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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Surprise Gifts

March 24, 2010 6 comments

Usually this would be a Wordless Wednesday post, but I have too many words about what I am sharing.  We have started a family tradition where Aaron’s best friend, Jeremy, visits us for Christmas.  This past year he came and brought his girlfriend and her son, Xavier.  It was a real treat because Xavier is very close to M’s age and very much like him when it comes to personality.  We spent the day together at my in-law’s as the boys got to know each other.  Then that night we came home and stayed up late laughing and playing.  It was one of the most perfect evenings of my life as a mother.  M was full of smiles and just giddy with joy.  They danced, jumped, ran, hugged, tickled, shared.  It was amazing.  M is our only child so to see him connect so well with another child was amazing.

This week Jeremy and Ashlee came to visit again for a day and Jeremy had a surprise.  He had created a video of the evening and set it to music.  It is incredible!  Jeremy is the most talented video guy I know.  He recently had a great success with a music video he completed.  I was so excited when he said he had made a video.  Below is what he put together.

Keep an eye out for our niece, Lilia, M’s break dancing, and a spitting dinosaur!

Each time I watch it I get choked up.  It is so amazing and completely captures the joy of that day.  You can see M and X in the beginning, a little unsure of each other.  You can hear the laughter and joy.  And as it continues you watch two little boys forge a friendship.  It truly was one of the best nights of my life.  I was so thrilled to see my little guy having so much fun and I felt like I was literally watching him grow and mature before my eyes.  It really captures the essence of what I hope M’s childhood is.  These are the types of memories I hope he holds on to.  This will bring smiles (and some tears) to me for a long time.

Thank you Jeremy, for being so incredibly thoughtful and talented and for capturing a few moments of my son’s life that I am so glad to have forever!

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2009 in review

January 4, 2010 Leave a comment

I had big intentions for this holiday break. I planned to clean and organize around the house, write, and relax. But, as is often the case, life had other plans. 2009 went out with a storm to match the rest of the year. I can say that 2009 was one of the hardest years of my life, easily. Interestingly, A doesn’t feel the same way which intrigues me. People really can experience the same things and have very different feelings about it. Since we are starting a new year, new decade in fact, it is the time for reflection. I find it easier to to move forward after I have reflected on and processed the past. So what did 2009 hold for me? Even though it was a difficult year there were many blessings.

  • January, February, and March were painful, literally. I was experiencing severe pain when I was supposed to have my cycles and was on various rounds of hormone treatments to try to get things fixed. The pain was awful and we were close to heading into surgery. But a blessing came in April in the form of a recommendation from a friend to go see a specialist. We went to the reproductive endocrinologist and felt relief finally after an in-office procedure.

    M Meeting Mickey and Minnie

    M Meeting Mickey and Minnie

  • May was full of fun as we took our first family vacation to Disney.  It was an incredible week!  We had a long road trip, stays at various hotels, the Georgia Aquarium, Disney, MGM studios, and Ruby Falls.  It was wonderful to watch M experience all these new adventures and the awe on his face.  It couldn’t have been a more perfect way to celebrate M’s birthday or spend time together as a family.
  • We also had some frustrations in May and June.  We have two rental homes and one of them had come open.  We had two different people back out on us after signing leases, one of which had already started painting!  It was so frustrating, especially when we work so hard to provide good homes.  I worked non-stop at the rental for two full weeks to have it ready and we did finally end up with wonderful tenants.
  • In July we found out that we were expecting a baby, but then lost her that same week.  It was an incredibly difficult time.  I had a D&C that month and in August the pain from the start of the year was back again.  I had to have the same in-office procedure done again and begin to recover emotionally.
  • We welcomed our new niece, L, in August.

    Holding my new niece, L

    Holding my new niece, L

  • In September I celebrated my 30th birthday, but not in any way that I had imagined I would.  I was still quite depressed about the miscarriage so I just didn’t feel up to partying it up.  It was a nice birthday spent with friends at dinner, very low key.
  • October was a respite from chaos.  We enjoyed our Halloween and the fall season and M started his big boy school.
  • November started the holiday season and brought mono back.  I never even knew I could get mono again after having it as a teenager.  It totally knocked me down.  I was very thankful to have a job with generous sick time because I had to use it as fast as I earned it.  This is also when I started this new blog.  Oh, and there was the whole ER trip for M when he decided to stop urinating!!
  • December brought the usual family gatherings, M’s broken arm, illnesses for M and A, and some much needed time off work.

    In the ER with M

    In the ER with M

This was the first full year in our new home, a blessing I am so thankful for.  A and I weathered the rough financial storm the U.S. has been in pretty well.  We both retained our jobs, but are taking a pretty significant monthly loss on one of our rentals that can make some months tight.  This has been a VERY tough year for me professionally.  I have missed so much work and had a very difficult time focusing when I am there.  I have always prided myself on my work ethic and abilities, but for the past year I have been spending all my energy on only surviving (emotionally and physically).

I truly believe that life is about balance.  It is usually pretty easy for me to see the balance in things.  This year has been difficult to see the balance.  I try though, daily.  I remind myself that I am truly blessed and that pain and heartache is only temporary.  I am hopeful that 2010 will be an easier year, a year to progress and grow.

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Child ornament ideas

December 16, 2009 1 comment
M's first ornament

M's first ornament

I don’t claim to be uber-crafty, but this is one thing I think I have done right.  When M was a newbie we wanted something for him to give at Christmas so we bought the kits to make those hand print ornaments and we made those for each set of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and ourselves.  We could actually say that our brilliant 6 month old made the gift and it ended up starting a wonderful tradition. (We even had our pup make one that year!)

The next year, we needed something that M could do that would keep the interest of a 1.5 year old, be easy enough, and be beautiful!  So, we bought plain glass bulbs. (only ONE broke in this whole process!!  Seriously!)  We also bought some craft paint in red and green.  We did two different types that year. Some we let him use a sponge brush and paint them, which he loved until he became bored.  Then we took a gallon size ziplock bag, put some paint in it, put the ornament in and let him shake it.  When it was coated, we let it dry for a few minutes, and then did the same with the other color.  As you can imagine, he LOVED this!

M's ornaments from when he was 1.5 years old

M's ornaments from when he was 1.5 years old

M's ornament at 2.5 years old

M's ornament at 2.5 years old

Last year, at 2.5, we were able to let him really go to town with it.  We bought wood carved hearts and let him paint two colors and add some glitter.  He was also old enough to tell us who each one was for as he was making them.

This year he will be painting wood snowflakes and adding glitter and ribbon.

These have been a huge hit with the family.  We love that we are instilling in him the value of thought and effort instead of monetary importance when it comes to gifts.  We love that we look at our tree and see how he has grown over the years.  And, of course, we love to watch him create these gifts on his own.  It is a gift in so many ways!

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Wordless Wednesday 12/16/2009

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment

I thought that, since we are so close to the holiday, I would share some images of the ornaments that A and I have collected each year.  I love putting up our “family” tree because it tells such a story.  Each year I buy A a surprise ornament to mark that year together and we usually pick out one together too.  I also sometimes buy one to celebrate what special event has taken place that year.  Here are the “mark the year” ones we have collected:

ornaments 2002-2008

"Mark the Year" ornaments 2002-2008

This is a tradition of ours that I absolutely love!  I look forward to a tree FULL of these ornaments one day, each helping to tell the story of our life together.  Just imagine… one day we will include ones for new children, grandchildren, and major events in our lives.  It is a wonderful evening spent unwrapping memories that starts our holiday season each year.

The Family Tree

The Family Tree

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