Grow Old With Me, The Best Is Yet To Be...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Deck The Halls!

I just wanted to share a few highlights of our Christmas Decor (some old, some new) with all of you. I love the way my house looks (so warm and inviting), smells (like apples and cinnamon), and feels (the extra warm gooey lovin' feeling, because let's face it, we have that going on all year long :-) during this season.
The ornament of our very first Christmas together.
Our stockings, a sign welcoming Santa Claus, a phrase that says it all... "Be Jolly" complete with vibrant foil green lettering! And the cookie and milk plate that we set out every year to thank the big guy for his generosity (Thanks Melanie! That set is adorable and I still love it!). :-)
The girls each made a gingerbread house with friends using graham crackers and all of our Halloween candy. Thankfully my mom was visiting when we did these because I think I bit off more than I could chew with me being the only adult with 5 kids... Can you imagine? Haha ;) Among the little gingerbread village are my ornament candlesticks, they are so colorful and make "our spirits bright"!
I love anything sparkly so I snagged this baby up as soon as I saw it! LOVE it!!
A tradition we've been doing for 5 years. I put 3 ornaments in each little door and they decorate the small tree each day up until Christmas. I'm kind of rethinking the 3 ornaments each day because that is 75 ornaments on that little thing. So starting next year, I may put 1 ornament and 2 small treats (hershey kisses?) in each door and they can take turns opening the little doors. It's something they get to look forward to each night before they snuggle into their beds "for long winter naps".
We bought the nutcracker from when I took Mikenna to the Moscow Ballet's: Great Russian Nutcracker back in 2008. We went with Kasey's mom and Windy and Sophie. The other 2 stayed with Kasey - Adiee was only 2 and had no interest in sitting in a seat for a couple of hours and miss Isla was a newborn. My mom bought me that snowflake dish with the star Santa topper, I L-O-V-E it!! As you can see, we have a few candy theives on our hands. And, the handprint Angel is something that stays up year round.
Our tree of course, which is adorned with quite the assortment of ornaments from Kasey and my childhood and ones representing our years together with our children.
I bought Michael Buble's Christmas album, we listened to it while driving around looking at lights and I realized that's what was missing from all of our drives through town, in years' past - the MUSIC (hello!). His music really puts me in the holiday mood like nobody else. Thank you Mr. Buble! :-) And the holidays just wouldn't be the same without curling up to our favorite family movies that I whip out just once a year - Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, Elf, Christmas Story, The Original Television Christmas Classics collection (Rudolph, Frosty, etc...), and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
It really is a wonderful life.

Thanksgiving 2011

Our family has yet again found ourselves "stuck" here in Rawlins, but I can leave off the "all by our lonesomes" this year. I don't even really know how it happened but all of a sudden we have met FRIENDS in this little town!! Haha :) While most of them had plans, I hosted Thanksgiving Dinner at our house this year for us and another family. While I absolutely adore just us 5, it was definitely nice having company... It made it feel less like just another family dinner but with way too much food, and more like the holiday that it is.
On the menu: Turkey (DUH!), Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Sauce, Yams, Pineapple Stuffing, Broccoli Casserole, Stuffing, Gravies, Mashed Potatoes, and Pumpkin Pie! We cooked, cleaned, feasted, and watched "A Christmas Carol" to kick off the Christmas season before Jen and I headed to Casper for Black Friday. Some would call it a waste of a trip because we didn't get much but who wouldn't want to battle full parking lots and stand in line at Kohls for 3 hours for 3 jewelry boxes and 3 hooded towels?? (I know - RIDICULOUS!) It was all in good fun, and the girls did get to see Noni for a bit and go to a movie. We took a nap before heading out to look around some more at all the stores' bare shelves and just decided to go to lunch instead. I had to turn around twice because we forgot something at my mom's house and then realized, while Jen ran into a store really quick, that I had Scott's truck keys. Luckily they were kind enough to come to me this time! I guess patience is a virtue that I truly do have! Haha :-)

Heavy Heart

11/23/11: Tonight I have an especially heavy heart. My mother-in-law, Linda passed. I didn't think I was in the mood to write tonight, but I'm feeling especially guilty because I was going to come down last weekend to see her but Adiee and I came down with this horrible cold/cough that just wouldn't quit. The last thing I wanted to do was go and spread our sickly germs with everyone and possibly prevent someone else from being able to be by her side. The girls didn't understand because the last time we saw her (2 months ago at Nate & Charlotte's wedding) she was "fine".
Watching everyone's reactions as they said their goodbyes was extremely hard on me. I can't stand to see others in such agony. I just sat quietly trying my hardest not to lose control of myself.
The girls stayed in the church nursery with their young cousins during the funeral service. But after everybody had left, Gerry, Maggie, Brandon, Kristin, and Kasey (and families) took the kids back to her burial site for closure and to hopefully help them understand. Crimson and Mikenna's reaction as we stood there was absolutely heart-wrenching. Mikenna hadn't expressed much sadness up until this point; she cried for hours and was difficult to console. She wrote her a note saying how much she loved her and that she wished she would come back... You get the point. I can't hardly talk about it myself, I don't want to make you read it. Adiee wrote her name (and her family's names) on a piece of paper since that's the extent of her writing to this point. They wanted to take it back to her, so we went back again and Kasey buried it so that Grandma Linda would have them forever. It's still surreal to us but we will all miss her dearly.

This post took a while to publish, it's been sitting unfinished for about a month now and even still it is hard for me to conclude...