Everyday is an Adventure. Embrace it

Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

Oops!

Oops! I haven’t written anything since last November.

How could I forget about this site? Simple…I’ve been a bit busy with work, the house, the kids, the hubby, and taxes. So I don’t bore you with all the details, I’ll hit the high spots for you. We’ve had a few adventures, turning points, milestones, and even a few laughs along the way since my last post. Scroll down to enjoy!

Our oldest boy is not new to the stage. He’s had roles in plays before, but this past Nov, he had the esteemed honor of playing the King of Hearts in a magical steam punk rendition of Alice in Wonderland!

King of Hearts (Center)

King of Hearts (Center)

(As I am sure you can appreciate – this picture is purposely blurred to protect identities of other children in this play.)

We’ve visited some historical places and paid respect…

Briceville Coal Creek Cross Mountain Disaster

Briceville Coal Creek Cross Mountain Disaster

It snowed in late November…

November Snow in East TN

November Snow in East TN

We searched for arrowheads…

Arrowhead Hunting

Arrowhead Hunting

We visited Gatlinburg (right before it flooded)…IMAG2396

Our youngest son had a choral concert in December…

Cole's Chorus Concert (he's in the middle)

Cole’s Chorus Concert (he’s in the middle)

We celebrated Christmas. The most fun was listening to the boys guess what was inside the 3 large boxes. They knew each one of them had a box and the guesses were hilarious. I heard: “Microwave for college”, “Individual mini fridges”, “Clothes”, “A giant book”, “Fluffy”, and lots of other silly stuff.

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

The most exciting part of Christmas came from the post office though! We received a surprise present from Royal Mail delivered from the UK. The mail delivery lady was so impressed by the package, she made a special stop by the house to make sure I went by the post office to pick it up and advised me she expected to know what it was. When I went to the post office, the branch manager handed it to me while the other ladies working there huddled all around. They all looked on quizzically in wonderment, fully expecting me to open it in front of them.  I said my thank yous and told them I would wait until Christmas morning to open it with my family.  Disappointed, they asked me to come back in and let them know what it was. The kids also guessed what was inside everyday until Christmas came. (Thank you John & Family!)

Royal Mail

Royal Mail

My fabulous friend at Praying Seven Designs made an apron for me!

I LOVE my new apron!

I LOVE my new apron!

We had more snow January 29, 2014…

More Snow

More Snow

The kids had laaaaazy days…

Lazy kids

Lazy kids

While looking for arrowheads along the river with  my husband on February 1st, 2014, I stumbled upon a creepy doll buried in sand! Oh the stories that came from that day…from the mysteriously appearing and then disappearing tiny foot prints that appeared afterward to the creepy doll theories – we had many stories to share.

Creepy doll

Creepy doll

We took the kids on a retreat to The Wilderness in the Smokies in Sevierville, TN. They had a lot of fun that day, but since it’s a water park – there are no pictures to share with you. (Camera+water=disaster).  We stopped in a small Chinese restaurant during a stay and I received a nice fortune :

Nice!

Nice!

Snowlady duck-face Selfie

Snowlady duck-face Selfie

On February 12 & 13th, it snowed again! I made a duck-face snowman selfie 🙂

The kids were party poopers. They wouldn’t come out to play in the snow with me, but Nick made a snowman too!

Nick's Snowman

Nick’s Snowman

For Valentine’s Day, my sweet husband gave me my absolute favorite little golden balls of happiness! We also went out for dinner.

my absolute favorite little golden balls of happiness

my absolute favorite little golden balls of happiness

So, all in all, we’ve stayed busy. Combine daily football workouts, ACT prep work,  multiple choral events, working 7am – 8pm each day and all the regular daily house work, plus trying out some DIY Pinterest inspired crafting disasters equals…kinda busy. But, to you, if you’ve come all this way to read – I offer my sincerest apology for not writing something before now. I’ll be writing more soon, I promise!

Holidays & Family 3yrs after Death

Grief is no easy monster to defeat & one of the biggest illusions it presents is how “family” holds together afterwards. Family unintentionally dissipates as the months & years go by. There are many good intentions and people are quick to declare, “we will not allow anything to separate us” and “we will get together more often”, but reality takes hold & people drift apart.

Death has a way of bringing people together & a way of separating them as well. The reasons why people drift apart are too numerous to mention, but the people who drift remain the same: Brothers, Sisters, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends, & especially in-laws.

The illusion of family is presented by those we love & share many years of memories, triumphs, & disappointments with. These are people we grew up with & other times people we allowed into our lives through love & devotion.

Probably some of the hardest lessons learned through this process is that people who were once “family” are no longer as the years go by. Those who once said “I love you” will allow themselves to fad out of your life & resume theirs without thought of the ones they leave out. The daily phone calls that occurred for 15 years will fade to weekly, then monthly, yearly, & finally stop completely. The thought of what constitutes family will be reduced to blood. The family events, get-togethers, & shared holidays will cease. The random encounters in town become fewer as the years accumulate.
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There is an awkwardness that begins to grow & soon in-laws feel betrayed by the widow/widower should they allow someone else into their life. Step children decide that a surviving step parent is no longer part of their family once another man/woman enters the widow/widower’s life. Distance becomes the norm instead of the unheard of and the unusual becomes usual.

  • During the 1st year after death, the holidays are mournful by all, yet comforting because “family” still gather and hold traditions.
  • By the 2nd year after death, holidays are a bit restrained. They seems to be full of pity and compassion for the widow/widower and the children. “Family” approach the holidays with caution.
  • By the 3rd year, the “family” turn inward. There is still much pity and compassion, but it is for themselves – not the surviving widow/widower. Since the phone calls have ceased, guilt money begins to arrive in mailboxes instead of invitations to holiday gatherings. “Family” begins to cling to each other more closely so they will be able to discuss the unacceptable changes in the widow/widower’s life. They fear change because they refuse to risk losing the precious memories of the loved one passed. I am hoping above all hope that one day soon, “family” will realize that nothing can replace or remove those memories from their minds.

In the mind of the “family”, it remains appropriate for the them to move on with their lives (as they should), yet it remains inappropriate for the widow/widower to resume life. Afterall, they have been encouraged to do so by many friends and loved ones, therefore it has become acceptable. This self acceptance takes a great deal of effort and can lead to the selfish human nature of self-preservation. People forget however, that self-preservation does not include tearing others down in the process. One of the most important Human impulses in life is self-preservation.

This holiday season, please try not to damage a survivor of any traumatic event by your own inclinations of self-preservation.  😦

Back to the list!

This past weekend, the boys & I were blessed to mark another item off our bucket list! #25 was to take the boys to Gatlinburg, TN around Christmas time. I wanted them to see the lights & have a good time & they sure did!

The boys experienced many firsts. They rode go carts, played in a huge arcade, walked the streets in Gatlinburg, admired the lights, stayed in a hotel, swam in a pool in the middle of winter, & got in a whirlpool. Cole gassed us after eating BBQ(shew!) and Nicky bought at least 10 new tiny bouncey balls (we won’t go there).  We met celebrities (cardboard), acted out scenes with Droids, posed in silly hats, & discovered Santa carries a double barrell sawed off shotgun! Cole & I got henna tattoos. The boys spent $5 to get me a toy outta various claw machines.

What a great adventure 🙂 I’m so glad we got back to the list! And I am thankful that God has blessed our lil family again 🙂

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