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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

¡Feliz CompleaƱos!



Last year in celebration of Maggie's, Auntie Shelly's and my birthdays, we went to Chuck E. Cheese and then out to Mexican. And if you're celebrating a birthday, they dress you up in these ginormous sombreros and sing around you. It is such fun and we are hoping to do a repeat this year. Can't wait.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas, Love Grammy

The day our tub went in. It's such a big soaker tub (6' long and 31" deep) The kids are so happy Grammy got us a tub for the bathroom that works! They can even go swimming in it!!


The next day Gigi (Darrell's mom) came and helped us tile it. So here is Darrell admiring his handy work...now we just have to grout.


Here it is all grouted up. We used black grout to match our floor. I have yet to try the shower, but the tub is HEAVEN. And my friend Em just sent me some wonderfully decadent Chocolate covered Cherries bubble bath for my birthday. So I have already tried that today. Yum!
I'll follow up more once we get it all trimmed out and looking magnificent.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm glad we did the card yesterday.

I felt the need yesterday to get lots of the stuff I'd been putting off done. And I'm so glad I had the forsight to do it. I don't often do things ahead of time anymore. I guess I've always been better under pressure (why I don't know because I HATE pressure). But it seems this year, with all the sh!t going on, I happened to think...maybe not the best time to just wait.

My Aunt Karen was diagnosed with cancer in May and on Monday we were told that the cells are so aggresive that the liquid they were feeding her through a shunt was giving her no nutrients, but only feeding the cancer. The cancer cells were growing so quickly that they were starting to crowd her heart and lungs that she would probably be suffocated in days to weeks. But on Tuesday, my mom called to let me know Karen's doctor had called to say that they hadn't realized she was in renal failure. Her liver had shut down. She only had hours.

Well, she passed away yesterday at 4:30pm. I'm really shaken. My kids are really shaken. Its all a bit too much and selfishly I've cried about our loss. But I've not even really wept for my cousins. My cousin Ann, 31, won't be able to have her parents around for a wedding, kids, first home. My cousin Jeff, 28, is expecting his 2nd (although this will be the family's 3rd) baby and his parents won't be able to share in the joy. My cousin Matt, 25, won't be able to have his parents by his side for a promotion, an engagement, a family. This would be devastating. I remember a huge sense of loss for a father I never really had on my wedding day. My brother, who I always knew would, walked me down the aisle. But I didn't get to dance with my father at my wedding either. This is not how life should be.

But worst of all, they won't have Mom around this Christmas. She was the rock of the family and even in all our families. If you needed a sensible, responsible answer, you knew to ask Karen. One of the best pieces of advice I ever learned from her was "To pick my battles". This is what I will remember about her.

Monday, December 8, 2008

injustices

As I prepare for Christmas and lament our lack of finances, I'm slapped across the face by many struggles that others are facing. While no money is a HUGE struggle and the stress it causes is insurmountable, I have what many people are going into this holiday w/o. I have a family.

I have a great friend who just lost her second baby after years and years of trying to start a family, I have an old school buddy who just lost his father in a battle with cancer, I have a minister who's one brother is fighting a losing battle with cancer and another brother who is currently MIA overseas, I have an aunt who lost her husband a few years ago to cancer and is now herself dying from cancer.

Life doesn't seem to make sense right now. Why is it we have to struggle so, especially in this time of year when we are supposed to be grateful for the gift God gave us (Jesus people). I understand loss around Easter. It would be symbolic of his sacrifice. But Christmas is supposed to be joyful and yet it seems to be one of the hardest times of year for so many, loss/lack of family, loss/lack of finances, traveling in really crappy weather, stress.

Hopefully the arrival of the new year will bring great things to those who are feeling such loss in this current year. The promise of change in the government and the hope of change in other things will hopefully allow many of us some rest from stress.

I pray for all of you and hope for joy and an overabundance of love from everyone who surrounds you.