Saturday, December 31, 2011

Turning another year older....

On Dec. 21st, R turned 8 (and she thinks she's going on 13 sometimes).

We were still Searcy because R had a half day of school left (filling up on candy and chocolate - Joy!). She had to wait all day to get one B-day present and J HAD to get an early Christmas present. :) We then got to have a birthday party for R in Garland on Thursday evening and she got to spend some good times with old friends during the Christmas break.

The 21st also marked the date of Donovan's death and (in a way) I'm glad we weren't in Garland on that day. There were times (while we were at K and G's house) that I was just waiting for Donovan to come walking down the hall. The knot of dread of that day wasn't as bad this year (for me anyway). The old adage of "if walls could talk" still holds true to some extent in that the memories of trying to climb up into the bed at K and G's while I was still prego with J came flooding back.... Thankfully, Jeff was always there to reassure that all is well...

More to follow.....

Monday, December 19, 2011

Antcipation and dread

The above title probably doesn't make sense to a lot of people but this time of year makes me nervous. You would think after three years, it would be easier and not so difficult but it is.

I look forward to R becoming another year older and get caught up in her excitement of having another birthday. I also dread it. I know that one day, she will be asking of when did Donovan die (her birthday). I just pray that she never looses that glow in her eyes when it gets to be her birthday and Christmas. I'm so proud of the young lady that she is becoming and know (as Jeff pointed out) that she has a lot of growing up to do before she could even emotionally handle the fact that her father died on her birthday.

When we were at K and G's for Thanksgiving, I caught myself expecting to see Donovan come walking down the hall sometimes but am at peace that Jeff is always there and he understands. Even the simple task of going to bed brought back not-so-pleasant memories of those countless nights of heaving into bed (and the bed is pretty high off of the floor) to calm a very terrified little 5 year old and wishing I could just get a little boy out of my tummy and that the nightmare would just go away.

The nightmare's have gone and only blessings remain (and the intermittent why-did-that-mental-image-have-to-come-back-now) and I am so thankful to have two healthy children and a loving and patient husband. God knew EXACTLY what He was doing in putting us together. :)

This year will be different in that we won't be in Garland on THAT day but will be able to celebrate with R (and her long time friends) on the 22nd. Jeff will be with us this Christmas as will Jay (K's brother) *at least for a few hours anyway* and J's new appreciation of presents (which I'm sure he will be trying to open more than his own.. LOL). Overall, good times ahead and looking forward to a New Year with my family.

My prayer is that each of you that reads this has a great and safe holidays. That your Christmas time is spent in laughter and joy and if there is some sadness, that it will only be fleeting. Life is too precious to go through it with tears and regret. So, here's looking to some fun, and a bright New Year! :)

Merry Christmas and God Bless!

More to follow....

Friday, December 16, 2011

Why is there more emphasis during this time of year?

I recently read an article that stressed the importance of reaching out to others, thinking of those less fortunate, and spending extra time with family. Society has a whole pushes for doing something that makes us feel good in doing something for someone else or, in getting the best deal(s).

Question: Why should we cater to just one month out of the year? Why not continue the "Christmas season" trend all year long? Are we so concerned with taking care of #1 the rest of the time that we (and the country as a whole) use Christmas time as our meager way of giving back?

God calls us to give of our means every first day of the week with cheerfulness and purpose. Couldn't we all do that with everything else? Would our lives be simpler and less stressful if we take each day as a chance to give and to set aside?

Granted, the holiday time is also difficult for many because there are people who won't be there to celebrate either because they are no longer with us or live to far away. But, people hurt year round emotionally for the same reason. Why focus on just the holidays? Would it hurt anyone if we did the same kind of outreach year round? Could we still be kind and compassionate all the other months of year and still hold Christmas time as a special time?

I am going to make a challenge to myself. Every month this coming year, I am going to give something unexpected to someone (or several people) as gifts (and not because they may/may not have a birthday that month either). Will keep everyone posted as each month rolls along (and yes, I expect you all to help me be accountable for this too!).

More to follow....

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Father knows best

This week has been full of ups and downs (emotionally) for me and today was no different.

In the last few days, I have learned of friends who are expecting and one that just had a miscarriage and the heart hurts for her because I know what that's like (as have others). I also have had a daily lesson from a little 2 yr old who shows what the simplicity of love is by saying two simple words... "Wove ohh" aka Love you. Which is said often and randomly throughout the day (along with impulsive, leg-grabbing hugs).

