Archive for December, 2008

December 31, 2008

Oh-Eight

Top o' the muffin' to ya,
Topofthemuffin

Can I say how happy I am that the sun will not rise again in this year?
I decided that I am not going to rehash every awful thing, every life altering moment, every heartbreaking circumstance that we've encountered this year.  That seems mostly useless and completely depressing.  And while I'm fairly certain that there is a strong possibility that some of those thoughts will creep into my head as it hits my pillow tonight, and fairly certain that my pillow might be drenched in tears before my dreams arrive, I'm also fairly certain that this day will be a great going away party for Oh-Eight.  Because I am going to squeeze every last drop of love and laughter that I can out of Oh-Eight. (Because Oh-Eight, you owe me big time.) 

We started the day off with homemade chocolate chip muffins and yummy cappuccinos.  And then the kiddos watched a movie while I sipped more coffee and read. 
And then Gabe, sweet Gabe who's been asking to take pictures all morning, in the middle of the movie looked back across the room at me and said
"Mom, that looks like peace." 
"What does?" 
"You, with your coffee and reading.  You look like peace."
So I am thankful for that. 
I am thankful for my amazing kids and their amazing ability to see things and say things that pull me out of dark places.
I am thankful that in this year of heartbreak and loss there has been grace and growth.
The rest of this day will be spent in our new home, playing new games and taking new pictures and making new memories.  

Goodbye Oh-Eight.  You kind of sucked and you will not be missed.  You almost pushed me over the edge.  And though some of the change you brought was necessary, I almost lost myself in you… 

But I didn't.

So here's to Oh-Nine and all that you hold. 
Cheers everybody, see you on the other side.
Peace

December 25, 2008

May your days be merry and bright…

Merrylittlechristmascard

December 22, 2008

My Mentor

It's her birthday and I feel like whatever tribute I write will be insufficient.  Usually I am full of words for her, I've written and said too many I'm sure, but I find myself fumbling today for the right ones to describe exactly what she means to me.  It might be easier to say them just to her than to the whole Internet.

Hey You,

    You are lovely beyond words.  You have been so much to me, more than a friend or mentor, more than I could ever explain.  You are gifted, shined upon by God, as a writer, a speaker, a woman, a wife and mother, you are truly blessed.  In this past year, in being welcomed in to your home and family, I've found acceptance, and love, and healing.  How on earth do I say thank you for that?  You have challenged me repeatedly to dig deeper, push harder, and strive for more.  You've believed in me when I didn't.  You've laughed, cried and prayed with me on my toughest days.  Your openness is inspiring.   The way you seek God everyday is amazing.  As a wife I've seen not only the way you are loved so completely, but the way you love so truly.  The sideways glances and knowing smiles between you two speak volumes of the love you share.  As a mother your love knows no limits, your heart overflows for your girls and it's beautiful.  And your grandchildren's lives are filled with love because of the example you are.  It's no secret that you're wit is quick, but I'm not sure if many know how tender you can be.  You are stronger than strong.  You are wise and you are good.  You are a daughter of the one true King, a princess indeed, and the apple of His eye.  You lead a big life because you do not stop stretching and growing.  I have had the pleasure of watching your life grow just this year as you have let go of your plans and yielded to what He has had for you.  You have shown me too many things to list about life and love.  Your hands are full of grace.  Your beauty is captivating.  Your eyes sparkle.  Your light shines. Thank you for being so wonderfully wonderful.  I pray that this year will bring grace beyond measure and blessing beyond comprehension to you.  May you know His love deep down in your soul.  May you feel His heart beating as you lean on His chest.  May you grasp His hand and see His face often.  The happiest of birthdays to you my friend.

                                        I love you forever and ever no matter what,
                                                                    -Amber

