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Friday, December 26, 2014

Missing Mom

We had a wonderful few days of Christmas celebrations.  I finished up baking on Christmas Eve.  My dad and Patty joined us for birthday cake, mass, and dinner.  We put out cookies and milk for Santa, wrapped presents and set everything out.  The kids loved everything they received, with a yo-yo making the top 3 for James.  It's so funny what they end up liking the most.  Everyone is enjoying the used Wii, the sports games are a big hit.  Christmas day was great with Jon's parents and some friends over.  We enjoyed mostly just relaxing and chatting.  It was a different Christmas day, but it was really nice.

Today was mostly a day of recovery, the kids played with their new things and I tried to figure out what to do with some of my retirement accounts.  But this afternoon we started some of the cleaning out that needs to be done.  During this I pulled everything out of the overflowing magazine rack that holds the kids' drawing stuff.  I asked them to go through everything (they aren't done yet).  Carolyn did a great job looking through things and deciding what she wants to keep.

While Carolyn was going through the large pile, she came across the speech a good friend made at mom's funeral.  Just reading the first few words I knew it was from Marianne.  Tears filled my eyes without even reading it.  I set it to the side and finished working on the pile in front of me.  Then I sat down to read it through and reminisce on the wonderful relationship they had.  I was reminded of my wonderful mother and saddened that she can't be here to watch my children grow up.  I was reminded of some of the great friendships my mom developed and part of me longs to develop some of those types of relationships.  Now that the kids are growing it should get easier.  Mostly today, I miss my mom.  Much of the holiday season is filled with memories of her as I bake the same things she baked (with tweaks to make them gluten free) and the house is filled even more with reminders of her.  I know she's watching us from heaven and I know she is so proud of her grandchildren.  But it's still hard that I can't call her on the phone, that I can't give her a hug, that James and Carolyn will never feel her warm embrace.

And then there's reality of my own unknown future.  As we near a new year, I see some challenges with my own health that lie ahead.  The headaches that plagued me this fall have gone away, which is excellent.  But the dizziness is still strong and I can't figure out how to get rid of it.  I have to work this year to not only lose the weight I was working on in August, but the extra weight from 3 months of restaurant food.  Hopefully that can relieve the joint aches and the dizziness.  I'll go low sugar again starting next Thursday.  And hopefully I'll see the changes I need.  Thinking about my mom always reminds me of how young she was and I was when she passed away.  Of course, if I make it to 57 James would be 30 since I just have the 2 kids and we started young.  But I would still miss a lot.  Maybe if I can lose a good amount of this weight I'll even head into the doctor this summer to start a relationship back up.  For now I need to take things into my own hands and do what I know needs to be done to start feeling better.  The first step is to start getting better sleep.  So off to bed I will be in a short bit.

I love you, Mom.  Thanks for watching over us.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Taking Less for Granted

One of the things that I have definitely learned from this fall is to cherish everything around me a bit more.  I am focusing on being more present with my family.  I am choosing what activities are most important and enjoying just being so much more.  After the stress of trying to control a 4 and 6 year old in a hotel for nearly 3 months, I find myself much calmer.  We have a lot less chaos around here and everyone seems to be a bit calmer.  I hope we can hold onto these feelings as we plunge back into life.

I have found myself a great deal more patient with the children.  Partially because I realize how hard it was for them to be out of the house and their neighborhood for so long.  And partially because I think this whole ordeal has made me more patient.  I am now focusing more on God and how to show His love to those around us.  Christmas is even going to look a bit different this year as we open our home to friends that don't have other family nearby.  I am really looking forward to a relaxed celebration where we can all visit and celebrate God's love.

So as much as I hated living in a hotel for 3 months and the time we seemed to have lost while there, we have gained so much from this experience.  I've always known that God works in mysterious ways and this is the most mysterious of all.  But I know God is in control and all is good.  I'm looking forward to 16 days to relax with my family starting Friday about 4pm.

Anyone that is looking for somewhere to be on Christmas, please let me know.  We're happy to have anyone join us as long as we know before we buy the food.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Everything inside is complete!  When we came home from James' soccer today all of our furniture was back in place, the carpet cleaned, and the floors mopped.  I will have to really clean the kitchen floors, but we have our house back!  I never thought I would be so happy to be sitting on my 20 year old couch.  But it is wonderful to have our house to ourselves again.

I have noticed some things over the past 10 days that we've been home that we were taking for granted.  Cooking dinner in our kitchen, while the kids could play.  In the hotel they had to sit and wait for the food to be cooked, then sit to eat.  Appetites are back up now that they just have to sit to eat.  I am appreciative of knowing what is in my food (and what isn't).  It is wonderful for everything to have its place again, so that fewer things get lost.  James was riding his indoor tricycle around our big loop tonight and loving it.  The kids have their freedom back, we no longer have to keep them quiet or get them to stop running around.  We can relax in bed in the morning, especially on weekends.  We can spend entire days in our pjs, but be comfortable and have space to move around.  James having his own bed for naps has been wonderful.  I am more productive with work and he is getting the rest he really needs.  Both kids seem to be taking off physically and academically again.  Carolyn was even promoted to the next level on the gymnastics preteam tonight!  At times I complain about cooking for my family, but I just need to remember that it can be taken away in the blink of an eye.

I have been thinking about writing this post for a few days now but things have been incredibly busy.  As I write it I know there was a lot more I wanted to say, but I'm exhausted from all of this.  It will be wonderful to sleep in my own bed tonight without staring at the living room furniture shoved into our bedroom.  And once I've settled again I will try this again.