This morning I got another lesson from the Father that He does know best. A member of the church that we attend has a house that is literally right across the street from the church building. The house has been used by the church office but, since the building has been added on to (and will be moved into soon), Jeff and I found out that the owner of the house was wanting to put the house up for sale. We also knew that there was another couple interested in the house but only wanted to rent it (the husband was recently diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer's). We thought we had a good chance of working something out and moving this coming summer from the rental that we are currently in. This morning, Jeff learned that the couple had convinced the house owner to rent to them anyway. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I was soo hoping to move into that house. It was perfect for us and we would have been able to get the rest of our stuff out of storage and put it to use. I was in tears and got onto myself mentally for getting my hopes set up on something that was concrete to begin with. I am glad that the couple will be so close to the church building and am sure that, as time goes on, the church will be able to help them with whatever needs that they will have.

I then had to just put on the breaks and pray. Who was I to know what was best for my family? I didn't have all the answers and I knew God did. I prayed for strength, guidance, and patience for what His will would be for us. He has always taken care of us (we are blessed to be living where we are now!) and always will as long as we continue to look to Him for everything. Then, I felt at peace. I knew that everything would be ok and that things would work out for our best in the end. It also helps when there's a good sounding board in the form of my hubby to see things in the best light as God would have us to do anyway. We weren't given this life to try and accumulate stuff but to live humbly and uprightly before God and men. Granted, it's not always easy to live life completely in faith but it's what God ask of us.

More to follow....

Monday, December 12, 2011

Late nights, sleeping in the living room and beating a bug

The last couple of days have been pretty difficult for our family.

Last Wednesday morning (0400 hours) J woke up crying and throwing up (which he only did once) and I am thankful that Jeff was willing to help clean J up and getting him settled back down for the night. Wednesday night, Jeff complained of his stomach hurting but didn't really think much about it. Thursday night (0800 hours) R and I started a 6 hour marathon between us of who could run to the bathroom the most (and manage to make it to the toilet in time - needless to say, I won that race). Finally, at 0300 hours on Friday, both of our stomachs decided to behave themselves (YEAH!) but we both ended up spending the night in the living room... R in the recliner and I on the couch (with Jeff holding R most of the time until he finally got to go to bed). We had thought that maybe the bug had just messed with Jeff but sadly, it hit him full force Friday night. Most of Saturday was spent with Jeff sleeping and me keeping the kids quiet so that way he could *much to some tears from J in "miss daddy!*

Needless to say, our diet (up to today) has consisted of juice, 7-up (for me), crackers, and peanut butter. R has been REALLY cuddly with Jeff for the last several days as well which Jeff has eaten up (J gets his time in with Jeff as well) and it's been a really good bonding time for all of us (even when we feel we are at our worst). Thankful that God gives us only what we can handle at a time (as in the case 24 hour time frames). :)

More to follow....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Early mornings and making traditions

This morning did not start off the usual way. It started at about 4:15 AM.

First of all, we had a nice 2 inches of snow on the ground which was pretty exciting to see. Secondly, J was crying almost in a panic kinda way. He had done that before when he had a bad dream so, that's what we thought. Jeff decided to get up and settle him back down and was in J's room before he came back and said that he needed my help. J had thrown up in the projectile fashion so, Jeff cleaned J up and I tackled J's bed... Fun, fun! Once J was back down for the night, I told Jeff how grateful I was for his help. His automatic response was priceless.... "I gotta take care of ma boy". So blessed.

Later, we decided that we would start a new tradition. On the first snow (whether school is canceled or not) the kids would stay home from school so, this morning (unknown to R) we let her sleep in and wake up on her own. Her first two questions were as follows: "Can I go play in the snow?" After having breakfast, her question was "Can I get dressed for school?" I then asked her if she would rather play in the snow than go to school today. Her response was typical of any kid.... SNOW! She played in the snow by herself and then she and Jeff had a nice little snow ball fight and then she tried to make a snow angel. J slept in until 10 and hasn't had much energy today which may explain why Buddy (orange marmalade cat) was sitting on his lap (first time ever!) after supper.

Lots of memories made today and a few surprises and looking forward to whatever is next. :)

More to follow...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Little kisses

Yesterday, Jeff got a pleasant surprise. J gave him a little kiss!

They had been rough houseing a little bit and Jeff gives J a lot of kisses and it always gets him in a giggling fit. Then, J decided he needed to give Daddy a little kiss back (with all the sound effects to go with it).

I was happy about this and a little jealous. J has yet to give me one of those little kisses but, I do get a ton of hugs throughout the day so, I'm happy about it. :)

A little bit later, Jeff and R were able to get some one-on-one cuddle time (which R LOVES!). I was in the room and Jeff made a motion with his hands. In a nutshell, he was acknowledging that R had him wrapped around her little finger. Actually, I think this is true both ways. R adores Jeff and he adores her.

I know Donovan would have been happy about how things have worked out for our family (although I'm sure he would have liked be here instead). I didn't know until much later that Donovan had several middle names on his computer that K ran across it (several months after Donovan had died). I knew that he was excited about J coming but not sure to what extent.

More to follow.....