Well my oh my, it's been a bit of time since I wrote on here. I think about it all the time but life has been so busy these last few months so I haven't sat down to write. I am not happy with how busy life is. There are things I want to do but feel like I can't fit them into the day. I'm sure you know exactly what I mean.
Just a short update about how we are:
We made it through the holidays. I really didn't want to be home for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
For Thanksgiving we went with Jason's mom and dad to Disneyland. It was really nice to all be together (I did miss my family as they were all together at home). We spent three days in the Magic Kingdom. We ate a traditional turkey dinner with Goofy and his pals and then enjoyed the snow and fireworks at Disneyland afterwards. I enjoyed watching Janell and Nathaniel spending time with their Nana and Papa. Such great memories created.
I have to admit that right after Thanksgiving I started feeling very sad again. It was going to be our first holidays since Madelynn passed away. There was supposed to be an addition to our holiday festivities. Everywhere I looked I couldn't help but think about her and what should have been. I didn't say anything to anyone and not to Jason. He was so busy getting ready for the church Christmas program and I didn't want to burden him with how I was feeling. The Monday after the program we had a chance to talk about how we were feeling. We were both struggling and grieving the holidays. I felt so much better after talking with him. I have to remind myself to share with him about how I'm feeling instead of keeping it to myself. I guess I'm afraid to make anyone feel sad and I have never liked to draw attention to myself. So, I just deal with it in my own way. That is until that doesn't work anymore and gushes like a geyser. Ugh, hate when that happens. I put my happy face on and went to work each day praying the day would go by fast. I was so so glad when school let out for vacation.
The first week of vacation was spent getting ready for Christmas. I was so not into it. I dreaded going out to get gifts. I did however manage to make a Christmas card this year. It's the first one I've ever done. I know there are people I forgot to send one too. If you'd like to be on the list please send me your address so I can share with you next year.
We also made Christmas cookies with friends. That was highlight of the week.
Sugar cookies and a great friend to catch up with. Loved that time!
A key verse during this time for us was shared in the sermon series by Steve Stahl:
"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."
Although I do have to admit that I would have been content with running away until the 26th.
However, I needed to make this time special for Janell and Nathaniel.
We spent Christmas Eve with Jason's parents. We exchanged gifts. His family gave me a beautiful necklace with a heart, cross, and a rose. Perfect symbols to represent our lives (see previous post about roses). We ate a yummy dinner and then headed home to get ready for church.
I took the kids to the 11:00 Christmas Eve Service. Jason was leading and I really wanted to be there, to be with him. It was nice to worship with Jason and to hold Nathaniel as he snored away.
Poor little guy fell asleep in the car on the way.
I felt so blessed by that service and thinking about why we celebrate Christmas.
I'm also blessed to have kids who are sleepers.
They didn't get up until 9:00 on Christmas morning (I know you're jealous)!
For Christmas we spent the day with my parents, brother, and sister and her family.
It was nice to just relax. We exchanged gifts and lounged around the house. We enjoyed another turkey dinner and then lounged around some more.
I did make sure to include Madelynn on Christmas. There is a red tablecloth we sign every Thanksgiving and Christmas that we have at my parents house. This tablecloth is covered with names and dates from those present at our holidays. I believe it goes back more than 25 years. It's fun to look at every time it comes out on the table. So this year when I sat down to sign my name I knew I needed to include Madelynn. So I wrote ^^MLC^^. I didn't tell anyone I did it, but felt like she needed to be on there (and I knew I would burst out in tears if I did, I don't like crying in front of others). I almost broke down once, but got it together. So next year I will pull out my red tablecloth and add Madelynn to that one.
I have to admit I was thankful when December 26th came along.
So, that's our holidays in a nutshell. Yes, it there were times of great sadness, but there were also times of great blessings and enjoying time together with our family.
What I'm already working on for my next post:
New Year brings New Hopes, New Goals, and New Challenges