Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

Top 10 Memories of this Christmas
10. The snow that just. kept. falling. - I think we got 7 inches. Postponing our Christmas plans with our family. Disappointing but hoping we can reschedule.
9.  Going to the movies - "Night at the Museum"
8.  Christmas Eve Service - Meredith's ballet dance.
7.  Last minute drinks and appetizers with friends (2 days before Christmas)
6.  Cold.  Cold.  Cold.
5.  Daddy's calendar got #1 gift
4.  Finishing our Christmas puzzle
3.  Dinner with Grandma and Grandpop
2.  Receiving over 75 cards from our friends and family in the mail!
1.  One thing you need, one thing you want, one thing to make the world a better place  - This was our gift giving strategy this year.  We drew names and spent all of December planning and talking and giving.  I think it was the BEST thing we've ever done.  We gave money to the Humane Society, Ft. Collins Read Aloud, and Adopt -a-Family.  It was so wonderful to give AND receive this year. 
    Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmassy things

Somewhere between the first verse and chorus of  "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" I teared up.  We were all sitting in our favorite pew at church, standing and worshipping the Lord.  My daughters are all 3 very great singers, and it truly felt like I was in the middle of a choir.  They were singing parts, and I paused for a second just to enjoy the sound of their trio.  To say it was beautiful would be minimizing it.  It was angelic.  I felt so blessed to have been the audience of one to their mini-concert.  I love it when we all sit together at church.  We are unified with our presence, even if we all hear the words differently and process the content differently.  I love the routine that "church" is for our family.  It is a KNOWN.  All we do is come with a heart that is ready.  December is a favorite time for us, mostly because of the music.  Christmas carols, traditional hymns, advent candles.  We love the whole shebang.   

Most years, we make our way up to the mountains and cut down our Christmas tree from the big forest.  It is one of our favorite traditions.  Sometimes there is snow, sometimes there is wind.  Most of the time, the weather is just wintry and it revs us up for the whole Christmas season.

Molly, our doggie, loves this annual romp in the woods.
She is busy, busy smelling all of the new smells that she never smells in the city...

It has been said over the past few weeks that this is our best tree ever. 
I think that we say that every year, BUT... This year, it just might be true...
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

thoughts on a new time

A little over 13 years ago, I was married to a man who walked out on his family. Our children were 2 1/2 and 6 months old.  I begged and pleaded for him to stay, to do the "right thing". He left.  Turns out, the right thing was that we wouldn't be married to each other any more. Experts would probably say that we shouldn't have EVER married.  But we did.   I don't mourn or miss him.  Over the years, I mourned what "should have been" and "what I planned", but I have always believed (and still do) that in man's mess, God can be even bigger.  And God was.  In so many ways.  More ways than I can even write in a single blog post.  Mostly, God chose to give to me and my oldest 2 daughters the gift of our Patrick.  Husband and step-dad extraordinaire.  Add to that our 2 younger children and you have the gift with a BOW on it.  We are blessed.  We were taken care of, not by a man, but by our Father in heaven and for that we are so grateful.

Tonight was new.

Very new.

Because of our parenting plan, I have taken my 2 oldest daughters over to their dads house 2-3 times a week for 12 years.  Tonight, my oldest daughter took she and her sister.  In her car.  She.  Drove.
It has been a strange night for me.  I'm so thankful that I don't have to interrupt our regular life and schedule to drive my older girls over to their dads.  I'm so happy that I don't have to endure how upset and angry they are when they have to go to their dads.  I'm so relieved that I'm "off the hook" from even entering the space of "that world over there".  BUT...

It's what we've known.  Even for my 2 little people - it's what we have always done.  Every Monday and Thursday night... since FOREVER...this is our routine.  Over the years, I've taken the girls to many different places that their dad called "home".  Different addresses, same routine.  And now... we have a new routine.  And it is such a relief.  And SO new.  And so wonderful.  And so terrifying.  How can so many emotions exist at one time???

God's grace has been poured out on us so many times over the last 12 years.  I couldn't recall them all even if I tried.  And here, tonight, is another example of that grace.  The big girls made it to their dad's safely, we at home were awarded peace and calm because we didn't have to rush across town.  It's the end of an era for me.  The place where I longed to be, so many years ago.  Free.  And here we are.

There's a chilled bottle of champagne waiting for me when I embrace what is to be celebrated. Because the bottom line is...
This is good.  Really good. My sweet 16 year old is responsible and capable to drive herself and her sister.  That ALONE is to be celebrated.  

Until then... I will ponder.  And be grateful, SO grateful.