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December 19, 2008

Mexico: Trip Uno

I've put off blogging about it to see if I could process exactly what it was a little more clearly.  Nope.  It was a big mess of beauty, and grace, and work, and playing, and laughing, and running.  It was everything I hoped and more.  My church has been going to this colonia a few times a year for a while now.  On the Christmas trip we get to take shoe boxes full of shoes and goodies to the kiddos there.  We go house to house in groups of about four and talk to the families, hand the kids their gifts, chat a bit, and pray.  In between that we get to play and eat and hold babies and sing songs with these joyful little munchkins. I got to hold an eight day old baby, her parents were still deciding on a name and while I held her tiny hand and whispered blessings in her ear, her mom made me some lunch.  I can not imagine letting a strange foreigner in to my house, letting them hold my newborn, and then feeding them lunch.  Their hearts are just that open.  Because of the teams from our church, the leaders who have gone back again and again, we get to sit in these homes and spend time with these families.  That's God.  Our communication, our Spanish, though we try hard is not great, love has been communicated though and that's God.  Lots of my friends were on this trip. Bridge, is herself in Mexico, loving and leading those kids like they were her own little brothers and sisters.  She drove her favorite bus, she hugged a ton of little ones and garnered tons of smiles.  Paul went and Paul worked, a lot.  He walked a lot and he talked a lot.  He spent his second birthday in a row in Mexico.  Debby went. She smiled a lot, she laughed a lot, she spoke tons of Spanish, she pushed herself completely beyond her comfort zone.  Heather went.  And she walked with grace through a tough day.  She's raising great people, her kids and her friends in Mexico, she is an amazing leader.  PJ, the happiest guy in the world, my team leader, he always goes, because he loves.  He loves big and loud, more people should love the way he does.  A lot of wonderful people were on this trip, Haley, Suzanne, Jenny, Josh, Sean, Tim, Terri, Michael, Melinda, Sarah, Tera, Christina, Kristina, Nykala, Jessica, Tater, each of them shined in their own awesome ways, it was wonderful.  And Erin, though she left us early for another important adventure, was our fearless leader. It is largely in part due to her hard work and organization that this trip was so wonderful.  Her heart is for missions, and her heart reaches far.  And I'm grateful for that, grateful for the opportunities it has given me to reach out too.  I fell in love with these faces, these eyes and these smiles.  I can't wait to go back.  And I have, as the rest of the team does, lots of stories of God's grace.  I got to see glimpses of His hand in Mexico.  Hopefully we left behind lots of stories.  Hopefully these little faces saw glimpses of His hand too.  But once again I find myself marveling at what happens when I go to give, I'm blessed beyond measure by what's already there.  That's God.
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December 4, 2008

My Little Morning Person

Okay, I promise to blog about the boys and take lots of pictures of them when they are home for Christmas break.
And I promise, I love all of my kids equally.  I promise that I alternate favorites in equal increments, I keep a chart, it's a bar graph actually.  But right now, Grace is my favorite.  If you think it is terrible that I have favorites sometimes, too bad.  I'm just being honest.  She is, this week at least, my favorite.  She makes my heart sing.  She is a morning person, my only one.  The other little rugrats are generally grumpy and slow and just not happy to be awake in the morning for the most part.  She though, she wakes up with a smile most days.  She greets me with a cuddle and a kiss.  She and I usually have breakfast together while the others are moseying in.  And I love that she is a morning person, because I am not, and waking up with her makes my mornings better.  Oh my Pie.  She is a love.  She is a mess and getting messier, but she's the sweetest and cutest little mess in the world.

The baby

December 1, 2008

filling

     Okay, so I don't recommend being pregnant over the summer and I don't recommend getting a divorce over the Holidays. Jeez it has been tough.  Don't get me wrong, I have plenty to be thankful for and merry about.  It's just hard doing all of the things we've always done together without him.  It's hard doing new things because he's not here.  It's hard doing things on my own when all of the other families have two adults shuffling their kids around.  It's hard spending parts of holidays alone because it's his turn with the kids.  And there was no part of me that guessed any of this would be easy, but there's really no way of understanding or knowing what it might be like unless you're in the middle of it.  And I am. 
    We are nearing the one year mark of when we separated.  Everything should be final by the beginning of January, around our birthday's.  Sometimes this year seems like the longest year ever and sometimes it seems completely impossible that all of this has happened, my life has been turned completely upside down in just a year. 

    Thanksgiving was wonderful and terrible.  We felt completely at home and happy at Amy's. The meal was great, the company was better.  It was perfection.  It was something different, and we all had a blast.  And then I had to take the kids to him.  And then I was alone.  And then I was at the Blinns, where we always go together.  We totally love the Blinns and The Blinn Thanksgiving.  We've always felt at home there, like family.  But it was hard to be there without my family.  It was hard feeling so alone in a house full of people.  
    We decorated our Christmas tree the other night.  It was Grace's first year to help, and he missed it.  And Griff stopped in the middle of hanging ornaments to draw something.  I asked what he was doing and he said "I'm making Dad a Christmas card".  And then Gabe did too. It was incredibly sweet and thoughtful.   But it sucks. 
    I know Christmas is about hope, and I have hope, maybe my next post will be about hope.  But this is just not what I had planned or hoped for, this is not what I worked or prayed for.  But this is what I've got.  And we are making the most of it, me and the kids.  We are dancing our booties off to Christmas songs, and making gingerbread houses, and cookies, and drinking a ridiculous amount of hot cocoa, and roasting marshmallows in the fireplace, and playing tons of Candy Land, and watching Elf repeatedly.  Life is still good, it goes on, and I will do whatever I can to make them know that they are loved, loved, loved.  And I will fill the void he left with as much laughter and hugs as I can.  But honestly, I am struggling to fill the void that is left in me.  

 

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