Sunday, December 23, 2012

There's No Time To Waste There's So Much To Celebrate

    The title of this post was taken from the song Believe by Josh Groban.

      My mom gave a talk today in church on family traditions and this got me thinking about our family traditions, especially during the holidays. Growing up we would wake up early on Christmas morning and mom would fix a big breakfast for us. We had to wait for Grandpa to come over and then we all ate breakfast together. Then dad would let us pick one gift from our pile and we would each unwrap a gift one at a time. Dad would video us as we opened our first gift and then he would tell us to jump in and we would make a mad dash for the tree to open everything else. After we were done we would go to West Virginia to visit my mom's family. We would spend the day there and then drive home. Now that we are older our family gets together on Christmas Eve and we have dinner and open gifts. Once Mike and I were married, his mom, sister, and brother always came to visit on Christmas Day and we would exchange gifts and visit. We would then visit Mike's dad the day after Christmas.
     I've always kept the tradition of having the kids eat breakfast before opening gifts and then they each open one gift as I video them.  John wants to start giving the kids one present to open on Christmas Eve so we will start that this year. This year we have a bigger house so, for the first time, we are hosting my family's Christmas Eve get together. I'm pretty excited about it.  I have ideas for things I want to do next year. I've always wanted to have Christmas cards made with a family picture on them and I'm hoping we can start that next year. 
     The kids and I are visiting Mike's dad tomorrow and we will see everyone else on Christmas. The day after Christmas we are flying to Arizona to spend a week with John's family. I haven't met his mom or dad yet so I can't wait. I am so grateful for my family and for the time I will have to spend with them this year. 

What are your Christmas Traditions?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Catch A Magic Moment, Do It

The title of this post was taken from the song Right Now by Van Halen.

Mason was sick last weekend and running a fever. On Monday he stayed home from school and John took him to the doctor. The doctor said he had strep throat and they put him on antibiotics. Mason was given an excuse for school and told he couldn't go back until Wednesday. He went back to school Wednesday and that afternoon his teacher came to my room with this funny story.

Earlier in the day Mason had told his teacher that he wasn't contagious anymore and that was why he was able to come back to school. Later that day he walked up to her and said

"I'm not obnoxious anymore."

She smiled and said "I think you mean your not contagious anymore right?"

"Yep, I'm not contagious anymore."

I couldn't stop laughing.

     On another note have I mentioned how much I love John for loving everything that is crazy about our family. For Christmas, don't tell the kids it's a surprise, John bought each child two 3D Star Wars puzzle and put them together for the kids. He ordered these really cool frames and framed them so they can hang them in their rooms. Last night we had the following conversation.

John holding up the pictures.

"So, what do you think?"

"I like them and I think the kids will too."

"I don't know. Tyler told me the other day that she didn't really like Star Wars."

This kind of surprised me.

"I don't know. I guess maybe she always watched it because Mike loved it so much. Maybe she never really liked it like he did"

"Yea, that's what I thought, but this gift will be something she can look at and remember him."

John loves the kids like they were his own. I was deeply touched at the time, energy, and money he spent to give them all gifts that they will not only love, but a gift that helps them remember their dad and the things he loved. I love him for loving them and for encouraging them to keep his memory alive.

Monday, December 17, 2012

And I Can't Remember How It All Began To Break

The title of this post was taken from the song Fade Away by Breaking Benjamin.

Last night I picked up a folded piece of paper from the coffee table and read.

"Chorus - Remaining Concerts"

It's from Sebastian's chorus teacher at school. I scan the list of dates, most of these concerts have come and gone. At the bottom something catches my eye.

"Friday, Dec. 14 - Party - bring food or 2 liter"

"Sebastian did you have a party in chorus on Friday and were you supposed to send in something?"

"No, the party was moved to Monday."

"Tomorrow?"

"Yea"

"So, do you need to bring something for it?"

"Don't worry about it mom. I'm sure the teacher won't mind."

"Hun, what are you supposed to bring?"

"She just asked us to bring in something to help out. It's okay don't worry about it."

My face falls a little as I realize that this has been an ongoing theme between us since his dad died. I forget something that's going on, something he needs for school, or something else important and he always tries to cover for me. How many times in the last 19 months have I let the ball drop on something, only to hear him say "It's okay mom don't worry about it." How many things have I forgotten and left for him to worry over. How many times has he let go of something that may have been important to him simply because his mom didn't have it together. I wasn't perfect before, but I still can't seem to keep things together. My 13 year old young man has had to grow up so much over the last almost two years, and it makes me sad. When will I get it together?

     

Saturday, December 15, 2012

But The Prettiest Sight To See Is The Holly That Will Be On Your Own Front Door

     The title of this post was taken from the song It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas.

     Friday at school several classrooms got together to make gingerbread houses. It was so much fun that I decided to do it with the kids at home. We took two milk cartons and hot glued them to a small styrofoam tray. This has to be the best way ever to make gingerbread houses. They had so much fun!

















Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Precious Moments, Special People, Happy Faces, I Can See.

     The title of this post was taken from the song Somewhere In My Memories...and I know it was on the movie Home Alone.   :)

     Sebastian looked so handsome in his dress clothes as he sang. Last night was his chorus concert for school. I have to admit that I got a bit teary eyed as I watched them sing. Not  only did they do an amazing job, but I couldn't have been more proud of the young man he is turning into. Tyler had a chorus concert last night as well. John went to hers, thank you John for loving them, and I went to Sebastian's. We both videoed them so that we can sit down as a family and watch. I can't wait to see hers. 
     I am so grateful for the many talents my kiddos have, and for their dedication in growing those talents. I was so shy growing up. I remember wanting to try out for the school chorus in the fifth grade, but I was just to shy to do it. Sebastian tried out for District Choir about a month ago and he was picked as an alternate. I never would have had the courage to sing in front of a panel of judges like that. I am so proud of who they are, and while it's hard not having their dad here with them I know he would be proud of them. 
     It hasn't really felt like Christmas this year, but maybe I've been focusing on the wrong things. Maybe now I'll choose to focus on what really matters during the Holiday Season. 



Sebastian after his concert. December 11, 2012


Tyler after her concert. December 11, 2012



Sunday, December 9, 2012

Just A Day, Just An Ordinary Day

The title of this post was taken from the song Ordinary Day by Vanessa Carlton.

Running from the school to the car Mason yells...

"Mom, last one to the car is a stinky shoe!"

"Sweetie, mom has a headache and doesn't feel like running to the car."

Mason slows down and walks ever so slightly behind me.

"Mason, you can go ahead hun."

He stops to look up at me.

"Don't worry, I'll be the stinky shoe today." 

     I'm certain I could not ask for a more precious six year old. 


Monday, December 3, 2012

Every Breath I Breathe

The title of this post was taken from the song Beautiful You by Trent Monk.

"My God Sebastian even walks like his dad." 

"I know right!"

This past week I was most grateful for this one little comment made by a friend as he saw Sebastian warming up for his basketball game. Thank you Darrell for remembering...sometimes I feel alone in my grief and it's nice to know others remember those small things about Mike, and it made me smile to know that others see him in the kids.