, for my husband’s hugs, and for great meals together


Time with my kids!

Elaina helping take care of me when I was sick

Alex:  he is tall, Mom:  that she is nice and spoils me, Russell:  he is funny and hopefully will convince mom to get ice cream

Mom:  grateful for your supporting my lavish lifestyle, Russell:  grateful for you helping me with projects, Elaina:  grateful for you to be annoying

Happy Holidays from LUCKYSEVENFAMILY!  Enjoy and be GRATEFUL!

Christmas Plans – Part 2

In my last post I shared how my ex- and I manage Christmas holidays…

Now, for Russell and his kids:

Russell and his ex-wife have a very set schedule that we rarely sway from.  They alternate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day every year with the following schedule:

Christmas Eve 5pm to noon on Christmas day (Parent #1)

Christmas Day noon to 8am the following day (Parent #2)

The week b/w Christmas and New Year’s (Parent #1)

Santa visits each home separately and there is very little, if any, coordination of gift planning.  Even with that, there are usually not too many duplicate gifts to deal with so that is helpful!  Russell plans a decadent Christmas meal each year and either has that for Christmas Eve dinner or for Christmas Day dinner.  One year dinner was lobster and steak – talk about yummy!  His brussel sprouts are to die for too!

Dedicated Dad:

His children participate in a church nativity scene each year on Christmas Eve and being the dedicated dad that he is, he always attends their play whether he has them for Christmas Eve or not.

Couple’s Christmas:

So, when do Russell and I exchange gifts and celebrate our Christmas together?  Based upon the different schedules we usually either have a little quiet time together on Christmas Eve or late on Christmas night.  Our first focus is on our children and families; whether that means we are separate with them or we are all together as LUCKY SEVEN FAMILY.  Regardless, we always find time to enjoy an hour or two of quiet time and celebrate together.

Lessons Learned:

Over the years, I’ve realized that putting pressure on ourselves to make our crazy lives “perfect” is NOT the goal.  Happiness and contentment is the goal; for us and for our children.  Thus, no matter when it is that we can bake cookies, open gifts, share a Christmas meal, we always make sure that everyone in LUCKY SEVEN FAMILY knows that our Christmas is about fun, love and gratitude.  It may take some extra planning but in the end we are building a strong family with ties that will last for many, many years.

It’s late, but Happy Holidays to all of you!! Hoping our experiences help you in making your experience positive ones!